Well there is no denying the fact that going to a sports stadium for a live game is really something that is beyond exhilarating. I have been fortunate enough to watch many live sporting fixtures from hockey and tennis to football and rugby. And while I head down to the stadiums with more excitement than John Terry on bring your wife to work day, there is some things that happen that I just cant handle. Now by no means is this a post to say why you shouldn’t attend a live sporting event, its merely highlighting that in between the spine shivering renditions of the national anthem and the emotional glow when your team scores, there is some unsavoury habits that would improve the spectacle should they disappear.
1. Booing the kicker
The other day Ben from the Bounce wrote an article about booing the kicker and admittedly that’s what really gave rise to this post as I pondered what other annoying habits do we have as fans. Booing the kicker is no doubt about it one of the worst habits we have. Now I know when watching James “Justin Bieber” O Connor line up to kick at goal you may secretly be hoping for the ball to strike the upright and come straight back to knock him out, but this age old behaviour of booing is something that would be much better associated with WWE than Rugby Union.
2. The Mexican Wave
Whenever I am at a sports game and a Mexican Wave starts, my brother turns to me and laughs. But not laughing like thats a good joke, but rather laughing like a sinister clown that is enjoying your agony. When I go to watch a game of sport live thats exactly what Im there to do, watch a game of sport. For me the Mexican wave has always been a personal dislike which largely stems back to that missed goal at the 2009 Confederations Cup due to the “spectator” in front of me doing his best to prolong his standing ovation and me ultimately seeing his back instead of David Villa’s goal. While I know many an inexperienced spectator is quite akin to the Mexican Wave I would not be abject to waving it goodbye.
As an Arsenal fan this is something that we were subjected to by our fans on many occasions. Now I know I’m not alone in this as many others have voiced this same opinion on twitter. There is a level of arrogance to “ole-ing” that would make Julius Malema blush. Sure when you are 7-0 up with 5 minutes left you have every right to brag, but when you are 2-0 up with 10 to play, its time to rather buckle down than brag. I think this is also coupled in with my disgust of players who try their best to embarrass their opposition (especially seen in 5/6 a side soccer) insstead of trying to actually win the game. Respect is something that still needs to be shown when you are walloping your oppositon!
4. Asking for the sub
If you go and watch a live football game in South Africa it is an absolute blessing to behold. Now Im not talking about the over commercialised and different spectacle that was the World Cup, Im talking about the normal day to day PSL kind of game. If you go you will see some amazing singing, dancing and Vuvuzela playing that would not be out of place in the Sydney Opera House. But amongst the colourful backdrop of the crowd is one dark behaviourial aspect. South African Football fans have this very annoying habit of calling for substitutions in the most disrespectful way. In the disastrous AFCON qualifiers, the crowd started calling for Katlego Mphela to be replaced in the 20th Minute. When he scored the winner in a 1-0 win, he was visibly upset with the crowd after they had demanded his removal. I know we all like to think we are the managers, once a player is on the field for your team, get over your problems and support that players that are doing their best.
5. Wearing shirts of teams not playing
This one might be more of the pedantic type, but I still feel a slight disturbance at this. Quite often I have been to watch PSL games and have seen more Manchester United shirts than those of Kaizer Chiefs, the team actually playing. Now you might point fingers at cost, but a Kaizer Chiefs shirt costs you exactly what a Manchester United shirt costs. In fact Nike stores quite often have cheaper replica kits for the local football than they have of English shirts in total. I like seeing a crowd back their team and there is something very powerful about a crowd all wearing the kit and colours, but far too often there is not enought gold and black but an abundance of red, if you catch my drift?
So while these may be some things I dont particularly love about sporting fans, there is something very special about being in a crowd. Being there when Shaba scored, when Meyer Bosman scored and when Gibbs smashed our some of my greatest memories, far better than the memories gained from watching on tv. Being there, you are a part of it. Be a part of it!