Criticizing the Critics

Bart, my ex-colleague

Just this month, one of my favorite colleagues left our company. He was, amongst other things, the guy I went to for career advice, social media & online marketing questions and when I wanted a quick laugh. If I'd have to associate some words with his personality, I'd go for 'witty', 'intelligent' and 'professional'. I've learned a great deal from him, and I will really miss the fella.

However, if you'd ask 20 of my colleagues to discribe his personality, I think there's a few other words that will score well. Words like 'vocal', 'assertive' and 'critical'. Do you know that person that, when in a meeting, or when talking to a group, will always speak his mind, honest and -more importantly- uncensored? That's him.

And in a way, I think he's a lot like us; the Celtic fan base.

Us, the fans

The wide world of televised sports is littered with press. We used to speak badly of them, of how they made a living by picking the carcasses of fallen greats, by degrading great teams that had losses to mediocre ones, insulting sports behemoths being beaten "David and Goliath-style".

Well, we have taken it to a whole new level by beating the press to the punch.

We, the Celtic fan base, are -by far- the biggest source of criticism towards our beloved basketball club. Our standards are way too high, always, and we expect nothing but perfection from each and every player. When we get anything less than what we've seen in previous games, seasons or careers, we throw a fit. "Trade Ray!", "Doc lost us the game!", "Pierce isn't clutch!" These are just some random topic titles you'll come across after a loss to anything but a top 3 contender.

Them, our team

Fact of the matter is that we've got an awesome squad right here, with lots of basketball IQ, enormous amounts of experience and a solid base of raw potential. Green has been dominant for two full seasons, even though they didn't end up winning it all in that last one.

On top of the above factors, our coach has gotten everyone to buy in to the "Ubuntu" philosophy. In short, this means there is a huge "team first" mentality. As cheesy as that might sound (and let's be honest, it does) it did get us our first banner in twenty-two years. The players, the coaches, management - everyone seems to have bought into Ubuntu.

... except for the fans.

We, the Celtics

There's two ways in which I think we, as big time Celtic fans, can contribute to our beloved Green Machine and Ubuntu.

First and foremost, I think we could tone down the criticism. I must admit that I'm guilty myself, for in our game threads you will most certainly be able to find the occasional "fools sake, hold on to the darn ball!"-posts. But maybe we could change that around a bit. We know our players better than anyone; we know of their lackings, their bad habits and their flaws. Isn't it a little too easy to pick on those things? My ex-colleague Bart told me to always stay critical, but I think we shouldn't over-do it.

Secondly, there's Ubuntu. Since we don't get blown out much, we tend to end up with tiny margins by which we lose. When that happens, you can always point a finger at someone and say we lost because of his "not hitting a wide open jumper". His "not hitting the freebies". "Fouling out". There's always something, some players error, some referee's bad call.

When you lose, you lose as a team. You can't point a finger at one person and say they lost us the game, because a game is played by at least 5 players. Think about that before you open another "trade Pierce" thread. Let's chip in on Ubuntu. Let's contribute to being a team, by being the best fan base.

Ubuntu. What happens to them, happens to us.

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