Happy New Year. My first post of 2012 and all that. Unfortunately I am going to begin 2012 by complaining. Going back to a sporting theme, I want to complain about fans.
Now I would like to set the record straight, not all football fans are bad. Some are funny, intelligent and witty. Some understand the game and will make comment based on what they see on the pitch. These people in the majority at league games. However when it comes to a cup crowd, the fans change into a bunch of half-wit morons.
To set my scene I went to the Middlesbrough v Shrewsbury Town FA Cup 3rd round fixture. Now at cup games, especially in the early rounds, I like to change my seat just for a refreshing new view of the match. The tickets were £10, a reasonable price I thought.
I got to my seat, nice view 18 rows up near the halfway line, that's when the positives ended.
I had a little girl sat behind me that kicked the back of my chair throughout, standard practice when a child under 7 goes to a football match. She was the least of my annoyance.
There was the gentleman behind me, who had made his mind up within 20 minutes that Malaury Martin was shit and shouted 'take him off' around 30 minutes into the game. Yet, I bet he, like every other Boro fan, was bouncing off the walls when he struck a miraculous free kick in the last minute away to Bristol City, but that was then and this is now, and according to him he is shit.
The man who took the biscuit though, was a buffoon in front of me, who spent the entire game shouting for Joe Bennett, who in eyes, could do no wrong. He also spent time shouting instructions to the players that totally contradicted himself, such as when we gave the ball away he would shout 'retain possession' and when we were 'retaining possession' i.e. passing the ball out of the back he would shout 'send it forward' because, as we all know, smashing the ball as far as you can is the best way to keep possession. Also he would shout inspired remarks such as 'Stop giving the ball away' and 'Get a grip Boro!' The thing that really got under my skin is that he would shout at current top scorer Marvin Emnes, 'Go on Martin'. I am sorry, what? Martin Emnes? Now I don't ask for the understanding of the ins and outs of the 4 3 2 1 formation as a prerequisite to go to a football match, however, if you do insist to shout, at least know the name of our top scorer, otherwise you are in danger of looking like a total cretin. I hope you read this Mr Bellend.
To top it all off, the fans booed at the end when Middlesbrough won, that's right won, the game 1-0, which caused me to lose my temper somewhat. I heard somebody say how unprofessional Boro were, so you would describe beating a team from a lower division 1-0 in a game in which as a team you were terrible, that to me is the definition of a professional performance.
So what are the reasons that these cretins come to cup games. Now I believe it is because of the price and the ability to say I was there in the 3rd round that year we won the cup. Also there is a phenomenon of football fans, who don't go to the games and barely watch the team, apart from when tickets are cheap, they are on the telly, or everyone else is going, yet they have very strong opinions on the problems that the team have based on the one or two games that they watched, or based on some wisdom that they got from watching the team 4 years ago, forgetting that the team has moved on since then.
Don't get me wrong, fans aren't all bad, and in fact when you get a good group of supporters creating an atmosphere there is nothing better, just if you insist on shouting at football matches, know what you are talking about, so people like me don't want to kick you in the back of the head.
At the end of the day, I should have done what my Dad did, pop my earphones in and enjoy the spectacle.