Altador Cup Kindness
The Altador Cup is a time when emotions fly higher than Terror Mountain's highest peaks and losses cause those same emotions to skydive faster than Faerieland during a certain Faerie Festival. (Too soon? Yes? Okay, I'll stop it with the Faerieland jokes.) Every Neopian and every Neopet has his favorite team, her favorite game, its favorite slushie. but, unfortunately, sometimes, these emotions run too high, and begin to detract from everyone's experience with the cup. People fight over their favorite teams. People stop slinging slushies at customers, instead opting for slinging them at each other. Instead of screaming praise for their team, they scream insults at the other team, and belittle any goals the other team scores as "luck" or "cheating."
That is not good. That is something that needs to stop.
I am not old- as a matter of fact, I'm at the age where I'm preparing to go out into the world and be truly amazing. I'm not an adult- you probably aren't either, reader. So I'm going to try to not lecture like an adult may. I wouldn't enjoy that. You wouldn't enjoy that. We'd both be unhappy. So I'm going to try to make this as interesting as I can. I'm going to show you why respect is a vital part to everyone's enjoyment of this year's Altador Cup. I will break it into three parts: The time before, the time during, and the time after. I will explain how respect plays into each part, and how to show respect even in the face of loss and disrespect. If you trust me, and you show respect, you will notice that your Altador Cup experience will become much more pleasant.
The Time Before:
Ah, the excitement that leads up to the Altador Cup! All of the speculation, all of the preparation, all of the rush to buy as many slushies as possible so that you don't have to deal with it during the actual Altador Cup because those lines get long! This is where all of the fun really begins.
It's a pity that some people find it necessary to belittle others before the cup even starts.
Before we go on, let me establish one thing. I'm all for team spirit in the Altador Cup. I cheer just as much about Darigan Citadel's victories as you cheer for your team, and I want them to win. In that vein, a bit of bantering between teams is definitely alright, even fun, so long as it doesn't become insulting. I laugh when the Darigan Citadel thread in the Neoboards has a funny title aimed at whichever team we're competing against, and I have been known to laugh at their jab back at Darigan Citadel. As long as it's in good taste, I have no problem with these small pokes in the side that inspire team spirit and a sense of community.
There is, however, a fine line that is crossed too often. "Terror Mountain will freeze you all!" is one thing. "If Terror Mountain doesn't win, everyone else is CHEATING!" is another thing entirely.
Do not insult the other teams. Say how great your team is, by all means. Say that Faerieland will fly over all others, that Terror Mountain will freeze everyone else's hopes, or that Brightvale will outsmart the rest. Do not say that Faerieland deserves it's low rankings each year because of it's supporters, that Roo Island is just a joke team and anyone who supports it needs to quit, or that Tyrannia is too brutish to win and choosing that team is a reflection of one's self. That is just insulting, and while you may not care about insults like that, you are not every Neopian. There are very young people who play this game- young people who are very sensitive to that kind of thing. Do you really want to be responsible for making a young person cry? No? Good. Then don't insult other teams.
The Time During:
This is the time when you can propel your team to victory! Spend time to play Yooyuball, of course. Talk to your fellow supporters, and talk to those who are not supporting the same team as you. But you have to be respectful in all of this.
Let's face it: your team will likely win some, and lose some. Perhaps you'll win more; perhaps you'll lose more. You can only control what you do. You can't force every single person supporting your team to play 500 games of Yooyuball per day and score at least 1000 goals total. Some people have things to deal with outside of Neopets; as much as they want to win, perhaps they can only play 10 games per day, or they might not be able to play at all some days. Don't blame these people for a loss. Whether they score 10 goals or 1000, they are still helping your team along. If they miss a single day, no, it's not helping. But sometimes, people can't help but have no time for something like the Altador Cup on a particular day. If your team loses on that day, it is not immediately their fault. As fun and important as the Altador Cup is, this has to be said: It is still just a game. If someone has a job in real life and they only have time for a few games of Yooyuball between when they get home and when they go to sleep, there is nothing that can be done.
One person does not cause a loss in the Altador Cup. It takes a lot more than that. It takes tremendous effort from the other team also.
On that note, don't stop respecting the members of the other team due to their win or loss. If your team wins, great! If you're going to talk to those on the other team, tell them that it was a good match and you hope they had as much fun as you did. Do not tell them that they deserved their loss, or that it serves them right, or anything like that. If you had lost, would you have wanted that? Similarly, if you lose, don't accuse the other team of cheating or anything like that. Maybe they just had more people put in more effort than your team did. It's depressing, I know. I've been a fan of Darigan Citadel since before they won their first cup. I saw them get hit by the winner's curse- I know how painful it can be to lose day after day. But don't give up, and don't assume that the other team cheated. If you have to, don't talk to anyone. Just don't be rude about your loss. Nobody likes a sore loser. And if someone talks down to you for being on the losing team, remember- nobody likes a sore winner, either
The Time After:
This is the time from when the winner of the Altador Cup is announced to when the emotions finally calm down and Neopia goes back to normal. This can be a time of great joy, or a time of great pain, depending on how your team fared. If your team did very well- perhaps even placing in the top 3- you will feel as if you are on top of Neopia! If your team did not fare so well, however, you may be upset. Both of those are alright. You are entitled to feel that way- every sane Neopian will understand. Trust me! Talk with your teammates- you are not alone in your triumph or tragedy, I can guarantee that.
The trash talk that occurs during the Altador Cup may become more intense at this phase. Don't get involved. If someone accuses your team of cheating, don't respond back telling them that they are trying to push their guilt of cheating off on you- that's just asking for a fight. Just smile, congratulate the winners, offer kind words to the losers, and don't brag about how well your team did.
Every team will inevitably have rude people who, for whatever reason, will refuse to do anything but trash talk and brag. The key to having as happy an Altador Cup as you can is to not let yourself sink to their level. Just report the really rude ones and move on with your life. Rest assured that, even if they claim everyone on their team agrees with them, there are more than likely people on their team disagreeing with them, even if they're too scared to stand up. If you see someone on your team doing that, stand up! Don't let that kind of thing get to you, and your Altador Cup will be enjoyable at least, whether your team scores first or last.
Note: If you are reading this, it seems my second Neopian Times article has been published. Yay! I really hope you enjoyed reading it. I tried to make it not sound like a lecture or like I was preaching, but, well... a topic like this is hard to talk about without it becoming like that, and I don't think my writing is at the level where I could pull it off, unfortunately. (Constructive Criticism on my writing is more than welcome, by the way, so don't hesitate to drop me a Neomail!) Also, I did not mean to pick on any team in particular here, so if it looked like I picked on your team, I'm sorry it came off that way. I sincerely hope that your team blows the socks off of all other teams, especially if your team happens to be Darigan Citadel or one of the less popular teams. I hope that you don't have to deal with too many rude people during the Altador Cup. On that note, have a wonderful Altador Cup, and best wishes to all teams!
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