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May 21, 2013 11:36 AM   Subscribe

From the innocents at the New York Times: how to attend a Premier League match.
posted by shothotbot (42 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
RULE NO. 2: Fans are prejudiced on behalf of their players to the point where, if a player were to jump up and down on the bloodied corpse of an opponent during a match, the fans would accuse the opponent of faking it.

...and they would be right.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:44 AM on May 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Soo.... how did everybody do in the Metafilter Fantasy Premier League this season?
He asks smugly, the smug running down his chin and dripping on places #2-51 below.)
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:46 AM on May 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


It's interesting how generic it is — it seems to me like very little of the article describes any experience that's really specific to the Premier League or even to football/soccer. It reads basically the same as every other guide to going to a sporting event as a non-fan. There must be more than this to be said about this specific sport in this place and time, but the reporter doesn't seem to have found it.
posted by RogerB at 11:51 AM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, yeah, laugh it up, fuzzball.

#32 for F. C. Spek en Bonen. Not bad as a first timer more often than not forgetting to change his team in the first weeks...
posted by MartinWisse at 11:52 AM on May 21, 2013


a score by Frank Lampard made him Chelsea’s career leader in goals

Really. A score.
posted by Hobo at 11:53 AM on May 21, 2013 [8 favorites]


It's interesting how generic it is

Well, that's the Premier League for you; most of the real interest fanwise is the history rather than the rituals, especially in such a newbies orientated article. It would be nice to see the reporter take on the Italian league or football in Poland or South America for some real madness.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:54 AM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


This was a hilarious article.
posted by lalochezia at 12:00 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


As long was I beat Juv3nal in the fantasy league I was happy. S/he talked some trash prior, and, well, we see how that turned out.

Off topic, but Tony Pulis has gone. A true Stoke legend.
posted by josher71 at 12:04 PM on May 21, 2013


Seems US sports fans in Philly could learn a few lessons here.
posted by k5.user at 12:08 PM on May 21, 2013


Heh.
At the Aston Villa game in Birmingham, Steve James, 47, took time out from chanting obscene remarks at the visiting Chelsea players to observe that because the game started early in the afternoon, the fans had had less drinking time than they might have liked.

Take himself.

“I have only had 11 beers so far,” he said. “I met my mates at a bar at 8 in the morning and had a bacon and egg sandwich and four pints of cider,” cider being an alcoholic drink here. “On the train, I had a few more. Then I had six in a bar when I got here, and a couple at halftime.”

Except for his addition problems, James did not seem drunk at all. “I don’t like to be uncontrollable or not know what I’m doing,” he said. “I have my limit.”

What is that?

“I have no idea,” he said.

posted by zarq at 12:14 PM on May 21, 2013 [15 favorites]


Off topic, but Tony Pulis has gone. A true Stoke legend.

Fun fact: Stoke were #3 in the PL in net spending during the last five seasons. And what do you have to show for it?
posted by asterix at 12:16 PM on May 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


There's a friendly in NYC this week between the Headless Powerhouses of Chelsea and Manchester City, so I expect some writer was tasked in drumming up local interest in the debuts of Chelsea's Interim Interim Manager (Abromovich's miniature pet giraffe) and a bottle of fizzy water Shiek Mansour found in an old limo.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 12:17 PM on May 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


I think this was liked to in the blue before, but my search-fu has gone out for a pint. For my money, this might be the best piece of sportswriting of the last year. Makes modern English/British Premier League fandom look like tea and crumpets with the Queen.

