Winning is hard.

Repeating is harder.

Being the favorite is even harder.

Expecting to win everything is irrational and impossible.

And it takes the fun out of actually winning. It’s not the end of an era. Yet.* But this Barça season has felt like a return to form for me. The Barça I fell in love with was a great team which constantly came close and specialized in breaking fans’ hearts. Yes, it did win a lot. But not nearly as often as it came close and lost.

*That comes when Xavi and Puyol retire—yeah, I don’t want to think about it either.

The double-whammy of effectively losing La Liga and then getting knocked out of the Champions League in back-to-back games is especially harsh—especially to new followers who aren’t used to the spastic panicky Barça which broke/stole my heart so often a decade ago.

Many of those followers are now leaving. To those that stay, welcome to the club. This season is much more in-line with expectations. Compete well in everything.* Play beautifully. Break our hearts anyway.**

*That the Senyera symbolizes everything Barcelona is perfectly fitting. Its origen may be a myth but the club’s colors represent the blood, sweat, and tears that come from competing fully.

**Though to be honest, that everyone is despondent after a season where we’ve won three trophies and are in the final for a fourth goes to show how spoiled we all still are.

I’m pleased though to see so many fans who are reacting to the losses with pride. They should be proud. We should be proud. The past week of Barça soccer has put the past four years in perspective. It reminds us how much we should remember and enjoy this team. We’ve been so dominant and played so beautifully that people have forgotten how hard it is to maintain that quality.

Any fan would kill for a period of success like we’ve had.

Despite all the eulogies we’ll see in the press this week, it’s not like things are over. Next season just got really really interesting. The rivalry with Madrid will take on a new face where Barça may be the underdog. Similarly, we’ll be playing the entire season with a chip on our shoulder and something to prove.

There’s nothing like losing to remind us how good winning is.

I’m looking forward to next season. A lot. Fewer bandwagon fans. More dark humor where expecting the worst isn’t considered patronizing. And another chance to make history.

Author: Nick Vossbrink

Blogging about Photography, Museums, Printing, and Baseball Cards from both Princeton New Jersey and the San Francisco Bay Area. On Twitter as @vossbrink, WordPress at njwv.wordpress.com, and the web at vossbrink.net

3 thoughts on ““Eulogy””

  1. Pingback: Betrayal | n j w v
  2. Pingback: Capità | n j w v

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