Manchester City 2 Manchester United 3. A pretty good game from all accounts with United coming back from a two goal deficit to win the game and so prevent City winning the league with six games to spare. Instead they will probably win it with five or four games to go. For most of us, it barely registered. A bit of a disappointment to the boys from Abu Dhabi, I suppose, but paradise postponed, not cancelled? You’d think so, wouldn’t you?
The media reported on a very different story, one in which Manchester City supporters were left devastated by this setback. “There were grown men in tears,” said the BBC Radio Five Live reporter. “It should have been a day fans would have remembered for the rest of their lives, but now they have to wait for another day.” I winced. Have these people lost their minds?
There are pictures to back up this “tragedy”, as some people seem to be treating it. I’ve used one of them for this blog. There really were people in floods of tears after the game. Now, I understand the passion that can be aroused from football. I have on occasions been swept along with it. I have felt highly disappointed by a bad result, a relegation or some other such bad thing. I have probably used words like “devastated” and “gutted”. I doubt that I was really devastated or gutted.
Devastated and gutted are probably how you feel with a grim health diagnosis. How you feel when you lose a relative or friend. How you feel when you lose your job. All these things and more. Sadly, some of these people were suffering from a severe lack of perspective, an unintentional loss of their senses. I dread to think how some of these blubbing people would feel if something really bad happened. I can assure you, having known and worked with people who have been diagnosed with cancer, dementia and Parkinson’s to name but three conditions that hearing this sort of news is slightly more upsetting than Chris Smalling’s winning goal.
We all know what a real tragedy is. We also know what it isn’t. What happened at Man Citeh yesterday was nothing like a tragedy. A football team lost to another one. Nobody died.