As someone who grew up watching baseball, I’m used to the idea that winning 60% of your games is a good season.* And while I’ve been following Barcelona (as a devoted fan) for over a decade now, I’m still not used to the mindset of expecting victories, championships, etc.
*Heck, as a Giants fan, winning 50% of the games often amounted to a good season.
For the first part of my time as a fan, while Barcelona entered each game as a favorite, winning each game was not truly an expectation. The league was better balanced and Barça was just not as good. The past couple years though have become such that even a single-goal win feels like underachievement. While it’s great fun to watch a team playing as perfectly as I imagine soccer can be played, the expectations for winning are not healthy or sustainable.
And they take some of the fun out of winning.
For a while, I was able to temper this mindset by following a perennial relegation candidate in another league. Rather than expecting a win each game and counting a draw as two points lost, rooting for Siena allowed me to value wins and draws because I was expecting each game to be a loss. When Siena finally got relegated last year, I got stuck with two teams which I expect to win each week. Siena is now a candidate for promotion back to Serie A and I’m cursing anytime they don’t win.