By living in Holland, it has been interesting to watch the impact of the World Cup on a significant segment of the Dutch population. To be completely fair, the Dutch team did really well to make it into the final and to bring the game to within a few minutes of the additional 30 minutes of extra time, before losing to Spain.
It is no secret that I have never experienced any emotions tied to NZ (country of my birth) winning or losing at any sport. I am completely ambivalent, which could also explain, that outside of the World Cup final and the finals of certain Olympic sports, I never watch sport on TV. I don’t actually watch TV, but that is a separate subject 🙂
What I have found to be really fascinating is the almost abject depression of some colleagues and friends, because Holland lost. I simply don’t get it. I don’t understand why you would get depressed about an event that has no material impact on your life, whether the team wins or loses. No direct material impact at all. Taking a very hard clinical look at it, you have 11 men who are already paid far more than they could ever conceivably justify, kicking/chasing a small inflated leather sphere around a grass paddock. Even though they lost, the Dutch team gets a ‘bonus’ from FIFA of 19 million euros, some of which is shared with the players. Note the word bonus. This is on top of what they are already being paid to play.
For me, the only reason that could create serious depression, is the realisation of how hard you work at your job and how little you are paid compared to this group, to perform an activity that brings no material benefit to anyone but themselves and that in some way, you are helping to finance that. Now that is depressing!