The access to anything we want to know about our team is unreal. I mean think about it. No matter what else you think of Wikipedia, don’t you rush to it when you hear we are signing some street Free Agent? You hope to read something to get excited about and see where he went to college. I like having the ability to see NFL records without having to buy a book every off season. I like seeing the stats update themselves right after games.
Obviously, I love the ability to talk to my fellow fans about anything related to the game. But that is where the Internet has made things so much worse. By nature, we are all negative in some ways. I will raise my eyebrows at anyone who tells me they don’t react negatively to a turnover. I do it, and by my nature, I am someone who focuses on the positives. All teams turn the ball over. They have to overcome it. Some teams do. Some teams don’t.
Negativity feeds upon itself. If you are alone watching the game and Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo throws an interception, you may curse. You may pace. You may throw your arms into the air in exasperation. But if you don’t have anyone to discuss it with, it generally goes away. But then here comes the Internet and the chance to talk to people who are every bit as negative as you are at that moment.
And so, they amplify your own negativity, often without you even realizing it. Now you add in the anonymity of the Internet where the other person is a faceless, nameless entity that you may never meet and have to deal with. And this empowers the freedom we have to speak our minds, where we might normally have a filter that stops us from being brash among strangers.
And so it swells. It’s like dropping a pebble in the water. Just a splash and it is gone. But then the ripples spread out further and further until they reach a point where they are no longer perceptible as the result of that tiny little pebble dropped in. It is the old mountain out of a mole hill syndrome. It exists on the Internet at alarming levels, which is rather ironic since the very concept of the mountain from a mole hill is about raising alarms.
But think about this. It’s the 2nd quarter and Romo throws an interception on a drive where we were moving the ball. What immediate thought is there? “Another INT by Tony.” We have at our disposal, if we wish, to dig it up a game-by-game analysis of every game Tony has ever played in and thrown an pick. Has he won games where he threw an interception on a drive where we were moving the chains? Of course he has.
Will the reaction be, “we can overcome this. We have before.” Of course not. Why not? Because overcoming obstacles does not feed upon itself in the same way negativity does. Never has.
Sure, there are people who view a win as evidence of a coming windfall. Look no further than Washington Redskins’ fans after Thanksgiving. They’ve already polished shelves in the trophy case for multiple Lombardi trophies because their new quarterback, Robert Griffin III, is the revolution of the NFL. But even amongst the most delusional of fans, that kind of optimism is tempered.