Logo

 
Register    Login    Forum    FAQ
Sooty Olive

Board index » On The Pitch » League Of Ireland




 Page 1 of 1 [ 5 posts ] 



Author Message
 Post Posted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:23 pm 
Offline
Manager
Manager

Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 2:46 am
Posts: 3460
Here's a mildly controversial piece I've written for Irish football website 'Between the Stripes' about the tendency of Irish fans to turn their backs on the League of Ireland - whilst wallowing in the myth that they're 'the best supporters in the world'.

It's an attitude that not only stunts club football here, but ironically also limits the strength & potential of Irish international teams too.

I appreciate not everyone will agree with it or be happy with this particular spade being called a spade, but it's something that I've long felt needed articulating.

https://www.betweenthestripes.ie/blog/2 ... g-delusion

* MODS : Feel free to move if you think it's more relevant somewhere else *


Top 
 Post Posted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:42 pm 
Offline
Manager
Manager

Joined: Sun Nov 08, 2009 1:08 am
Posts: 1937
very good piece steve and probably spot on. can you see things change for the better in the future?


Top 
 Post Posted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 10:14 pm 
Offline
Manager
Manager

Joined: Thu Jun 11, 2009 9:57 pm
Posts: 533
Yes, agree with all that. I'd go even further and call out those Irish supporters who I doubt attend any other football games (in Ireland, Scotland or England) and simply go along to big tournaments to enjoy 'the craic'. And whilst i've no problem with folk following bigger teams (its hard not to enjoy the quality on offer in high octane PL or CL fixtures) its the nature of the support - those sofa fanatics - that drive me mad. At the end of the day its easier for most ppl to pay their sky subscription, sit glued to the tv and opt out... ironically would those same sofa fanatics attend games regularly if they moved themselves permanently to Scotland or England - i'd say probably not.


Top 
 Post Posted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 4:57 pm 
Offline
Manager
Manager

Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 3:50 pm
Posts: 6101
Location: I'm at a place called Vertigo
A good read Steve and there are a few great points I would agree with, but do you not feel there is a bit of snobbery amongst the LOI supporters towards the Irish fans who don’t regularly attend LOI Games? I admit back when I did travelled to home and away games to see Ireland play I often looked down on Ireland supporters who arrived at games in Celtic tops. Even sarcastically asking them “who is Celtic playing today?” Going to Ireland games in a Derry top opened up great communication and links with supporters from other clubs, for example, a lot of fans had sympathy for us (Derry City fans) in Paris in 2009 after our relegation to Division One. Some Irish fans would see the LOI Tops and react the same I did in the example above. Some would have greeted me with "shouldn't you be supporting the North?" (mainly Dubs did that) but most of their posturing came from the question “who are you on YBIG?” I have never been a member of YBIG, but being a prominent user on there seemed to be an aberration of great status that I used to poke fun at. Anyway, your article is titled “THE BEST SUPPORTERS IN THE WORLD? IRELAND’S ENDURING DELUSION” and for me two hashtags used in social media can be seen as differing attitudes to the Irish Game and a slogan of self-righteousness; #GreatestLeagueInTheWorld and #bestfansintheworld.

Granted #GreatestLeagueInTheWorld had originated as a piss-take, lampooning comical and peculiar moments within our league. For a long time it was a great thread to read on Twitter until it was overused particularly in point scoring “support your local team” putdowns before it was hijacked by the FAI. When the latter occurred with the launch of the Association Podcast and Book at the beginning of the season LOI supporters smugly criticised the FAI for doing so. Rightly in some cases but it then became a weapon to hit the Association with regarding attitudes to the league and those who follow and don’t follow local football. On the other side, #bestfansintheworld, I found the whole thing in 2016 becoming increasing self-congratulatory and increasingly embarrassing to read.

As you noted in your article, as lovely as the goodwill gestures were, such as the changing of the tyre, it seemed groups and individuals then took it upon themselves to try and “go one up”, conveniently, each time these acts were being filmed or documented in some form. I was at Euro 2012 and a lot of stuff that occurred in Poland began as a bit of craic that just happened off the cuff such as the two lads in Poznan standing in front of the police during the Croatian scuffle holding the signs “Down with this Sort of Thing” and “Careful Now”. Then on the night Ireland were hammered by Spain and the supporters broke into that excellent rendition of Fields of Athenry, it was magic. It was an organic moment almost born out of defiance and it garnered media attention, particularly due to Keane’s comments on ITV. This then snowballed as Polish fans looked at all of us different as we went through towns to get to the next venue and the Irish fans were seen as heroes. Then you could see the increase of social media activity and “look how class we are” type articles and videos starting to stack up right up through the years and I remember in 2012 the very forced attempt to re-enact that Fields moment against Italy in the final game. It didn't have the same impact and it didn't have the same passion.

The point I am trying to make though is that both sides have an argument for why the other is delusional and how they go about demonstrating it. League of Ireland fans go and watch their team in their home city and around the country whilst backhanding the fans that support teams in the UK and further abroad yet claiming to be Ireland’s #bestfansintheworld. The International fans think we are delusional because we only travel to Cork when they head to countries such as Azerbaijan, America, Japan and Korea for example, to support the national team. In truth the argument is there that we all delusional for thinking we are better than the other.


