Football Stereotypes Infuriate Me
In my on going attempts to unite football supporters across the world, I want to shed some light on some ridiculous stereotypes that seem to follow certain groups of football fans quite unfairly. If you’re like me, you spend countless hours searching the web for news stories, discussion, debate and opinion. In addition to web surfing, I spend double that time listening to every football podcast under the sun to stay abreast of happenings in the beautiful game.
During this exploration, one tends to start hearing and reading similar themes in their pursuits. Similar themes that after the 35th mention dig under your skin and annoy you like that damn cowbell at Fratton Park after 90 minutes. By definition, a stereotype is “a simplified or standardized conception containing to a group“, so, is it safe to say that in actuality some stereotypes have a small bit of ground to stand on? How do stereotypes ever originate? They’ve got to start somewhere, and since it’s human nature to observe and form opinion (even if those opinions are judgemental and preconceived) one can see why so many unfair stereotypes are born.
I want to get feedback on stereotypes pertaining to football fans, clubs, players and even the media in hopes if we all realize how ridiculous they are, we can subsequently stop using them and eliminate them from our respective cultures. Here’s a few popular ones that particularly infuriate me.
All American Manchester United fans are bangwagon fans, spoiled and have no right or claim to the club, their idea of watching “man U soccer” consists of catching highlights on Sports Center and watching Ronaldo YouTube Clips- Sure, that might pertain to a small minority of Manchester United supporters in the states, but it’s so easy for opposing fans to smack a label on them and dismiss their true passion for football simply because the club is immensely successful. I understand Manchester United are extremely popular in the States, but that’s not such a bad thing. Manchester United as a club have helped the growth of football in America just as much or more than any other club. One must first look at when, where, how and why a person picked the club they support. If they answer, “I picked them right after they won the Premiership/European Cup/etc.”, then sure, have a go at them. If they answer anything else that seems the least bit justified, leave them alone and focus your energy on your own club. Also important, until just recently, United were one of a small number of clubs that were available to watch on a regular basis in the States. Simply put, there are certainly many other popular clubs that Americans support, why single out Manchester United fans? The other three clubs in the traditional top 4 have immense support in the States. Real Madrid and Barcelona of Spain’s La Liga are equally as massive, two clubs where the trophy cabinets definitely aren’t empty.
Fans of Liverpool FC in Liverpool and surrounding areas in England are all thieving, stealing people and speak with a Scouse accent so thick it’s considered foreign language – recently a very influential radio host in this country took a lot of flack from a supporters group for his overly biased stance on Liverpool FC and the people of Liverpool. So much so, it resulted in his shows dissolution. He’s since launched a similar show under a paid format, but to put an entire fan base and city of people into a shambolic stereotype that may only apply to a select minority is shambolic in and of itself. This stereotype not only offended a large group of people, it destroyed the credibility this individual built with an equally large group of American Liverpool supporters.
Stereotypes infuriate me. They are ugly and belong no where near our beautiful game. In the process of supporting ones club, it’s so easy to get caught up in the negative aspect of competition. Giving a bit of stick is one thing, assuming an entire group or population are all identical in an antagonistic way is the root of a stereotype and shouldn’t go hand in hand with supporting a football club. What football stereotypes bother you? Can we agree their lingering stinch should be eliminated from our beautiful game? Feel free to leave a (respectable) comment.