The Beautiful Game
In Argentina, rival soccer fans don’t just hate, they kill, and the violent partisans of top clubs fuel crime syndicates that influence the sport at its highest levels. Patrick Symmes braves the bottle rockets, howling mobs, urine bombs, and drunken grannies on a wild ride through the scariest fútbol underworld on earth.
posted by the painkiller at 12:18 PM on May 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


robocop is bleeding: "There's a friendly in NYC this week between the Headless Powerhouses of Chelsea and Manchester City, "

The upcoming Israel / Honduras game is probably getting more local press than that one.
posted by zarq at 12:21 PM on May 21, 2013


I hope the writer wore pearls to the game, because they need their clutching.
posted by chavenet at 12:43 PM on May 21, 2013


In Argentina, rival soccer fans don’t just hate, they kill, and the violent partisans of top clubs fuel crime syndicates that influence the sport at its highest levels. Patrick Symmes braves the bottle rockets, howling mobs, urine bombs, and drunken grannies on a wild ride through the scariest fútbol underworld on earth.

I used to scoff at the idea that mobs based on chariot racing teams used to rampage through Constantinople, but it seems plausible.
posted by shothotbot at 12:51 PM on May 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


Fun fact: Stoke were #3 in the PL in net spending during the last five seasons. And what do you have to show for it?

A wage bill on par with Wigan, an FA cup final, Europa league, and five years of Premier league stability.

Should have achieved more than that but it's not a terrible list of things to have done.
posted by josher71 at 12:53 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


The best bit of the article:

At St. James' Park, the Newcastle stadium, the menu in the away-fans’ snack area consisted of one type of entree — meat pies in various flavors — and eight types of alcoholic beverage. “Three-course meal: 7.80 pounds!” advertised a sign. Course one: meat pie. Course two: flavored vodka drink. Course three: Twix bar.

I spend my weekends on the sofa, watching BPL games. I've only been to a Crystal Palace game, which sort of counts. Come on, Palace!
posted by Kafkaesque at 1:13 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


That's a great article, painkiller. Thanks.
posted by benito.strauss at 1:32 PM on May 21, 2013


For the real football experience you need the non-league pyramid. Tea in a china mug and trooping round the empty terracing to stand behind the goal you're attacking at half-time on some wind-swept former slag heap or surprisingly forested Dingly Dell in the West Country. Fellow supporters either relatives of the players or old codgers who played in their famed nearly-promoted side of the 1950s.
posted by Abiezer at 1:38 PM on May 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


Kudos – sorry, I mean the exact opposite of kudos – to Sarah Lyall of the New York Times for opening a story about watching Premier League matches with a warning about drunken, rowdy Liverpool fans, before going on to reference the sport's "dark days of the 1970s, ’80s and early ’90s, when English soccer was a byword for criminality, violence and hooliganism. That was the time of the Hillsborough disaster, the Bradford City disaster and the Heysel Stadium disaster, when spectators were sometimes beaten senseless or burned or crushed to death in stadiums" implying Hillsborough was a byword for criminality, violence and hooliganism on the part of anyone but the South Yorkshire constabulary.
posted by Len at 1:39 PM on May 21, 2013 [12 favorites]


On a lighter note, she missed out my favourite chant, apparently from Spurs fans when they plan Man U at White Hart Lane: "You only live round the corner!"
posted by Len at 1:41 PM on May 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


For the real football experience you need the non-league pyramid.

Previously.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:50 PM on May 21, 2013


Inside, the snack bar menus tend to be basic, offering things like French fries with curry sauce; chicken pie; and Bovril, a hot beef-flavored bouillon masquerading as soup.

Oh, and say what you want about Bovril – and I will, because it's fucking rank – but it has never, ever "masqueraded" as soup. I might as well accuse Buckfast of masquerading as a particularly fine 1959 vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape.

As for the food being cruddy and basic, I suggest she take a trip to Station Park, home of Forfar Athletic and the best bridies you'll ever eat, made in a baker not 200 yards from the ground. Okay, you're not going to see Suarez take a bite out of someone's arm, or see John Terry bait one of his team mates over shagging his wife, but you might get to see Forfar get humped 6-1 by Dunfermline and trod off to the pub discussing how that's the way it is when your team are part timers who earn their living from being plumbers and brickies.

