It can seem like the end of the world or the best thing ever experienced – the rollercoaster of joy and despair that can come during 90 minutes of a football game is unparalleled, and a fan can go home feeling the happiest they have ever felt or just plain distraught.
For someone who is not a football fan, they struggle to comprehend why we as die-hard fans would put ourselves through the wringer, yet it is second nature to many of us. Last season provided more thrills and spills than most and the tribute to the final game of the season against QPR at the Ethiad may contain pictures of the most emotional of fans but that only tells half the story.
For a fan to be faced with their team losing a game or even a title is the worst feeling in the world – City fans will know only too well the feeling of thinking the title is totally within their grasp only to think it has been lost in ‘typical city’ style, then to look back and see the colour of Fergie’s face when he realised that in actual fact their noisy neighbours had salvaged the title and the trophy was about to be presented at the Ethiad.
Of course this has happened multiple times over the years, with more than a few last gasp goals in major games that have changed the fate of teams over a season. Liverpool fans will remember how they felt in Istanbul, Chelsea ones in Munich, United during their treble season and the feeling is not forgotten so quickly. Likewise the feeling of utter devastation and heartbreak is one that lasts much longer and is harder to shake if your team doesn’t quite come through, with fans shedding tears on the final days of the season after missing out on Europe or even worse, getting relegated on points, let alone something like goal difference, and such events can make or break a fan’s heart.
Players who leave clubs they have been nurtured by and loved by fans for a better contract elsewhere – yes Cashley I mean you – or for a club that is not just a rival but a bitter one can provoke extreme reactions from fans – the pig’s head thrown at Figo still lingers in the memory, and it cannot be denied that football fans really care – perhaps at times a little too much for their own good.
Pictures emerged last season of a woman getting married in a dress made up of her old City shirts throughout the years, and this is the kind of dedication that some have – it is entirely understandable for Chelsea fans to now feel that the events in Munich will never be topped – even on their wedding day, and the feeling of total elation is not one that is going to be forgotten well ever.
City fans may feel like the way they felt last season after the final whistle had blown will never leave them, but you can bet just about anything that United fans will remember that too – feeling second best to your bitter rivals only spurs you on further to be better and better – trust me, after supporting Real Madrid during the period of Barcelona dominance, it feels pretty good when you finally usurp them to a title.
Of course the season is only just beginning and there will be plenty more twists and turns to come, so get your tissues at the ready – the Premier League is back and better than ever, and no matter how much it may ultimately break our hearts, we really do love it.