Monday, 31 December 2007

Get it off your chest

To boo? Or not to boo? That is the question.

Where do you stand on this one? Do you boo your own players or only the opposition's? Do you believe that you have the right, as a paying customer, to verbally attack your own team if they are under-performing, or do you back them to a man even if they are utter toilet?

This is a debate that is as old as me. My dad. My grandad. But maybe no further back in time than that. Maybe it is a modern day aspect of the game. Maybe a couple of generations ago it was deemed impolite to boo one's own. Maybe back then, when football was played in black and white, football fans were more courteous.

There is a small amount of discussion amongst Wolverhampton Wanderers fans at the moment on this subject. Wolves are going through a bit of a sticky patch and, as with any club this size with such tradition and high expectations, fans are entitled to let their feelings be known. Mick McCarthy, the manager at Molineux, is starting to get a bit of a rough time at some home games, and a section of the crowd have turned against him. The boos can be heard. The debate is whether McCarthy's time is up (and therefore the boos are justified) or whether the fans should get behind the team and encourage them through this difficult period. Opinion is divided.

A football ground is a real theatre in every sense of the word, with the supporters providing as much (if not more) entertainment than the players. The passion and intensity of a crowd can be, at times, overwhelming. The joyful release as a goal is scored, the anguish felt as one is conceded. The anger as your centre forward is scythed down with an empty net beckoning. The abuse, at times venomous, hurled at the opposition and their fans. The booing of your own players. The calls for the head of your own manager.

These scenes are played out weekly, daily, around the nation, around the world.

But how do you get it off your chest at games? Do you shout or scream? Or do you quietly seethe and let things fester and then take it out on the wife/husband/dog/cat/hamster* when you get back home (*delete as appropriate)? Do you politely shout "Come on the home team" (as heard at a QPR match last season) or do you release your frustration by repeatedly thrashing your programme over the back of the seat in front until it resembles paper-maché?

Or are you one for the bizarre? I remember a fan who sat at the back of the Platt Lane stand at Manchester City in the mid 1980s who stood up and shouted "CUNNINGHAM!!!" at the top of his voice every time Tony Cunningham touched the ball. That was all he ever said. I have heard one fan shout "Shirt Out, Socks Rolled Down!!" every single time Steve Claridge came near. Or are you the one that always ends up sitting next to the loony?

Do you celebrate like a madman? Do you sulk? Do you question the referee's parentage? Do you chant? Do you sing or dance? Or both? Swear? Moan? Pray? Do you laugh or do you cry?

Or does a simple boo suffice...?

1 comment:

profitweaver said...

Supporters should support their team IMO. I can understand people who do boo, but not when they do it. At the end of the game, if your team have been poor, then they probably expect some stick.

However, to boo during a game is not going to be productive!

Incidentally, keep up the good work young man. I am glad you enjoyed your visit to the Golden Palace!

Come and see some Great Guitarists at work!