Posted: Monday October 31, 2005 11:51AM; Updated: Monday November 7, 2005 3:39PM
As much as I enjoy ranting in cyberspace, it'd be nice to know that the people I'm ranting about hear what I've got to say. But at least I've got a forum. Most fans don't even have that. So a Browns fan upset about the play of Trent Dilfer or the effort put forth by the team yesterday (or a fan of any of the other dozen teams that lost) doesn't have much recourse, which is a shame.
Enter Gary Megson. Who's Gary Megson? He's the manager of Nottingham Forest, who 25 years ago were the best soccer team in Europe. These days, Forest is languishing in the third tier of English football, which makes them something like the 60th best team in Britain. Saying it's been a bit a of a fall is something of an understatement. Two weekends ago they were getting waxed on the road against Yeovil Town. As the team was walking off the pitch at halftime, two fans had a few words for Megson. Nothing obscene, just a civil reminder that a lot of dedicated fans had made the trip and most, if not all, found the team's effort -- Forest was down 2-0 -- lacking. Whereas most coaches would have maybe given a nod at best, or the finger at worst, Megson did a funny thing. He told them they were right. Then he asked them if they'd like to tell the team that after the game. When the contest was over (three-nil to Yeovil), Megson kept his word. "I felt it was important for the players to understand what the supporters are thinking and why they are getting upset," said Megson. "The supporters didn't rant and rave, they were very eloquent and sensible. The players listened and I didn't disagree with anything they said."
It'd be nice if more coaches and players were as aware of what pays their salaries as Megson is. Being a fan is a full-time commitment -- you're there for better or worse. And far too many players only want to open their ears when it's the former. So guys, do us all a favor and take a lesson from Mr. Megson.