Thursday, September 30, 2010

Help a Girl Out

Okay boys (and girls, I suppose), let’s all calm down here. Who would have thought that a few paragraphs would offend so much? Relax darling, I am not having a go at anyone; I am simply a girl who has a blog and a bunch of thought in her head.

Oh, and is really bad at Photoshop*. Can’t forget that.

Anyway, while everyone thinks I am attacking them, I am not. I think Toronto is neat because it’s such an abnormal club. Hold your horses, “abnormal” is NOT a bad word. It’s abnormal because it’s not normal, and it’s not normal because it’s unlike any other club out there (See? “Abnormal” is a positive!). So stop getting into a tissy and stop picking fights with a girl, it isn’t nice.

Here’s the deal, I know you (“you” being the reader who disagrees with me and, apparently, there’s quite a few of “you”) feel like you have to defend your honour, or the honour of whatever, but stop for a minute and think: WHY?

It’s that “why” that I am interested in. I have a confession, you’ve been duped. I’m trying to provoke anger (check!) and I am trying to get the voices of TFC supports heard (check!) because I am trying to understand this:

Why do you think you have to do what you ought to do?

Answer me, honestly. Why do you have this loyalty? Where does it come from and why?  Think of this as an open letter Toronto FC fans: Why are you a fan, what does that require and what do you have to do in order to be considered one? Leave comments telling me or email me, I want to hear from you.

Toronto FC sucks. And their fans look funny! Ha-ha!

There, I got you angry, now respond!

Thanks guys, I appreciate it. I’m interested in it. And I want to know your thoughts.


*Err… Microsoft Paint. 

1 comment:

  1. My contention is this: in your initial post, you've correctly identified a "hierarchy of fandom" trait, but by laying all the culpability for this hierarchy at the feet of the supporters' groups, you've completely mis-read the evidence and are emphatically and dramatically wrong in your hypothesis.

    It's a general human trait, no more or less artificial than a nationality, and not a trait created or defined by the supporters groups or MLSE.

    I call myself a hardcore TFC fan and a soccer geek in general - I read alot of bloggers' pages, good soccer books, and I attend as many TFC and Canadian Men's and Women's National Team home games as my marriage will allow. But I'm not even (yet) a season ticket holder, nor am I a member of any supporters groups. If I'm honest, I subscribe to the hierarchy of fandom, but my hierarchy is defined by the depth and passion by which you care about the team. That passion has nothing to do with whether you paid for a season ticket (or how much you paid) or whether you're a member of a supporter group. Simply put, the more you CARE (or obsess!) about the team, the more "fan respect" I'll give you. Most importantly for your thesis, I reached this state without any interaction or influence from MLSE or any representative or action of a supporters group representative, i.e. they had nothing to do with it.

    If the scope of your thesis is limited to the Supporters Groups and MLSE's alleged role in their culture, you're massively off base. If you expand your investigation to look beyond TFC and consider sporting fan culture in general, then you're onto something.

    And if you want to include the concept of "loyalty" in the mix, then you'd have a really salacious issue to delve into. (E.G., I've spent exactly 4 years in Toronto and 4 years in Montreal, which begs the question: where do my sporting loyalties lie? In the city? In a team? And why? THAT's a much more interesting discussion than what you initially proposed.)

    BTW, if you want further reading on "artificial" identity and culture, read Benedict Anderson's "Imagined Communities". Just remember: it's not all or only about TFC.