|who do you identify yourself with?|
(picture by Kwa Giu)
The world works in a funny way. Logically, when someone or something is not doing well, that is when more support should be thrown. And in football, only then can the team or the player perform better. That is what supporters are for. They can be called the 12th man, 13th man, 14th man or whatever.
But in reality, that is not usually the case.
Modern football has somewhat transformed what the spirit of football was intended to be. Money, greed, fame, keyboard warriors, cable t.v and what have you. In many ways, it has many positives as it has improved the standards of the game, popularize it even more, becomes a livelihood for millions , a form of entertainment and a social phenomenon.
And all that influence has formed the identities of a football enthusiast, a football fan and a true football supporter. Which side you are on or believe in doesn't really matter. What matters most is you are not confused. And in the stadium, the divide is created. You need not be in the football ground to be able to sense the divide.
If you have many friends who are into football, you can just log on to facebook or the thousands of football forums to sense the different school of thoughts. And quite obviously, you will see the divide if you turn up at a football game yourself.
In one corner, there will be this group of football enthusiast who are just there to witness the spectacle, absorb the atmosphere and be entertained.
In another corner, there will be those who will proudly turn up in their team's jerseys, scarfs and merchandises, expecting a win and a good show for them. They might shout ocassionally, clap once in a while, and join in the celebrations if their team wins. More often then not, they will keep to themselves and release the most horrible of insults when things start to go wrong. These are fans who undoutedly form the majority. No doubt they love their team but sometimes, they just don't have the patience to tolerate defeats. And hence, inevitably the love becomes questionable.
And then in the last corner, there will be a group of supporters who will turn up in their team's colours most of the time while in certain cases , may just simply turn up to support in whatever they are wearing. But, these group of supporters will back their team up whether the team wins, draws or loses. They believe in their team and most importantly, they believe in supporting. Creating an intimidating atmosphere is just something that tags along but their main objective is to support their team so that their team will do better. They refuse to blame the team and players even if their team plays awfully and are almost always very positive in their thoughts. They sing for their team, create chants for their players and even fork our their own money and time to show their support.Yet, they can be misunderstood as being a bunch of hooligans and thugs because of their willingness to give their all, their aggresiveness and the guts to be something different than what the society expects the football culture in their country to be like. These supporters take the shape in many ways from the ultras style that have been adopted by many European countries, South America and in Asia to the British form of casuals to the more South-East Asian style of diehard supporters' group. They can also be individuals who may not be part of a group or community but truly loves the team and believes in it and doesn't give a damn whether his team wins or loses and fights for the badge. They rebutt tirades of insults thrown at their team and defend their team with pride. But what is certain is , you will know one when you see one. They stick out like a sore thumb, the thorn amongst the roses.
Well, who is to say that which one is the right way or the correct side but just do not be confused.
Whatever it is, it is equally important, if not more important, to support your team rather than just creating an intimidating atmosphere or "b*t*ing" your opponents.Worst of all, they readily "b*to" their own god damn players if they stray a pass or miss an open goal. And please, don't threaten your players that "you will not support them if they start losing or play horribly".
That, is just not right.