Amidst all the falling out of Europe turmoil last week, I got to enjoy one of the greatest parts of being a fan. Finding the seering agony that comes from disappointment, as well as the loathing directed at some poor individual who you feel brought that agony upon you. Now, this certainly isn't greatest in the sense that I'd like to go through it every day, but rather in the sense that it kind of gives you a measure of how much hope you really have in the team.
For instance, to go back to my normal point of reference: if the Mariners get swept by the Angels at this point in the season, I won't care. The baseball season has been long over for me. The team tanked, and now that I don't care, it's pretty much impossible to hurt me. Short of an injury to a player I love, I am thoroughly checked out.
Well, it's not at all like that for Villa yet. I had been enjoying my first few weeks as a fan, but in the back of my mind I wondered if it was a passing thing. I figured if it was, a few tough losses would send me on my way, never to be heard from again. But the tough loss just made me sick to my stomach, sad, and angry. And that anger has to be pointed at someone. In the same way England fans wanted to murder Robert Green after the first match of their World Cup, I felt rage at Heskey after the Europa game. It's not particularly rational, either. Beye deserves it much more, and Heskey even scored a goal (though really, a ball bounced off of him and went into the net is a better way of putting it. Heskey was the inanimate object in this drama). But I can't shake his miss on the rebound of Petrov's penalty (why, for this matter, am I not pissed at Petrov? Not really sure...). That was a shot that anyone with their head in the game should have made. There was no excuse for missing it. And that solidified my rage.
So yeah, the Rapid game blew. But it let me know that I am sure as hell in this for the long run. That was a nice upside on the day.