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Football team support overkill

February 24, 2012

Today is the 30th day this blog not being updated. Couldn’t let it extend beyond that, could I? As with other things, when you are trying to re-start something, you’d need to go slow at first and pick up your pace as you go along. Take this as an attempt at re-starting to write (there have been numerous attempts). I think I know why the people at WordPress introduce new themes, constantly upgrade the features of their website etc. It’s to discourage people like me from giving up writing altogether. On the other hand, this blog is not one that gets 200+ page views a day. In fact it doesn’t even remotely come close to that. So really, there’s no interest on WordPress’ behalf to encourage me. So I think I’m like making up the numbers, bringing up the rear if you like. And that’s fine with me.

There’s this particular topic that I’ve been hankering to write about. Although I never find the time to do so (convenient excuse). It’s about support for a particular sports team. Like any other ordinary guy, I love football (or soccer depending on where you are and your proclivities). Since I was a boy, I have always supported Selangor. Being born in Selangor, it was a natural thing to do. They were the powerhouse back then. When I was in VI, the Malaysian league was a semi-professional one with teams allowed to register a few import players i.e. those who hail from overseas. Selangor had a few and all the import players were employed by Public Bank. Back in VI, I remember watching the players train on the VI Greens (that’s what we call the school field). There were Karel Stromsik, Mehmet Durakovic and others. All good, if not great players. And Selangor swept everything before them then.

Watching games at the stadia became a necessity. I watched whenever I could. Being in the VI Hostel, we were quite well acquainted with a guy who was a FAM referee back then. So we got free tickets to watch games all the time. Those were passionate times.We watched the Malaysia Cup semifinal game between Selangor and Brunei at the Shah Alam Stadium. The stadium could fit like 80,000 people. We sat at one of the highest terraces. The players looked so tiny. Not forgetting the time when Manchester United came to Malaysia during their Asian tour and played against a Selangor Select team.

Which brings me nicely to my support for Manchester United. I’ve been supporting them since I was in Standard 3. Which was in 1983 when Liverpool was the team of the decade then. As such, a glory hunter I most definitely am not. Those were the days of Pat Jennings, Mike Duxbury and others. I am still supporting United now. I was fortunate to be supporting them during the glory days of English League domination and their European Cup triumphs. I hope the glory days are not over though. What with the emergence of Manchester City and their billions. For City, football has become a Football Manager simulation game somewhat. Buy players, pay them the sky and get them playing. I hate to admit it, but City winning the league this year looks increasingly possible.

OK, enough of that. What I wanted to say is the level of support some people accord to the football team they support. Let me ask you this. If United win the league this year, do I gain anything for supporting them? Will I get paid a cent from their 150 or so million pounds sterling they made this year? The answer is a resounding no. So the question is what’s the point of supporting them then? I’m sure as do myself, others would have their own reasons for supporting a particular team. Having said that, let’s not take the support to the point of overkill shall we?

This is amply illustrated in Facebook. I see people un-friending somebody just because there were some harmless banter about the other person’s football team. Come on, is it that severe? Burning friendship bridges just because of some banter? You know, comments like “Suarez should learn to respect other people” or something like that. That sort of comment, for me falls into the realm of harmlessness. I don’t even bat an eyelid when people tell me about United’s defeat against City the other day. Of course the team should have played better but seriously? And to me the joke is people calling them diehard supporters for knowing this and that about their team and the personnel. Oh, Bill Shankly once said this, Alex Ferguson’s horse is named Meredith, things like that. Is there anything to be gained at all? Well maybe I’m ignorant.

One more thing, I get a bit irritated when people talk like they belong to the particular team. Saying things like “I think we can win the game tonight.”, “I think we should go out and buy this player and that player.” Notice the word “we” in the above remarks? What “we“? I never use the word “we” and I don’t think anybody else should. Unless you’re a shareholder of that particular club. Sounds like I’m being awfully trivial isn’t it? Maybe I am.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t think I’ve made my point actually. There are many other illustrations, but I’m just tired. And I’ve got to sleep now. Tomorrow’s a workday.

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