I have been a near lifelong supporter of the mighty West Bromwich Albion – The Baggies as they are affectionately known – similar to my good friend Derek’s affiliation with the Arsenal – The Gunnars as they are affectionately misspelt.
With the Baggies I have enjoyed a lifetime of low to none-existent expectations. I have experienced the marked ambivalence of yet another defeat – another moment where disaster was pulled from the jaws of victory. I have also enjoyed the mesmeric euphoria when my boys from the west midlands have pulled themselves into the premiership and have actually won/ drawn sufficient games to warrant another season in said division.
Derek, on the other hand, suffers from expectation – expectation that his team might come home with some silverware – expectation that they’ll win etc and so on.
Poor Derek suffers from the close relationship between expectation and it’s bastard brother disappointment.
Arsenal is a significantly better team than the Baggies. You’d expect that the simple equation “My team’s dead good so this must equal much more happiness than the poor sod who supports well, West Brom” for example.
However….Derek applied this same approach to our recent breakfast (or lack thereof) in the beautiful Lunan Bay.
He’d just finished putting the tent away (I told him I’d give him a camping proficiency badge) when he asked the following fateful question,”Are those bacon rolls ready yet?”
Expectation and bastard brother disappointment in one sentence. I much prefer my west brom approach, thanks. If breakfast happens that’s wonderful – if not, well, I’m sure I’ll be fed at some point – my front counterbalance will continue to feed me for a while yet.
In the relatively new science of researching happiness it was found that if wealthy westerners earned received a chunk of money that was, say, 25% more than they earned, the amount of increased happiness they would experience would be negligible when compared against our developing world cousins.
So, science states quite clearly – we all support Arsenal and we’re not very happy because of it.
Walk a mile with the baggies folks.