Many people across the world suffer from a condition known as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), where the weather can have an adverse effect on one’s mood and general happiness. I am writing to inform you of important new studies into the condition known as FAD (Football Affective Disorder). This condition tends to develop as a young supporter grows older and much more susceptible to FAD tendencies. These tendencies can widely vary across two ends of the spectrum.
We have RTG (Rose Tinted Glasses) which stems from an improbable result, or in rare cases a string of results and can last from anything between hours to several years. With RTG the sufferer will feel a sense of overwhelming calm and euphoria. Colours seem brighter and stress levels are reduced. However, as these symptoms subside, there is a rather nasty Liverpool derived turning point known as KOP (Knocked Off Pedestal), where a rather harsh reality takes place and the initial Euphoria is replaced by disappointment and a realisation of how delusional they may have sounded throughout the week and face up to some terrible side effects such as outlandish predictions, sometimes even backed up with money. I have paid my own penance towards RTG in the past with £5 on my beloved Middlesbrough to win the Championship. Middlesbrough have in fact have played an integral role in this study and have allowed me to experience the other end of the spectrum known as PMS (Post Match Stress).
PMS will have had an impact on most supporters and thanks to a grand total of 11 points from the past 54 for Middlesbrough, I have had the opportunity to experience the full, long term effects of this affliction and the devastation it can bring. The most common response is ramblings of tactics that could have been used, bile infused rhetoric in which a scapegoat is vilified and the answer to your team’s problems is glaringly obvious to you, but nobody else. This will fuel the PMS and it can spill into your home life. The first non-football fan you meet will generally bear the brunt and be ignored in the best case scenario or subjected to the ramblings of tactic laced hatred towards players or manager, of which they know nothing, care little and don’t want to hear about.
Much like the symptoms of RTG this will mellow and subside in stages. First comes the paranoia, the FA, the referee, your own players or manager are out to sabotage your club. You nervously look at tables and imagine the teams below you hurtling past at breakneck speed and a general feeling of fear substitutes the anger you once felt. This is a horrible situation as you now suffer in silence, the passionate outbursts of the previous stages are replaced with an internal monologue, distracting you from work and making the world a terrible place. Finally though you are given the mercy of apathy, you stop caring about the results, you stop looking at fixtures and a sad expression reminiscent of a time when you broke a toy you loved will remain on your face until the next hit of RTG.
So what can we do? There is nothing to stop FADs I’m afraid, the best thing to do is not let it affect life outside the game. For those in the paranoia stage this is a time to remember that there is life outside the game and remember FADs don’t last very long. They swing wildly and whatever your club has done to your poor mind will probably change next weekend and this time next month it’ll be a fresh dose of RTG for us all. Two signings and we’ll win the league! We can do it! I feel my hit of RTG, where’s my fiver!