Saturday, March 26, 2011

Fair Play: Let's all have fun, fans

IF YOU are looking for updates or my take on the Bangladesh game, I’m sorry to disappoint you, you won’t find it here.

I usually write my columns 48 hours before deadline, so I won’t give the hardworking sports editor any fits and last night’s game was just a tad too late. (I could’ve stretched the deadline and rushed a piece, but I’m afraid the sports ed would hit a homer off my head if I get 11 minutes late.)

But I hope, the Azkals won against Bangladesh last night, and I hope they make it to the Challenge Cup final stage. (They won, 3-0. —Editor)

By the way, since the Feb. 9 game in Bacolod, I’ve encountered the “bandwagon fans vs. real fans” argument a few times already and I always say one thing, there shouldn’t be any distinction among the fans.

How they come to love the Azkals shouldn’t be a factor.

And if they are more enamored with certain players than the team, well, that shouldn’t be held against them in the same way that Justin Bieber fans shouldn’t be faulted for liking Justin Bieber, right?

But considering how this argument keeps propping every now and then, this is going to be a regular treat in football talks.

Some of the arguments are quite serious—why Pinoys are suddenly into football because of the Azkals—while some, are somewhat hilarious, especially when one fan questions another’s right to comment on stuff by asking, “How long have you been a football fan?”

So are bandwagon fans bad for the sport?

Sure, there are a lot of negatives and some fan behavior rankles even the non-fan—knocking on doors at the team hotel in the wee hours and asking whoever answers, “Are you an Azkal?” Writing a player’s name on your thigh and posting it on the Internet or disrupting team scrimmages to get closer.

But, I tend to look at the positive side of things and for me, the bandwagon fans are the best thing to have happened to Philippine football.

Without them, the Azkals and Philippine football won’t have the same interest they are getting now.

As for the screaming girls? Let the players have them. I believe they deserve that for all the years they worked hard for the sport when nobody cared, all those years they played to 40,000 fans who screamed obscenities at them and for all those years they practiced with only the coaching staff and that stray dog in the stands.

Sure, there are annoying new fans who feel superior but there are annoying people who feel superior everywhere and the best way to deal with them is to ignore them and not be affected by them.

Some people are annoyed that people are just riding the bandwagon because the Azkals are the in thing, but the way I see it, Pinoys are rooting for the Azkals because they found something to root for, in Philippine football.

But we can’t be annoyed by any trend, right? I mean, look at Facebook. Are the guys who were the original Facebookers saying, “What the crap are you all doing in FB right now?”

These new fans found something new and are riding it. They found something to be proud of, of the Philippines.
Let’s not deprive them of that.

Besides, like I always say, there are no bandwagon fans.

There are just fans. Period.

And speaking of fans, I think football fans owe a lot to Craig Burrows and Roy Moore of for the updates in the Challenge Cup.

Without them, we would have been left in the dark.


Caz said...

I hear ya! I agree 100%!
It's a great time to be a Philippine football fan and a great time to become one! Let's welcome everyone! :)

jong said...

i totally agree :D This is what we've been waiting for.. go Azkals!

yes2pinoyfutbol said...

Thanks for writing this.
While we have Pacquiao to cheer during boxing, I think it's much nicer to cheer for a national squad. Because obviously, unity is the main driver to succeed.

To all the haters, come and join us! Let's all rally behind our Flag!

futbolchick said...

I totally agree with you :) I started to follow football because of this really hot player... I was one of those screaming girls who asked for jerseys from players after the match (before it was "uso")... now, 10+ years later, I'm still a big fan of the sport.