About Sports Fans and Commitment…What to Learn?

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About Sports Fans and Commitment…What to Learn?

How Do We Choose Our Teams?


More men than women world wide are passionate about their sports teams. One thing that amazes me is how we get to choose what team to cheer for. Of course there are biases here and there. Every time my former High School is involved in a competition, I will most definitely want them to win. That’s normal.

What intrigues me however is this attachment that I have developed over one English Premier League team, Arsenal. I remember in the mid ’90’s, I used to be a Manchester United supporter…not a deep fan though. Those were the days wen the Nigerian football team was making Africa proud, for example by winning the gold medal in the Olympics.

One of the stars of that team by the name Nwankwo Kanu underwent a heart surgery and when he came back, he joined Arsenal football team. I was sold. I immediately became a supporter. I was attached. I loved Arsene Wenger. Maybe I cherish the idea of the second chance that Kanu was given in life after a career threatening operation…but needless to say, that event alone swayed me.

Once a Fan…

What amazes me however is this disability to ditch Arsenal and support another team. It just is very unnatural. Believe me, I have tried. You see, Arsenal fans have suffered for more than 8 years now with no success winning a single trophy.

Every time Arsenal is playing in the past three years or so, an Arsenal fan is simply a nervous wreck…at least let me speak for myself. It makes no difference whether we are winning with three goals. If the opposition just squeezes in one goal…we all have this fear that our house of cards will come tumbling down. And that house of cards of ours has tumbled several times in heartbreaking fashion.

That is why I had sought do ditch this team and support another. I am here to tell you that I failed. I can assure you that the same applies to millions of men across the globe.

About Commitment

What do you call that phenomenon? Is it commitment? Is it attachment? Is it passion? Is it love? Well, whatever it is, I have always wondered why the same fans who are single-minded in supporting their team through heartbreaks will vacillate when things of eternal value matter.

  • Why would a supporter be so committed to a team…but be wishy-washy with their dreams?
  • Why would a fan be so passionate about Arsenal and the same fan not be committed to his marriage?
  • Why would they be so attached like a tick on a cow to their team and keep changing their WORD without a thought?

That is something to think about.

You Cant Sway values!

I think I am one loyal guy. Not just to Arsenal…but also to other pursuits. Yet I think that one of the main reasons as to why we stay loyal and committed is due to matters of the spirit. It is because of our values.

In order to stay committed in something, I think you need to do the following:

  1. Find out what values you cherish:


If in marriage, find out her/his values…if you share these, you increase you levels of commitment. If there is a clash in values, it becomes so easy to abandon a commitment or a cause. For my Arsenal example, I think I so much cherish the idea of Comebacks (given to Nwankwo Kanu), no wonder that I wrote a whole book about it a whole decade after becoming an Arsenal supporter.

  1. Notice that all will not be smooth sailing.

Your heart might be broken once or twice. You might be disappointed. Remain steadfast when that happens. A value is intrinsic, and unless you change that value and no longer hold it and cherish it, it will still determine your level of commitment. Just because things are going south at the moment does not mean that what matters to you is meaningless and should be dropped. The most important thing is not Arsenal, but my value of Comebacks!

  1. Stake your investment in it.

Jesus said that ‘where your treasure is, there your heart will be also’. For example, you never really gave a hoot about a particular company, until you invested with them….your heart was there. Invest in your pursuit. Invest in your dreams. Invest in your marriage. Invest in your children…when you do, your heart will have no problem being there and nowhere else.

So, today I will be watching Arsenal play Sunderland…and I am supporting Arsenal as usual. How about you?