Or, erm, what Abiezer said, basically.
posted by Len at 1:53 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]




Huh. I thought this was going to be about Congress.
posted by hank at 2:43 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


At the Aston Villa match, the fans’ disappointment at being poised to lose the match was allayed only by the sight of the Chelsea captain, John Terry, lying incapacitated and in obvious pain on the field with an ankle injury.

First they accused Terry of faking it. Then they started to chant: “Stand up! Stand up! If you hate John Terry, stand up!” while standing up. Then they accused him of some more things. They cheered loudest when he was carried off on a stretcher.


Someone should have probably told this journalist that people hate John Terry because he's a racist. Oh and he shags other people's wives. Oh and a catalogue of other things I can't be bothered to go into now, save to say that he's a poor excuse for a human being.
posted by ob at 3:07 PM on May 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


> Mindbending fact: combined attendance of Premier League and the Championship in the UK is more than NBA, NHL, NFL, Bundesliga, La Liga and Serie A

Due respect, but why is that mindbending? Isn't it "cheating" to compare the attendance of the top two tiers of English football to the top tier of Spanish/German/Italian football?
posted by savetheclocktower at 3:08 PM on May 21, 2013


For those interested, I cannot recommend Among the Thugs by Bill Buford enough. Fantastic book about hooliganism in the 80s.
posted by mzanatta at 3:18 PM on May 21, 2013 [6 favorites]


Wow, this is a beautiful example of gawking without the slightest bit of empathy. What does the author have to say about why football fans behave as they (allegedly) do?
posted by ambrosen at 3:43 PM on May 21, 2013


I love a good Premiership game, and I think the tendency of people to blindly assume that "lower division = better fans" is unfair, but it's true that if you're going to only watch one game and want it to be unique and footbally you're better going to the Championship or below.

I took this picture on the last day of the season whilst watching Oldham Athletic playing away at Leyton Orient, for example.

"Hogan! Hogan! Give us a wave!" We all chanted, during the game, in an effort to avoid watching the bore draw being played out on the pitch, "Hogan! Hogan! Give us a wave!"

We all cheered when he got up on his chair and started doing flexes, but then a steward in a hat made him sit down.

"Booooooo! Who's the wanker in the hat?!" we enquired, repeatedly and at length, "Who's the waaaaanker in the hat?!"

After several verses of this, said steward sheepishly pointed at himself and waved, and was rewarded with a huge cheer and a round of applause.

"West Ham!" We then sang to the tune of "Blue Moon", pointing at the Leyton Orient fans and referring to their bigger, more successful rivals down the road, "You all support West Ham! Secretly watching West Ham! You all support West Ham!"

Finally, someone spotted a small child and his mother on the balcony of one of the flats by the stadium.

"Baby! Baby! Give us a wave!" several hundred grown men and women started chanting at a very confused four year old, "Baby! Baby! Give us a wave!"

He did. We cheered. Life was good.
posted by garius at 4:25 PM on May 21, 2013 [17 favorites]


English football crowds can be mean, but they also can be fun: Proof
posted by Ranucci at 6:55 PM on May 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh, and say what you want about Bovril – and I will, because it's fucking rank – but it has never, ever "masqueraded" as soup. I might as well accuse Buckfast of masquerading as a particularly fine 1959 vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape.


Bovril is delicious! You can make a life-affirming hot beverage out of it or spread on your buttered toast and fried egg as an everyday special treat. Or do both at the same time! It's a food, a drink, and your best friend all wrapped up in a gooey darker-than-a-black-hole pitch tar like substance
posted by Bwithh at 7:05 PM on May 21, 2013


I don't think you can compare the pace of soccer to the pace of baseball. Don't cricket matches last 3 days or something?
posted by Brocktoon at 11:07 PM on May 21, 2013


Test cricket is 5 days.

Like anything, it can be boring, or it can look boring to an outside yet be a tense and dramatic struggle with its own rhythm, the way a good 1-run baseball game with a pitcher's duel can be incredibly dramatic if you are a knowledgable watcher.

