Projecting Fault in Sports

Normally I am on the other side of this.  I argue, I blame, and I find every reason to direct the attention towards some one else.

When we start losing in a soccer game – suddenly, everything becomes a point of contention.  I feel the need to argue every meaningless call as if it actually matters in the grand scheme of things.

And normally I do this with little self-awareness.  I get lost and caught up in the moment.

Yesterday – I was on the other side of the equation for once.  We were up by five goals – which in soccer is extremely lopsided.

And what happened?

The frustrations of the other team started to boil over.  Every call, every play became a point of contention.

Our self-serving bias can start to look for reasons.  For reasons that things are rigged.  For excuses as to why it’s not our fault that we are in that position.  It’s a defense mechanism to guard ourselves from feeling the self-defeat.

And after being on the other side of this, I realize how bad I can be about it.  I can quickly lose myself in the moment and spiral out of control pretty quickly.

Going on every tangent – getting lost in looking for reasons to point the finger elsewhere.


Until we find something to latch on to.  And if we can’t, we fling criticism in whatever direction we can.

But how often does a bad call change the direction of a game?  Sure it may end up being a pretty big deal – but what about the 2 other plays that would have resulted in goals if we would have done a better job of executing?  Do those weigh in?

The ref is easier to blame – thus our bias points us in that direction.

But it doesn’t make it justified.

My takeaway – try and be more aware of how we react in the moment.  Don’t let ourselves spiral in search of somewhere to direct the blame.

It does nothing but drive us further apart from where we really want to go.

Looks for ways to build each other up – not tear each other down.

(Bonus – who is the referee most likely to give a favorable call to?  The guy screaming at him and arguing every point of contention?  Or the guy that has been joking and been respectful to him the whole game?).


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