Essay:Follower, not a Fan.. so shoot me!

Discussion in 'Fulham FC News and Notes' started by pettyfog, Mar 21, 2005.

  1. pettyfog

    pettyfog Well-Known Member

    Jan 4, 2005
    Anyone, from reading the banterdrome, can see there is a huge difference... and, in the process of thinking about the difference, I have to concede that I have NEVER been a "Fan" of ANY team since I was in High School.

    The term "Fan" being short for "Fanatic" gives the clue.. The fanatic has his own value system which is, by nature, non-objective. He will shut out all logic or reason that differs with his view and rely on FEELINGS of being a part of the community of fans.

    What brings this up, nevermind the FTID sentiment, is the suggestion that the executive management bring on "help" or "support" for Cookie.

    From a dispassionate view of one who has followed sports for any length of time, this is either laughable or sad... depending on who you wish to alienate.

    The manager OF ANY ENTERPRISE will ALWAYS want the support staff of his OWN choosing.

    If the board insists on providing support of their own choosing, this is always done at the start of the employment.

    Having the executive push a consultant on the manager, during tenure, is seen as demeaning and is, effectively, a vote of no confidence.

    Not only is it seen by the existing coaches in that light, it is ALSO seen that way by the players and existing staff.

    That manager's authority is undermined and there are sure to be one of two results, neither of which are good:

    1. The players and incumbents ignore the newcomer

    2. The players and staff ignore the incumbent manager

    What is suggested here doesnt work in business and it doesnt work in sports.
    And ONLY a Fan would suggest it!

    How do I know this? Because I FOLLOW sports teams... certainly I have my favorites, and I have picked Fulham. And I have seen this tried and fail many times.

    While I am impressed by such criteria as "CC is SUCH a good guy" and "He has always had the best for Fulham in his heart", that means even less to me than "he was a great player". Which ALSO has been shown to not account for much.

    And, while these traits may help him meld with the team, they mean very little when it comes to ability to do his primary job... which is to produce results. Inspiration only goes so far.

    It seems, though, that those traits are critically important to the 'fan' especially when things arent going well. The danger in this is that those are 'feelings' based judgements .. thus subject to the LOVE-HATE paradigm. The fan has wrapped himself so tightly in the relationship that the odd offense or deficiency is overlooked... excuses are made, unreal solutions offered.

    But there comes a time when all the buried shortcomings overflow and the spite-monster appears.
    When that happens, depression and disillusionment follows. Often to end in temporary separation and sometimes 'divorce' from the object of previous affections.

    Since the Follower has not wrapped himself so tightly he is free to be passionate DURING the given match and throw away those literal thoughts for a time; but after the result, he will usually go into analysis mode and consider what he saw.

    While there is no doubt some joy and euphoria lost, the despair of dreams not realized is also less of a factor to the Follower.

    It is no accident that the best betting outcomes are seen by the Follower rather than the Fan... he is NOT emotionally invested to the point of blindness to it is that the Follower is entertained by all facets of the relationship and often ends up with the least damage to his psyche.

    The Fan however, will feel doomed by a series of setbacks and will either assume the role of selective masochism (Cubs, Red Sox) or will switch allegiances to gain the gratification he has expected .

    For me... if I were a FAN... the relegation of McBride to the bench, then the practice team would have sent me off by now.
    Since I FOLLOWED him, I have little trouble in accepting that as one of the vagaries of life... while I wish for him to get into a situation where he's USED effectively, I dont care where that is.

    But because Fulham is such fascinating microcosm.. soap opera, sorta.. I have become a Fulham Follower. And, I believe, will remain so long after any 'local' interest is gone.

    But you'll not see any 'FTID' from these lips or fingers. Or 'Crew Till I Die', either.

    So there!
  2. AtlantaJohn

    AtlantaJohn New Member

    Jan 6, 2005

    You make some very good points, I will however say that I must conside myself a fan of the club and will always be so, but I am not afflicted with Fulham fanatism that I cannot see the obvious. What happens at Fulham every weekend is exactly the same throughout the English game, when you live in a world where your only outlet is the game on saturday afternoon it becomes a passion and you lose your perspective of the bigger picture. When I travelled with the team oh so many years ago, I honestly did not even have thoughts of how well we were playing we just wanted to win, we knew the players who we thought should be out there, it was however a different time. You are htting on a subject that I have talked about for years, the blinkers mentality of the English fan, and before you all start calling me a traitor I am English thru and thru I just live in the States and have done for over 20 years but will always remain English, its who I am. We have become in football one dimensional we think we have the best league in the World so our England team must of course be great, most of our (great) players cannot even get in other countries leagues first teams on a regular basis, and teams who are not even winning their leagues, then we persist in putting these players in out national team. But if you look at it from a reality standpoint you realize very quickly that our league is dominated by foreign players, when our top players play up against the best our top players become ordinary, case in point Rooney against AC Mialn did he play!!!!!! Look at the response on the Fulham site just today, someone asked a very innocent question, what about joe Cole for England, one response was just the name and a profanity, if that fan is English and a Chelsea player happens to score the winning goal in the World cup final next year, what will his reaction be, not to celebrate, so as a Fulham fan does he want the England team made up of all Fulham players, or is he only interested in Fulham, a true Fan. There are many other examples and issues about this but you hit the nail on the head with results, I wrote a post the other day on the uk site saying exactly the same thing, in this league results are what counts, Raneri was fired for getting Chelsea to their highest ever placing, he did not get the results his boss thought he should, CC might be a great guy, and i have listened to him on the site every week, he strikes me that way, he seems very down to Earth and usually says it like it is, but that does not mean I will take everything he says as gospel, only my wife can do that, and thats because she tells me so, he as frustrated me in the way Fulham have played, especially at home, yes you want results but you also have a responsiblity to entertain your fans who pay your wages and who will still be at the cottage when you have moved on, and as a guy who stood on the Riverside when it had no roof getting soaking wet and cold watching my team play, the one thing you can ask for and should get, is 10 field players giving it 100% and trying to score goals and attacking, if the other team score 2 you try and score 3, not sitting back on your own turf, and waiting for the counter attack, this is Craven cottage you come here and want to take our points you are going to have to earn it, and we will challenge for everything, playing a 5-4-1 tells me if i am the other coach and players this guy is scared of us, and lets face it, surely even CC knows it as not worked, put someone up alongside Cole against Portsmouth and attack attack, the crowd will get in it and applaud you for it, what is happening now is a long lingering death. Thought provoking post and thank you for it, I will be a Fulham fan till I die, its rather like being a Cubbie fan, you basically know they will never win the top awards, but once craven cottage and the club are in your blood its hard to get rid of, and quite honestly I dont want to, but I hope my post shows you that some of us fans, can see the big picture.
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