Remember truth or dare? Back when people could gather in person, you and a few friends would sit in a circle facing each other and go ‘round the circle asking the question, “Truth or Dare.” I’m not here to tell of the specific dares, but to remind you of the pure joy on completing those challenges.
Whether people asked you to tell the truth about your crush on someone at school; or compelled you to streak bare-naked through the neighborhood with a duvet cover as a cape, when the challenge was over there was nothing like that rush of adrenaline.
That feeling is exactly how I feel every time I watch Liverpool take the field. It’s not hyperbole. Even this year with some of the pebbles in the road, I’m smiling every time they play. But this isn’t the case across the community.
People are ripped. They’re angry at players, they’re shouting at referees, they’ve even started to look sideways at Mr. Klopp.
Stop the presses. Shut off the mics. Pause the podcasts.
As a noob scouser I don’t have the common sense to shut up about the team, the matches, the trickery, the cynicism…I’ve got it all. What’s my takeaway this year? Liverpool fans slipped into the role of righteousness around February 2020 when the whispers of a title began to be heard aloud.
While fans might scream in the streets that this side deserves success, if you contemplate the riches we’ve been provided there could be a lot less whining about transfers and sales and more smiles all around.
Without even looking at history, in five short years, I have seen a cavalcade of achievements, amazing players, brilliant coaches, devoted fans and the true beauty of this game.
For happiness, these components should suffice, but the online threads spill into a scrolling mass of finger-pointing and wailing. A casual observer might think fingernails were being pulled out and hot pokers were fulfilling their assigned task of poking. What’s it take to convince people that it’s not a Thanos-level disaster?
Do you realize you’re watching a Premier League side that isn’t going away. You’re not cheering Bromfield. You’re not keeping your fingers crossed for Fulham. But you can still watch the matches!
Am I missing something if I don’t feel the same depression, anger or vitriol?
Right now it seems that Liverpool fans are like the lottery winner who complains she has to pay taxes on the winnings. What have we really lost this season? Opportunity?
Maybe, but there’s an almost spare roster of injured players on our team. The previous two seasons were stratospheric in impact and significance. Fans aren’t even in pubs yet, let alone the stands. So take a breath while I share the five things to be thankful for as Liverpool slides down the table.
5 – The quick fall and City’s steady progress allows the club to refocus and prepare for the future. I believe a prepared Klopp is brilliant in exchange for a little slide.
4 – The kids are getting better FAST. As much as we’re lost our minds over a few youthful mistakes, the youth we’ve got now is giving me hope. With Klopp at the top, think about a side with pace, enthusiasm and drive…now being injected with youth and skill. Yeah, the future is bright.
3 – It’s been fans’ best opportunity to scout the opposition and enjoy football without anxiety. Watch Fulham and Leeds play. The result doesn’t affect us, but the play on the field definitely keeps me entertained and interested.
*If you can’t find joy in watching Harry Kane’s skill; DeBruyne’s other-worldly power and organization; or Pope’s magic in the net, then I’m sorry for you.
2 – Being on a break can be therapeutic. Without a title race to concentrate on, fans are able to learn more about the club and their fellow fans. In many cities across the world, Liverpool fans are hosting Zoom parties where they watch their own TV while talking online with fans across the globe.
In fact, the Boston supporters have been rolling with a speaker series since last year. It’s helped pub friends stay in touch and help talk each other off the ledge. While misery might love company, sometimes the company can foster some smiles.
1 – The last thing to be happy about regarding Liverpool; football; 2021 and the universe; is that every day brings us closer to our favorite pub filled with our friends and EPL on the TVs around us. I will wait patiently to go, and will continue to watch every match I can.
I urge the fans who are sliding toward annoyance or dissatisfaction to try recapture what brought them to their level of passion for the club.
When the time comes, I will no longer walk (or watch) alone.