Football Fans : Flight Of The Headless Chicken

This article is a submission for the Soccerlens Football Writing Competition; to participate, please read the details here.

Written by Rajvir Narwal.

From poplar media to our culture, sports fans are a much maligned breed.There seems to be an incubus hostility towards us from all quarters. All of us have encountered that certain sarcastic look (from girlfriends, neighbours,mothers,news persons,pet) that is too laid out to avoid. While some are noble enough to think of us ‘derailed social outcasts’ and move on, but most are less forgiving, like (most of the) the media outlets, which think of us as nothing more than mass herds of maniacs who can be shepherded in any way they like. so why so much disrespect to our (peaceful) community?

Before moving any further lets look into our biology- the making of a sports fan. we are like normal people but a little more emotional and passionate. when the the ever prowling sports bug goes for the bite, we find no escape. We take to our beloved sport as a small duck would take to a lot of water. The ride of the emotional roller coaster begins, rewarding us normal souls with heavenly high. we are addicted for ever. and lo, the sports fan is born.

From then on we take various shapes and forms: cultured, mischievous, fiery, icy, mind full,mad, the list goes on… Regardless of our differences we all have a defining quality:the selfless devotion to our cause. This is what makes us different from the commoners; Our qualities of loyalty passion and freedom of speech should be enough to make us the flag bearers of society, at least in our own eyes: a cut above the rest. But contrary to this the streamline gives us the tag of ‘mindless violent thugs.’ why? The question arises.

The answer to this riddle may lie in the fallacies of the fandom that plague us all too often. As pointed out earlier we are an emotional lot( especially the footballing community) who can let go of all there intelligent particles at the drop of a hat. The inevitable happens and the animal instinct takes over (the headless chicken sort rather than the raging bull sort). A bad result means mayhem; the head of the coach and player is wanted (most of the times times literally). All things senseless/unspeakable are uttered.

As some one other than Shakespeare once said: “Our haste makes fickle creatures of us all.” Our fickleness lies in the fact that we are too quick- in making judgement, in criticism, in appraisal, in castigation as well as worship. and the tragedy in the tale: instead of improving, we seem to get more and more hopelessly retarded with passing time. In terms of football fans a thousand examples spring to mind- the mindless violence, hooliganism, over eating, pornography (oh wait). The point is that most of us tend to lack clear thinking and poise of mind especially at the times when it matters the most.

So can the ‘appreciator community’ improve itself and learn to take deep breaths when the time demands and stop acting like headless chickens? My personal opinion is a resounding ‘No.’ I just don’t see that happening. What do you think? do you see some candle light at the end of the tunnel?

This article is a submission for the Soccerlens Football Writing Competition; to participate, please read the details here.

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  1. ted 15 October, 2007
  2. zoor1 16 October, 2007