What we can learn from fans of really bad European Clubs
My “other” football team is Arsenal. I have been a fan of the North London outfit for as long as I have been interested in the sport of football and it has been a wonderful ride.
The “Invincibles” team winning 49 straight matches. Watching Bergkamp, Henry, Overmars, Fabregas, Wright and especially Tony Adams show how the game should be played. Winning the double, the FA Cups and many Premiership titles has I think kind of spoiled me when it comes to TFC.
I think I am like a lot of TFC fans that support “Big” European clubs. The point is that many of us do not know what hardship really looks like when it comes to supporting a football club. Arsenal has not won a trophy since the FA Cup in 2005. That is one of the longest stretches in recent memory without silverware for The Gunners. In relation to many other teams this is nothing. I could be a Newcastle fan (not bloody likely).
Seeing TFC heading into a new season with a thin bench, question mark after question mark up and down the roster and facing the real possibility of not making a playoff run for the fourth time out of the gate as a real possibility makes a lot of the natives restless, frustrated and calling for blood. And they should be angry…. to a point!
On the flip side I know a few fans that support lower tier Scottish, German or Dutch sides that are fighting either relegation or the Bankruptcy Judges. They know the hardship of which I speak and they are much more relaxed about the TFC fan experience than many others are. They are not ranting and raving all the time. They are able to step back and enjoy the fact that we have a stadium, a team to cheer for and get to yell and cheer with their friends home and away. Many of them are extremely critical of TFC and how it is being run, but yet they seem somewhat more relaxed about the whole thing.
Being a fan does not mean you should never criticize when you feel the need to do so. It does mean that you remember that at the end of the day this is entertainment. Showing up and not enjoying yourself kind of defeats the point of paying your hard earned money for your ticket. Get pissed off! Get Angry! But put it into some sort of context.
Perhaps I need to start following Inverness Caledonian Thistle or Crystal Palace instead of Arsenal for a few years. Maybe then I will learn to relax a bit more and enjoy the TFC experience the way a true footy fan should.