The same with any game in any sport, really. Some premiership matches are a bore, some are thrillers.

Having watched some condensed baseball on MLB.tv, i'm surprised how wrong it feels to watch paced that way, and have gone back to only the full length games.
posted by C.A.S. at 12:33 AM on May 22, 2013


English football crowds can be mean, but they also can be fun: Proof

Whaddaya know: Chelski supporters actually being sort of human. Does not compute.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:58 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


No cotton candy; no Dippin’ Dots.

The horror.

Like a parody of an NYT writer at a game really.

It will be noisier than you are used to.

That very much depends. My home stadium used to be really noisy. It's gone really quiet in the past ten years as prices have increased so you get a better class of chap there nowadays, and he's a lot quieter.

I went to the home game against Borussa Dortmund this season and it was embarrassing. They filled their allocation with what appeared to be a scrupulously drilled choral assembly. They started with a powerful and moving opening anthem which lasted about five minutes. Some of the locals retaliated with "One song, you've only got one song ...". Error. There followed a forty-minute song-cycle which was led first by the the top of the tier, then a sort of question and answer bit involving the middle and bottom tier ... they were standing up and sitting down in formation ... it was dizzying. That we got schooled on the pitch didn't bother me. It was the singing that left me angry.

Of course they have standing areas in german grounds which we don't have in the Uk thanks to "Honest" Lord Taylor.
posted by devious truculent and unreliable at 2:08 AM on May 22, 2013


garius

Brisbane Road is a lovely little ground, a great example of the kind of atmosphere you get in the lower leagues. Have taken several non-football-fan friends and family there and they've all loved it.

Favourite chant? Informing the visiting Exeter fans watching a cold and wintery three nil drubbing that they should have "Gone christmas shopping, you should have gone christmas shopping, gone christmas shoooooooooping, you should have gone christmas shopping", what with the new Westfield Shopping Centre having recently opened up down the road. Magic.
posted by fatfrank at 4:27 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: a psychotic cattle auctioneer narrating a pornographic movie.
posted by randomkeystrike at 4:56 AM on May 22, 2013


“I have only had 11 beers so far,” he said. “I met my mates at a bar at 8 in the morning and had a bacon and egg sandwich and four pints of cider,” cider being an alcoholic drink here. “On the train, I had a few more. Then I had six in a bar when I got here, and a couple at halftime.”

Except for his addition problems, James did not seem drunk at all. “I don’t like to be uncontrollable or not know what I’m doing,” he said. “I have my limit.”

What is that?

“I have no idea,” he said.
"
posted by zarq

This is why you should not try to out-drink the English. We are fucking experts.

"At St. James’ Park, the Newcastle stadium, the menu in the away-fans’ snack area consisted of one type of entree — meat pies in various flavors — and eight types of alcoholic beverage. “Three-course meal: 7.80 pounds!” advertised a sign. Course one: meat pie. Course two: flavored vodka drink. Course three: Twix bar.

It shows.

"Test cricket is 5 days.

Like anything, it can be boring..


Damn straight it is boring. What's the quote? "The English invented cricket to give them a a sense of eternity.
posted by marienbad at 5:26 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Came here actually expecting psychotic cattle auctioneer narrating the porn. I am disappoint.
posted by Lizard at 6:46 AM on May 22, 2013


When I was staying with friends in Ohio a couple of years ago I got up early to watch a Man Utd game on ESPN and my friends were shocked - shocked, I tell you - at the songs the fans were singing (I joined in) about the players. They said that no American sports would tolerate the crowds singing such dreadful songs.

Particularly shocking to them was the Man Utd song about a Korean player, which focuses on his home nation's propensity to consume dogs, but then goes onto explain that this isn't as bad as being from Liverpool, where (according to Man Utd fans) the people eat rats. And it's sung to the tune of a popular hymn.
posted by essexjan at 6:51 AM on May 22, 2013


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