I Love Ruining Other Teams’ Seasons..

The title of this post is the gist of a tweet (if not the exact quote) made by an American playing in the Frauen Bundesliga. Her 4th place team had just beaten the 2nd place team  and eliminated them from Champions League play the following season. By losing, the 2nd place team relinquished their spot to the 3rd place team in Champions League play next year.

Yes, it sounds a little confusing if you don’t follow European football. But the details of how Champions League works isn’t really important. What I think is important is the twitter conversation I had following her tweet.

Full disclosure: I favorited her tweet. I am also a fan of team 2 and team 4. I’m not going to quote tweets or name names. I’ll paraphrase. If I don’t do the conversation justice, the parties involved can correct me in the comments, but I’ll do my best to give an honest portrayal of the conversation.

The offending tweet was made, followed very quickly by OP (offended parties): ‘that’s why I don’t follow her anymore’ and ME (my reply) ‘it’s young bravado and killer spirit’.

OP: I don’t want a player that finds joy in sorrow of others, tweets show lack of respect.

ME: Her motivation is to be a spoiler and I don’t think team earned respect this season.

OP:She should shut up, play and learn. She didn’t need to say she enjoys ruining another team’s season, period. Backlash was understandable/inevitable.

ME: I don’t see it that way. Maybe it’s an ugly American thing. Although she could have said it better, she spoke her truth.

OP: Other Americans wouldn’t/don’t talk shit about their opponents. Be happy for yourself, not because someone else is sad.

ME: They think it, they just don’t tweet it. Seen worse tweeted by fans at players. What’s the difference in 3rd place team players thanking 4th place for defeating 2nd place?

OP: Players tweet for clubs, different accountability. 3 needed 4 to win, different.

ME: Players should also be able to tweet their truth, she tweeted after game. Thinking: 3 needed 4 to BEAT 2..same thing.

I think we ended amicably enough, although definitely not in agreement.

It bears mentioning that the player quickly deleted the tweet when objections were made to her, specifically.

Here’s my take on it. The game is a competition. The league is a competition. You try everything in your power to legally win and if you succeed you get the right to gloat a little.The 4th place team had little to play for other than to defeat the 2nd place team and spoil their chance to advance to CL play next year. Their win did not advance them on the ladder and brings no benefits, other than another away win.

If spoiling another team’s chance to advance is your motivation, use it. It’s legal, although some would not see it as ethical, I am not among them. No harm is done to anyone by expressing that sentiment. No injuries are caused and if someones feelings get hurt, it might be their perspective that needs to be checked first.

We all get passionate about the teams we support and some think players should be held to some unjustified higher standard. I look up to players and teams I support, but don’t think they are saints and don’t expect them to behave that way. I expect them to be fair, to be human in all respects and to make comments and decisions I take issue with, but I do not expect them to be something none of us are..perfect.

I will defend the tweet and player in question every time, if I do not sense hostility or a call to violence. It might have been insensitive to tweet it so close to the loss, but I don’t feel it was intended to hurt anyone.

If you have another perspective, I’d love to hear it in the comments.