Why are sports fans so passionate? Why do they invest a lot time, energy, emotions and sometimes their hard-earned money on the game?
We had a little Q&A with Kenna (twitter – @kennagq ), who is mostly revered on twitter when it comes to Soccer banter…LOL!, to discuss some of these phenomenon. We asked him about the Good; the Not-So-Good and the Ugly side of Sports. The Banter; Betting and the Fanbase. Here we go:
· MoL: Sports, especially soccer banter should be fun and done with decency and respect but why do you think some fans make it degenerate to insults and throwing of jibes?
-Ans: I think it is really based on the personalities of people. Different people express themselves in different ways and some people exercise more restraint than others. Football is a very passionate sport with passionate fans who want to express themselves. In the end , expression is an individual choice , in line with the personality of the individual.
· MoL: Do you have any tricks or tips you can share on coming up with creative punchlines for banter?
Ans: I’m not sure how to answer this because I think it is something that came with growing up in a family of football fans who always playfully go at each other. It isn’t really a science , it is something that happened naturally growing up
· MoL: How does one creatively counter a barrage of banter after your team suffers an embarrassing defeat? Ignore or pull up old stats to fight back?
Ans: Lol the best way to do it is to accept your team lost and occupy yourself with something else. You are not obliged to engage people if you have a volatile personality. But , if you are a good sport you take it on the chin and go back and forth with people engaging in good faith. Block anyone who goes into personal insults.
· MoL: How does one banter a fanbase whose team is obviously better than your team but just suffered an embarrassing defeat?
Ans: Banter is subjective. It is also instantaneous . You can focus on the nature of the current defeat and leave it at that. “Being better” is really a snapshot in time. You can always dig the archives for material.
· MoL: When bantering, is it better to attack a specific player or players; the whole team or the Manager?
Ans: Personally I go for anything and anyone , team , player , manager.
· MoL: When you take a “banter hit” from the opponent’s fanbase, maybe through a perfectly worded punchline or “Stats proof”, is it advisable to back down or just keep going?
Ans: Best way is to accept but you can always counter. ” You got me good no lie , but your team has xyz weakness”
· MoL: In the heat of banter, is it better to log-off sometimes to avoid embarrassment or what do you suggest?
Ans: Stay on and take it because it is just harmless chatter.
· MoL: Some use the tactic – “You can’t shame the shameless”- That is, they’re already yabbing their team or players before the match ends to discourage other fanbase from bantering them. Is this a good tactic?
Ans: It depends , it may be a good tactic but it will not prevent someone like me from going at your team.
· MoL: Is there any good side to sports betting for the millions of punters all over the world?
Ans: Nope , There is no good side to sports betting . It is a destructive habit
· MoL: Some punters say “I don’t need to make accurate predictions ALL the time. As long as I’m accurate often enough, i can make an overall profit from betting.” – Will you give this punting mindset a pass?
Ans: Nope , I don’t excuse any kind of betting , casual or otherwise
· MoL: Do you think our level of poverty and Unemployment is playing into the hands of these bookies because we are currently seeing an upsurge in the number of Nigerians involved in sports betting?
Ans: I do think the betting companies are taking advantage , but betting as a whole is a global phenomenon which requires addressing. Poverty and unemployment increases the participation in Nigeria no doubt
· MoL: Bet9ja was the 3rd most visited website in Nigeria for year 2020 with an average visitor spending close to 7hours per day on the site. With this incredible amount of traffic, what do you think the Federal government and or the bookies should be doing to encourage Responsible gambling?
Ans: The Federal Government needs to invest in awareness programs that highlight the downsides caused by gamling addictions. They should also partner with nonprofits that specialize in gambling addictions.
· MoL: Some “Expert” punters who consistently make money from sports betting say a lot of folks lose money because of greed and inexperience. They say if you keep your selections and odds very low, you have a better chance of winning. Do you agree with this?
Ans: No, I don’t condone betting no matter the framing
· MoL: A punter who hits 40million naira from sports betting or a business person who earns 40million naira from his hustle – who do you respect more?
Ans: The latter
· MoL: Any tip on how to help wean a friend off sports betting who is obviously getting ruined from this addiction?
Ans: 1. Admit the that it is a problem
2. Confide in close friends that can be trusted and share the gravity of the situation and seek counsel . Emphasis on “can be trusted”
3. Try to pick constructive activities that could help take your mind off it. A certification , a hobby etc
4. Rehash of point 2 but with family . Most people in this situation feel alone and isolated , reach out to family to get unbiased advice.
· MoL: Is it wrong for a fan to be loyal to his club’s Manager even if results aren’t coming as it should be?
Ans: You can back the manager if you believe he has the ability to turn things around. The reason to back the manager is subjective and people should make the determination independently . It isn’t black or white although in some cases the facts could be damning.
· MoL: If for the sake of your Emotional wellbeing, you tune-off or careless about your club’s performances and results because you just can’t see a “future” with the current Manager. Are you a “Plastic fan”?
Ans: These labels are kinda meaningless in the large scheme of things. Different people react to the club in different ways. For some people they don’t function properly if their team is not doing well , that may be due to overwhelming passion and/or an inability to deal with stress. In any case , how people individually cope does not make them plastic
· MoL: After a team’s embarrassing defeat, what’s the first thing you access? A player? The team? Or the Manager?
Ans: I assess all three starting from what I assume to be the tactics set by the manager , then the individual players who may have cost us the game. Sometimes , it is just the team not raising their game and rising to the challenge , but a fair assessment would evaluate all three
· MoL: If as a Father and a fan of a club, you begin to notice your kid’s interest and likeness for another or rival club, are there tips on what to do to save the situation?
Ans: Play videos of the class of 1999 and the treble 🙂
· MoL: For spouses that support different clubs, are there ways to leverage this to build better bonds and relationships?
Ans: Lol I honestly don’t think spouses supporting different clubs represents the kind of conflict that runs deep enough to apply it to fix deeper issues. I look at it as part of the normal differences in opinion that could arise as people date or get married. I assume they were aware of the fact they supported different clubs before they dated and didn’t think it a big deal.
· MoL: Where is the best place to watch your team play? Bar or home?
Ans: Definitely a bar with friends ( but not at this time because of covid.