The World Cup is upon us once again, and the world is in the grips of a fierce football fever that infects both sports fans and regular people, like me,  turning everyone into an opinionated expert who always knew how to fix that thing that they didn’t know was going to go wrong yesterday. Families gather to cheer their teams, and modern systems like goal line technology are dissected and analyzed for flaws and benefits. Penalties are examined frame by frame by vocal supporters, and passions rise, sometimes too high.

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This passion for a sport that most of us barely follow, and couldn’t reliable recite the rules of, often turns nasty, and is at the root of appalling behaviors that are somehow justified as being ‘in the heat of the moment’.

However, would you let a murderer walk free with a defense of “I did it in the heat of the moment?” Would you justify theft, physical violence or bullying like that? Would you ever find yourself saying that sure, what that person did is brutal, damaging and will leave someone else scarred, but it was in the heat of the moment? You wouldn’t.

I was enjoying the sweet taste of victory for my team-in-law, my husband’s native Italy, when I came across a series of abusive, violent tweets against Mrs Coleen Rooney. Her crime? Telling her husband, England footballer Wayne Rooney “we are proud of you” from herself and her children, on Father’s Day. The variety of responses ranged from appalling to criminally abusive, and were largely aimed at her husband’s performance, questioning his value as a human being because he didn’t perform up to expectations.

worldcup5These cowardly bullies hid behind the anonymity of the Internet, and the excuse of their raging passions for this sport that they supposedly love so much, to perform acts of emotional vandalism that many a court would punish severely in any other circumstance. Make no mistake, what you’re doing is in no way justifiable and it is one of the worst kind of abuse.

Emotional abuse can destroy your self-worth, lead to anxiety and depression, and make you feel helpless and alone. No one should have to endure this kind of pain. The scars of emotional and verbal abuse are very real, and they run deep. In fact, emotional abuse can be just as damaging as physical abuse—sometimes even more so.

We should never forget that this is a game. The men on the ground are engaged in a struggle for supremacy that you are not allowed to use as an outlet for your own, deep, devastating personal problems. Nothing can really excuse violent verbal attack that has the potential to damage someone’s family.

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I scream, and jump up on the couch and II wave my hands in the air when a striker misses a goal I’m sure I’d have scored with my zero years of experience on the field. That’s passion, and fun, for me and those around me. My happiness of disappointment does not mean I get a free pass on all my base emotions.

The same applies to you. If you really feel so passionate about the whole affair, you should go speak to Mr Rooney face to face, or even better go do his job for him on the field. That’s right, go play on that field as we all watch and sharpen our Twitter accounts.

At the end of the day, Mrs Rooney is just a woman, wife and mother just like the rest of us who despite constant verbal wars and emotional attacks,  is trying to be supportive of her husband and protective of her family and children. Couch comments and sarcasm should not be tolerated by any of us and at any level.

[pull_quote_center]The winner’s edge is not in a gifted birth, a high IQ, or in talent. The winner’s edge is all in the attitude, not aptitude. Attitude is the criterion for success.  – Denis Waitley[/pull_quote_center]

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Psychologist, world citizen, mother - Effie is one half of the alwaysladies.com founding pair. She can bring to life any party with either a smile, or a strong opinion. If like us you can't get enough of Effie, visit her blog at www.thethinkingmomblog.com

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