‘IT IS NOT EVEN A CHOICE. IT IS A COM­PUL­SION. ADDICTION DOES NOT HAVE RA­TIO­NAL­ITY AT ITS HEART’

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - - NATION - Spinoff ap­pears ev­ery fort­night

like it? Flush it down the toi­let. Sell it off. Ex­change it for some­thing bet­ter. Buy a new one.

Over the course of a life­time of sport­ing fan­dom (even for sup­port­ers of im­mensely suc­cess­ful teams such as Real Madrid, Barcelona or Brazil in foot­ball and the West Indies and Aus­tralia in cricket), there are more mo­ments of dis­ap­point­ment than joy. Ev­ery fan recog­nises this. He recog­nises, too, that feel­ing mis­er­able is part of the deal. But rid­ing the mis­ery and stick­ing with it the real deal. You sud­denly can­not choose to sup­port an­other team. The covenant you have made with a cer­tain team is too hard to break. (Un­less you are an oli­garch and can buy a team of your own and back it.)

There is only this or noth­ing. And noth­ing is so much worse.

GETTY IMAGES

A tense Arse­nal sup­porter dur­ing a match against Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur.

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