Rationality Versus Emotion

Rationality is defined by the free dictionary (I don’t believe that I own an actual dictionary) as:

1. the state or quality of being rational or logical
2. the possession or utilization of reason or logic
3. a reasonable or logical opinion


This is pretty much what I thought it would say, but it’s nice to start a post with some back-up. Emotion is perhaps the opposite of rationality, at least in the sense that when emotion takes over rationality is what it takes over from.

The big question for today is: can the two exist peacefully together? The answer (as a way of getting round to what I really want to talk about) is: where one examines this nation’s love with football, certainly not. I do apologise for writing about football now for 66% of my blog posts, but I continue to be amazed by how seemingly intelligent rational people are able to lose control of their faculties when the conversation turns to the World Cup and England.

Now I’m not talking about the drivel that gets talked in the heat of the moment, when one’s actually watching the game in the pub, alcohol clouding the senses as one wills England on to glory. I’m talking about the stuff that gets talked about in the aftermath, when the so called ‘expert analysis’ kicks in. The three most striking examples follow, and anyone that disagrees with me, please tell me why, because I’m currently very bemused of Oundle…

1. Fabio Capello: Two weeks ago he was flavour of the month. He was the man for England. He was discipline, strucutre, in control of the wayward, fun-loving, anything-shagging England footballer. He banned the WAGs, he dropped JT for his immoral escapades. Above all, he got England winning again. But England have now played badly for one, maybe one and a half games. Now Fabio is too controlling, he doesn’t let the players express themselves, he puts them too much under pressure. For goodness sakes. These are exactly the character traits that we were praising him for ten days ago. Has he changed markedly? No, but eleven players have had a bad game, and something must be to blame.

Rationality 0 – 1 Sports reporters, TV news and people in pub…

2. The fan’s money: how many more times do we have to hear about the fans, and in particular the fact that they’ve ‘paid good money to be out here’. Of course they have. It’s in South Africa, which is a long way away. I went to SA in February, it cost £900, and I had an amazing time. of course my ability to enjoy myself isn’t controlled by eleven man that I’ll never get to meet, but I digress…when I went to the most Southerly point, and it rained, I didn’t complain to the Park Steward that I’d paid a lot of money to come out here; I was well aware that there was a chance that it would rain, and somehow I managed to cope. Why do these fans expect that because they have paid some money to follow England, it is a God-given right that England will win football matches? Here’s a thought: in every game of football, there are two teams, and some of the Algerian fans may also have paid a lot of money to get there. Or maybe they paid less money, so we should win. By two goals. And if they come from closer in Africa, it should be three goals because they’ve hardly paid anything to get there. If, by some miracle, Scotland had made it to the finals, we should have a draw, bearing in mind that flights cost about the same from Edinburgh as London.

Rationality 0 – 1 England fans in SA…

3. Wayne Rooney’s ‘outburst’: Now I’m not a particular fan of Wayne, the Granny-shagging tattooed scouser, whose face resembles a bucket-full of smashed crabs, but…his ‘outburst’, and the media frenzy that followed was absolutely non-sensical. The England team weren’t very good, and so they got booed (incidentally, when a team get booed, does anyone actually say ‘boo’?). Wayne replied ‘nice to get booed by your own fans’. Sarcastically. And so he had every right to do so. Admittedly, some of these people had paid a lot to be out there, but when you’ve run yourself into the ground for 90 minutes, it must hurt to feel zero appreciation. He didn’t swear. He didn’t even shout. Passionate, yes, and that’s what we ask for in our footballers. What did the cameras thing they were going to pick up, an apology? But that’s what our Wayne has been forced to produce: a grovelling retrospective apology that everyone knows is meaningless anyway. Ludicrous.

Rationality 0 – 1 outraged England football-watching public

Anyway – here’s the real thing. England aren’t that good. We’ve simply got the best league in the world, and a few of our players are key players in some of the best teams in that league. But not James, or Johnson, or Carragher, or Lennon, or Barry, or Heskey, or Wright-Phillips, or Crouch. Simple. And rational. And we still might win. And then we can talk about it forever. And all have flags of St George on our cars. Don’t get me started on that one…

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