Kenny Archer: Let's all laugh at Liverpool's loss (under-10s excepted)
THE last time I cried when a team I supported lost I was seven years old. My mum gave me 10p – a decent sum for a child of that age at that time – for 'being brave' when I stopped snivelling.
I had the decency to feel embarrassed even then, as I knew I hadn't been brave (although still I didn't give the coin back, obviously). And I was almost eight.
Those tears resulted from a Liverpool FC defeat by Arsenal.
It wasn't 'Anfield '89', but my reaction to that devastating defeat was much more measured.
Although I was watching that finale of the English league campaign in a bar (clearly breaking the law due to my tender years), I didn't drown my sorrows. In fact I declined the offer of another drink – and told the fair-weather Arsenal fan who had appeared at my shoulder where he could stick the bottle of beer he was proffering to me.
This isn't saying 'men don't or shouldn't cry' – I still regularly end up leaking like Peppa Pig's little brother George. But not about sport.
I have a certain contempt for grown men or women blubbing when their team loses a big game or gets relegated. Players get a pass, but not supporters.
This isn't going to be an 'until Saturday night' confession. There were a few swear words uttered during the Champions League Final, but that was it. I didn't even switch the TV off at the final whistle as I had anticipated doing beforehand.
However, just because I'm a model of calmness and keeping sport in perspective nowadays, this column isn't going to condemn those who act differently.
And I'm definitely not going to criticise anyone who laughed themselves silly at Liverpool losing.
Personally I think it's rather sad to buy the shirt of a club other than your own to support them against your arch-rivals, but fools and their money….
Revelling in the Reds' defeat is perfectly understandable and acceptable, however.
Clearly I would do the same myself about some (many) other teams.
Sport 'should' be about making us happy, about supporting our own team to success, but the reality is that's not always the case. Spoiler alert: often unhappiness ensues.
Technically, if you're not a winner, you're a loser.
Years of experience and a deep knowledge of mathematics have taught me that there can only be one winner of any team competition.
So there are a lot of losers around – and all that's left for other losers is to laugh at them.
The truth is that much enjoyment comes not from your own team's results but those of others – defeats, obviously.
Schadenfreude, joy in the misfortune of others, is the spirit of sport, just as much as fair play and being a good loser.
My only golden rule is 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you'. Or in sporting terms, `If you give it out, you have to take it.'
True confession time, I gave out plenty in the olden, golden days when Liverpool was the most successful club in England and in Europe.
According to a schoolmate I met again a few years ago, I was a particularly annoying gloater.
That has changed, possibly because I've had very little to gloat about in recent decades.
I haven't grown up, I just try to protect myself.
I fully understand that many fans love the 'bantz', but it's not really for me.
The greatest test of my new Zen approach came at that 'Agueroooooooooooooooooooooooo' moment when Manchester City amazingly won the English title in 2012.
Watching that match in the same office as a few Manchester United fans, I was immensely proud of myself for saying not a word. I may have smirked at the sight of Michael Owen looking like a full kit wally, but I said not a word.
Try not to laugh too much at this next bit, but I've pondered who I would want to win if Manchester United met Everton in a Champions League Final; more accurately, which I would want to lose.
That would be a case of being caught between the Red Devils and the deep Blueslime.
Those clubs did meet in the 1995 FA Cup Final, and although I wasn't happy about the Toffees triumphing (although, I can't resist pointing out that it was the last trophy they've collected), I wasn't exactly displeased that Man U had lost.
Their defeat became even more enjoyable when one of the mouthiest Manchester United fans I've ever had the misfortune to meet – and that's a competitive category – was reduced to weeping after being teased about his team's loss (although not by me). He was 25.
No doubt he was revelling on Saturday night, but even Liverpool fans would have been advised to laugh about that loss – the only alternative was to weep at the bizarreness of it all.
The three goals Liverpool conceded were all ridiculous in their various ways, including one of the best ever scored.
And those goals came after Liverpool's best player was put out of the game by a wrestling move from Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos, which went unpunished.
You gotta laugh…
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp had the right approach by singing a defiant song with some Liverpool fans afterwards, but was still condemned by a few.
There are those who say that he cannot win finals. He certainly cannot win with some people.
Had he been recorded weeping into his beer the same people would surely have slated him too. Haters gonna hate.
I try not to be an annoying supporter any more, at least not to people's faces, nor even to their phones.
Yet had Manchester United or Everton lost in the manner that Liverpool did I may have emitted a chuckle or two. Or three.
But if your age is in double figures, you really shouldn't be shedding tears as a supporter – unless they're tears of laughter or tears of joy.