Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I am a Collingwood supporter



I have been a Collingwood Football supporter all my life (for those internationals reading this see THIS to find out about AFL and THIS for the Collingwood FC website). Born and bred that way - both of my parents support the club and have been paying members over the years. It's something I've grown up with and it's the only club that I have known to love. 

I'm not a fair-weather supporter. I've never turned my back on them in hard times and I ALWAYS tip them in my footy tipping competitions. Back in 2004 (our second Grand Final loss in a row) I was at Victoria Park with thousands of Collingwood fans suffering together in the rain. I love my team - even in the hard times.

What I don't love is the stereotype and stigma attached to being a Collingwood supporter.

All of my life I've copped it and it's always bothered me - it's only now that I have a place to share my thoughts on the subject and with a little life perspective I can see that it's not ok.

I know we have some crazy fans - but all clubs do (did anyone watch Before the Game on Saturday night - did you see that guy after Geelong lost?). I know we have some supporters who are a little feral and yell at umpires and say inappropriate things - but all clubs do (I've heard really disgusting racist comments coming from opposing teams supporters at the footy). I know we can be a little one sided when it comes to our club - but isn't everyone when it comes down to the wire? Don't we all believe our clubs are the best even when they possibly aren't?


On Friday night Collingwood FC demolished a club who have dominated as a team in the AFL for the past 2 years - it was a thrashing in the Preliminary Final. After winning that game we've made it into the Grand Final. THIS is huge and instead of being able to enjoy it and be happy and share it on facebook I logged in to see sooooo many of my friends bad mouthing and belittling the club that I love.

As a Collingwood supporter if my teams wins and I mention it I'm being cocky, if my team loses and I try and defend my club I'm just making excuses. There is no way I can fully enjoy a win and share it on any social network site (apart from twitter because most of my followers are non-Australians or don't care about footy) or in person without someone making a comment about how my club sucks.



I have had my Collingwood scarf hanging on my desk all week - because I am really excited about the game on Saturday - and I have had so many bad comments from customers about it. People think they have the right to say what they like to a Collingwood supporter and are shocked if you react. You get an eye roll and a "typical Collingwood supporter" look.

One repeat customer even went as far as to say "oh and I've been telling people how nice you are, maybe I was wrong". She said it as a joke but after years of these comments I don't find it funny anymore.

One lady today also picked up my scarf and scoffed and with a look of disgust said "What's this? Who does this rubbish belong to" - I was so annoyed I may have snapped at her a little and said "If you don't like it, don't touch it thanks".

I know I could just take it down and the comments would stop but I don't see why I should hide my support for my club. They've worked really hard this year, played amazing football and deserve to be where they are and I'm proud of them and I'm proud to be a Collingwood supporter! Win or lose I'll still feel that way.

One of my friends on twitter (a fellow Collingwood fan) wrote the following on her twitter feed today:

"You know, I'm kinda over being ridiculed for being a pies supporter. I chose the team when I was very small, and you can't go back."

"I hate telling people I'm a pies supporter, only for them to look at me like I'm diseased. I've had people stop talking to me altogether!"

"My husband makes up stories about how he didn't know, before we got married. He actively barracks against my team. I always support his."

"It's way worse than any racism I've encountered. I have all my teeth, I'm educated, we're in the Grand Final, STFU"

I don't bad mouth other clubs. I don't bad mouth other teams. I don't gloat when my team wins. I don't sent "haha" text messages if we beat a team a friend supports. I don't do anything that could be deemed offensive when it comes to the footy. I love the footy. I love my team. I love that we're in the Grand Final on Saturday. I know it's not the end of the world if we win or lose (though I would love a win). Footy doesn't rule my life. I just want to be able to enjoy the football without the snide comments.

What do you guys think - anyone else faced this kind of thing as a supporter of a team? I'm pretty sure it's universal and that really bothers me.

You don't need to love my club but you do need to provide me with the same respect you would any other person when it comes to football - no matter who they barrack for. My club doesn't and shouldn't define me but I love it all the same.

Glitter Sparks & Happyness
x x x

P.S Check out my sisters and I circa 1980's - we've been fans for life!


1 comment:

  1. brainwashed from birth and lovin it