Italians on Italians
Beyond Toscano

The reverse psychology of some Italian soccer fans

The reverse psychology of some Italian soccer fans
Getting behind your team is a big part of any sports game. Whether watching on TV, or in live at the stadium, the excitement of cheering on your heroes brings joy to many, whatever the outcome of the match.
But some Italian fans take the contrary approach. Instead of cheering on their team and shouting supportive comments and chanting positive messages, they do the reverse, especially in some derby games, played between arch-rivals, like Milan against Inter Milan, or Roma against Lazio. Insults are hurled, players are taunted and chants about how bad their favorite team really are echo through the stadium. It may seem strange, and mean-spirited, but some believe it gets results.
Scientific studies on postal workers have proven that people become more motivated after being insulted, in an attempt to reclaim their pride. Of course, there’s another reason why it can benefit fans to be contrary. If their favorite team loses, they can take consolation in saying “I told you so”. Being right about something is a feeling Italians enjoy almost as much as their team winning a soccer game.