Top 
 Post Posted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 7:11 pm 
Offline
Manager
Manager

Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 2:46 am
Posts: 3460
TenaciousDee wrote:
A good read Steve and there are a few great points I would agree with, but do you not feel there is a bit of snobbery amongst the LOI supporters towards the Irish fans who don’t regularly attend LOI Games? I admit back when I did travelled to home and away games to see Ireland play I often looked down on Ireland supporters who arrived at games in Celtic tops. Even sarcastically asking them “who is Celtic playing today?” Going to Ireland games in a Derry top opened up great communication and links with supporters from other clubs, for example, a lot of fans had sympathy for us (Derry City fans) in Paris in 2009 after our relegation to Division One. Some Irish fans would see the LOI Tops and react the same I did in the example above. Some would have greeted me with "shouldn't you be supporting the North?" (mainly Dubs did that) but most of their posturing came from the question “who are you on YBIG?” I have never been a member of YBIG, but being a prominent user on there seemed to be an aberration of great status that I used to poke fun at. Anyway, your article is titled “THE BEST SUPPORTERS IN THE WORLD? IRELAND’S ENDURING DELUSION” and for me two hashtags used in social media can be seen as differing attitudes to the Irish Game and a slogan of self-righteousness; #GreatestLeagueInTheWorld and #bestfansintheworld.

Granted #GreatestLeagueInTheWorld had originated as a piss-take, lampooning comical and peculiar moments within our league. For a long time it was a great thread to read on Twitter until it was overused particularly in point scoring “support your local team” putdowns before it was hijacked by the FAI. When the latter occurred with the launch of the Association Podcast and Book at the beginning of the season LOI supporters smugly criticised the FAI for doing so. Rightly in some cases but it then became a weapon to hit the Association with regarding attitudes to the league and those who follow and don’t follow local football. On the other side, #bestfansintheworld, I found the whole thing in 2016 becoming increasing self-congratulatory and increasingly embarrassing to read.

As you noted in your article, as lovely as the goodwill gestures were, such as the changing of the tyre, it seemed groups and individuals then took it upon themselves to try and “go one up”, conveniently, each time these acts were being filmed or documented in some form. I was at Euro 2012 and a lot of stuff that occurred in Poland began as a bit of craic that just happened off the cuff such as the two lads in Poznan standing in front of the police during the Croatian scuffle holding the signs “Down with this Sort of Thing” and “Careful Now”. Then on the night Ireland were hammered by Spain and the supporters broke into that excellent rendition of Fields of Athenry, it was magic. It was an organic moment almost born out of defiance and it garnered media attention, particularly due to Keane’s comments on ITV. This then snowballed as Polish fans looked at all of us different as we went through towns to get to the next venue and the Irish fans were seen as heroes. Then you could see the increase of social media activity and “look how class we are” type articles and videos starting to stack up right up through the years and I remember in 2012 the very forced attempt to re-enact that Fields moment against Italy in the final game. It didn't have the same impact and it didn't have the same passion.

The point I am trying to make though is that both sides have an argument for why the other is delusional and how they go about demonstrating it. League of Ireland fans go and watch their team in their home city and around the country whilst backhanding the fans that support teams in the UK and further abroad yet claiming to be Ireland’s #bestfansintheworld. The International fans think we are delusional because we only travel to Cork when they head to countries such as Azerbaijan, America, Japan and Korea for example, to support the national team. In truth the argument is there that we all delusional for thinking we are better than the other.


Very good points there Dee, but I'd disagree with your conclusion.

The bottom line, in my view, is that it IS unacceptable for Ireland fans to look down their noses at Irish football. Who else does it in the world ? Even the Jocks - with an appalling national team, and located just an easy train journey away from big English clubs in Newcastle and Manchester - don't turn their noses up at their own clubs.

The only countries I see doing this are third world and developing nations with serious national psychological self-doubts. Countries in Africa and Asia who think that anything from overseas must be better than if it's from their own country, because they've been conditioned by years of colonialism and abuse to think that way. That's essentially where Ireland is at as a nation when it comes to football, and it needs to be identified and called out as such in my opinion - not pandered to. It's basically a national psychological illness - and you don't solve things like that by just ignoring them. Admission that there's a problem is always the first step towards doing something about it.

If you're born in Wexford you support your home county in GAA, no matter how sh!t they are. And you'd be slaughtered at school etc if you tried to be a Dub fan for no reason. Why is it any more acceptable to do the same when it comes to football ? Why should Irish people get off the hook for turning their back on their own to bask in someone else's borrowed glory that has absolutely nothing to do with them ? Especially when it clearly has a detrimental affect on the international; team that they do get all excited about (apparently. Though the question of where they all were before Euro 88 is one for another day :D ).


Top 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
 
 Page 1 of 1 [ 5 posts ] 




Board index » On The Pitch » League Of Ireland


Who is online

Registered users: KEVK, magspat

 
 

 
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

cron