The Psyche of a 'Well Fan
Every football fan has a different level of optimism for his own club. Some are foolishly certain that they will win every game, some are too scared to contemplate anything other than a defeat. Motherwell fans are not different. I run the Motherwell Internet prediction league, so I am in a unique position to see what everyone thinks will happen in the game. I have been running the prediction league for just over a season and I am very fortunate that quite a lot of people enter. However, I'm beginning to notice certain patterns that competitors follow and I have classified every type of Motherwell fan. Which one are you?
1) The Eternal Optimist. This person is convinced that we are actually the greatest team in the world. Every home game will result in a thumping win and every away game will be won by the Mighty 'Well's stunning tactics and the ability to hit on the break. Example - away to Rangers can only be an easy 2-0 win.
2) The Eternal Pessimist. This person firmly believes that we are going to get relegated, regardless of our current position. They do not believe we won the cup in '91. It was actually a hallucinogenic experiment carried out by the government on the people of Lanarkshire. Even the easiest of games are viewed with trepidation - they refuse to predict anything other than defeat. Example - home to Albion Rovers can only be a 0-1 defeat.
3) The Superstitious. This person does not care about getting prediction league points. Oh no. In fact, they deliberately try to get the score wrong to bring us luck in the game. Football fans are remarkably superstitious when it comes to their team. People who walk under ladders and live at number 13 suddenly refuse to get out of bed on a Saturday before having two bacon sandwiches, a cup of coffee and finding their lucky underwear - which obviously isn't washed when Motherwell are on a winning run. Obviously this carries on to the prediction league. The fact that we beat Rangers when they predicted a 3-1 defeat means that every home game will be 1-3. The fact that this hasn't given us the luck needed to win a home game since Boxing Day is irrelevant. The Superstitious are sure that they are doing all they can to help us and hell mend anyone who tries to persuade them otherwise.
4) The Loyal. This person has a realistic view on our abilities and genuinely believes we could win or lose each game. However, they cannot bring themselves to predict a defeat. Ever. They think they should be confident at home and predict a win, even though we will struggle to get a point. They know we will get tanked at Parkhead, but they insist we will hang on for a draw. The Loyal know that they have no chance of winning the league but Motherwell usually get enough points to ensure that they are in mid-table.
5) The Realist. This is the one group of people who are psychologically normal enough just to predict what they think will happen. They are all true Motherwell fans, but they are strong enough to predict a 5-0 defeat if need be. Consequently, it is realists who are at the top of the league, but it is they who suffer most when we pull out the occasional surprise result. They are left looking sheepish when we win 2-0 after they predicted a 3-0 defeat.
6) The Erratic. People who enter the prediction league because it is there to be entered. They do not care at all where they finish or how far off their prediction is. They are immune to all thought and logic. When we have a tough away game they will breezily predict an easy win. When we have an easy home game, they will grimly maintain that we are going to get stuffed. These people have no chance of winning the league but their strange predictions could easily mean that they are the only person out of about seventy who knew we were going to win 4-0 at Tynecastle. And that could be a nice feeling.
So that's it. The six categories of 'Well fan who enter the prediction league are listed above. There are probably more but I imagine they are in mental institutions desperately studying a form guide trying to work out whether we will win 2-0 or 2-1. Feel free to enter the prediction league via the Fir Park Corner web site (http://www.firparkcorner.com). And remember that it's just a game - the worse thing that can happen is getting it completely wrong and having 150 people laughing at you behind their computer screens...
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