What does it involve to regard yourself as a fan of a chosen football team?
This is the question that I have found myself asking over the past few months. Supporting a team is a crazy man’s game, one minute you’re on the bus en route home after beating the team sitting top of the league when you thought it was impossible, the next, you are 2-0 down at half time to Wigan, and your pie doesn’t taste quite as meaty.
At times I find myself sitting in the ground looking around at people. If you did this for just five minutes you would see that it takes all-sorts to make a set of fans. Every ground has characters, they are as follows:
Someone who suffers from sudden (on purpose) outbursts of anger towards anyone in front of him – players, officials, managers, fans. The language of a caveman. This fan is usually known by fans around him and such behaviour is accepted. Fans will often be hear saying “yeah! go on Barry, stick it to ‘im’”.
Someone is always in the wrong: defence, attackers, strikers – they’re all lazy. They could do it better. Now, the doom-monger is a head-in-hands kind of guy. Win 3-0 and he will say his team are lucky.
Says what it does on the tin. It’s like, you can see what is happening, without needing someone to tell you – you can see with your own eyes. This guy needs to tell everyone what is going on. ‘x passes x, come on x MOVE FOR HIM!’ I’ll tell you what, I’m going to move you on in a minute. Quieten down!
You know, the one in front of you that really hasn’t got a clue. Says the most stupid things, but you can’t put them right, as they will know you are eavesdropping: “What’s he doing dropping x, he’s our best winger?” No, you idiot, A he is a defender and B, we sold him two months ago.
The inside man
This guy could go either way. The inside man is the man in the know. Seen player x in aisle three of Tesco, had a viewing at a cousin’s house, jumping in a taxi outside the training ground. Now, you either get a good inside man, who DID actually see this, or one who makes you look stupid when it never happened.
Late again guy
On average this chap will miss 92.62 minutes a season and a hatful of goals. You always see them running down the stairs, especially if there has been a cheer, “What did I miss?” “Five minutes gone and we are 2-0 down mate.”
My personal favourite at times, the supporter who always leaves just before his team actually makes the comeback of a lifetime. I imagine these fans, in the car on the way home listening to the radio and hearing the news that the team came back from two nil down to win 5-2 in the last ten minutes.
These are just a few of the characters who make up a typical crowd.
Of course you have the bloke who eats three pies at half-time, the one who stinks and the pair who miss most of the second half because they are in the bar.
Although these fellow fans annoy me at certain times, I too must fall into a category. I’m not sure which it is yet, but no doubt I’ll find out when I annoy someone and they let me know.
Which category do you fall under? Or maybe you have a category to add?
By Joe Bloggs – Sheffield United fan