Monday, 10 January 2011

Taboo to boo?

I’ve been watching football for many years now, and one thing I’ve never done is boo a player or a team.  But its starting to seem like I’m in a minority, as fans’ impatience with football leads to any defeat being greeted with a chorus of boos, whether the performance warranted it or not.

Now, I’m fully in agreement with the idea that football is an entertainment product, and that fans pay their money and have a right to voice their opinion, be it positive or negative.  The problem is that booing seems to have become an overused response to defeat.

A case in point is the FA Cup game between Lincoln and Hereford I wrote a match report about the other day.  It was an even game, competitively played and either side could have walked away with the victory.  As it turns out it was not to be Lincoln’s day, but did that mean that the players deserve to be booed?  I would say not.  Worse though is the fact that the team’s confidence is fragile at the moment.  We are struggling at the wrong end of the league table, and face a very real possibility of relegation.  Footballers are insecure beasts, and seem to require their ego massaging constantly.  In fact it seems that they are often incapable of kicking a ball straight if they are not feeling confident.  Ultimately, we all want a winning team, but to do that we have to pull together.  It is the fans responsibility to support the team, but supporting the team has to be more than cheering when things are going well.  There is also a responsibility to back the team when things are going poorly, and that means offering encouragement rather than jeers when things aren’t going well.  It means letting the players know you appreciate their efforts, even when those efforts have been in vain.  It means letting them know that if they slip, miss a sitter, score an own goal or let one in through their legs, they will be forgiven for it.  Blindly booing after a defeat no matter what the performance is simply moronic.

One recent incident should also remind us that players are certainly not deaf to boos, as Aldershot fans realisfed when their striker Marvin Morgan who, after being booed, tweeted ‘Like to thank the fans who booed me off the pitch. Where’s that going to get you! I hope you all die’.  Let that be a lesson to all fans!

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