Time for a prompt.
This one gives me an excuse to write about sports.
It asks about fandom. What is fandom.
I think it is a dumb word, but that’s whatever. I also think you cannot limit a fandom to just one topic or area. There’s a lot of people that are fans of stuff like television shows or movies or even video games.
This prompt wants me to focus on sports, so I shall.
I think I’ll ignore the NFL for this one since I am only casually watching it because of the fantasy league I’m in right now. Time to gloat? Yes. I’ve made it to the final 2. I think I’m the favourite to win, but the thing about the NFL is that there’s no consistency with players. Someone is always getting hurt or injured or coming back and sucking even though they were pretty good before an injury.
I suppose it happens in other sports, but there’s just so many people in American football that players seem to be hot and cold more often.
So, real football, or soccer. No. It is called football.
I’m gonna apologize to any British person reading this right now for any type of offense (or is it offence) they might take to this post. I truly do not mean to slate you or your club.
I’ve been following the Premier League for a while now. At first, I was following a little/big (depending on who you ask) club from Birmingham named Aston Villa. What do I know about the Villa? Loads actually. This post isn’t for a history lesson, but I cannot talk about Villa without mentioning history.
A club like Villa have a very rich history. They’ve been around for ages. They won many trophies, including a European Cup which is what most Villa fans will hold in your face if you support some club that hasn’t won it.
Despite them being absolutely terrible this season, they have some really, really loyal fans who have a bloodline of being Villa fans. It is a lot like being royalty to me.
On the other hand, there’s a rise of other fans that end up supporting a club because it is good. Manchester City is one of these clubs. By looking at the Premier League for the last few years, you must say that Manchester City has been pretty good. They’ve won it fairly recently. Manchester City is a club with only slightly recent success. People criticize Manchester City for its success because of money, which is kinda how the game trend is these days.
So, I see two types of fans in football. I see the loyal fans who has had family that supported the club since, well, the club’s existence. I also see fans that will support a club because they are good.
There’s a slight trend for the fans that only support a club because it is good. Most of these fans are not English/British. I make a slash there because Welsh, Scottish, and Irish people might have some knowledge of these English teams.
There’s a Chevy commercial where they take these children from probably India and make them the mascots for a Manchester United game. There’s one scene where this kid is holding his Manchester United shirt and kissing the badge. It is a common show of passion.
I talked earlier how teams with a lot of money are generally more successful. Manchester United are not like Manchester City in a way that money has made them good only recently. They have a rich history like Villa as well.
Back on track, this was a Chevy commercial. Chevy is Manchester United’s shirt sponsor so the fact that they can feature these kids shows how commercially successful they are. Can you blame these kids for supporting Manchester United? They aren’t being shown old videos of Alan Shearer and Newcastle United. They aren’t being shown that Peter Withe goal in the European Cup. They aren’t being shown anything of teams that aren’t raking in the money. They only know Manchester United.
I, being American, am also subject to this. Before I even started following the Premier League, I had only heard of a few teams. Heck, I was gonna start following Chelsea because I didn’t wanna follow Manchester United and I only knew those two teams.
This is where I need to thank video games. I eventually played FIFA before the start of some World Cup and found out about Aston Villa. I thought the name sounded cool so I ended up trying to follow them. Thanks to video games, I was able to avoid the big money commercialism.
Not everyone is gonna be like me. There’s still plenty of people out there that will only follow a club because of the success. I’m not gonna lie to you. Part of the reason I gave up on Villa is because of how negative the football was. I couldn’t get into them and going into every weekend knowing that they were gonna lose probably.
Then I saw this club, Leicester City. They came from behind in a bunch of games to not only get a draw, but to win it sometimes as well. The year before they survived relegation despite being bottom of the table. Their fight is what drove me to switching sides. Now that they are top, it makes me look like I followed them for more dubious reasons, which I call “following a club because they are good.” It is true. Leicester are fantastic this season. It is a great time to have followed Leicester since birth. It is great from outsiders to see how they are fighting for the top despite not being one of those big money teams.
This is where I see a rift. I’m sure the hardcore Leicester fans are mixed on more and more people following their club. In one way, this is great because it is expanding the Leicester name to the world. On the other hand, these new fans will try and act like they know Leicester. Most of them don’t even spell it correctly. They spell it Lester or something. I can see the frustration.
Oh, it also occurred to me there’s a third type of football fan. It is quite common, especially in Leicester’s case. I call this “Fans from a smaller country.” Do you know the country of Algeria? Yes? Maybe? Do you know where it is? Well, for some people who don’t know much about Algeria (like myself), they have produced a brilliant player named Riyad Mahrez. He is probably one of the best in the Premier League right now, and Algerians are very happy for him. They also are all Leicester fans now. Okay, maybe not all of them, but there’s a lot of them. As soon as Mahrez leaves, they probably will too. It is kind of the same with Asian players. Manchester United had a Korean player named Park Ji-Sung. Many Koreans were Manchester United fans because of his success. Even in my tutoring days I read some paper a Korean student wrote on why he loved Manchester United and Park Ji-Sung.
You know what, I’m gonna rename that to “Nationalistic Fans.” It isn’t a terrible thing in the right light. Why should we knock Algerians or Koreans for supporting a team because a player from their country is on it? If we look at the Premier League, many of the big names were mostly English. It wasn’t until fairly recently that players from other countries started to make big names. I look at Didier Drogba. He is a huge player from Africa who was super successful with Chelsea.
So why am I not a Fulham fan or something? Clint Dempsey? I guess I don’t fall into that category because of my country or whatever. America has the MLS which has been trying to shove itself down everyone’s through since it began.
So, there’s a bunch of fan types I’ve seen with the Premier League. I find myself in that whole “supporting a club because it is good” thing at the moment, I guess. I can spend time defending myself saying well I don’t really care Leicester are top, I really only started watching them because they were playing good football or I’m actually a Marc Albrighton fan and when he left Villa I was devastated so I followed him to Leicester or that I can name a bunch of Leicester’s players other than Vardy and Mahrez (actually I can probably name the entire squad, just don’t ask me to spell Yohan Benalouane without looking it up). That’s neither here nor there.
What I will say is that these clubs have such a big variety of fans that in itself is entertaining.
One thing for certain is that whoever you support, you love wins and hate losses. That’s what it really boils down to in the end.
So yeah, I might not have been born in Leicestershire or Birmingham or the Merseyside or wherever. It doesn’t mean I do not have the highest respect for those people who have followed non-league teams since forever. I am also well aware that I’m probably not wanted at your ground. I am also aware that there’s other people that don’t mind me, an American, supporting their club.
Well, that’s how I see things. Maybe I’m right. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I forgot something entirely. I don’t know, but this is how I see things.