Anorak News | The Herd Mentality

The Herd Mentality

by | 23rd, May 2003

‘AS soon as someone comes on the radio and says ”We’ve had a lovely day…” you know that their team has just lost a match.

The losers

Losers love telling everyone who bothers to listen about how they can put football into a wider context. Southampton fans worked this trick at the FA Cup final.

One after the other they went onto the talk shows and told the world that they had had a brilliant day out and had sang all the way through the game.

They had, though, lost, and since the entire focus of their wonderful day out was winning the FA Cup, the day was something of a wash-out.

They even stayed in the ground right to end, watching the Cup presented to Arsenal. This, we were told by the voices and nodding heads was a sign that they were great fans. They are what football is all about.

Only it is no such thing. Southampton fans stayed behind because it required less thought than leaving. When you’ve waited 26 years to get somewhere, racing off to beat the traffic loses its shine.

And Celtic fans have done much the same. It’s undeniable that thousands of their fans turned up in Seville with a song in the hearts.

The television bragged that, with only around 25,000 tickets to go round, there would be more fans in Spain without tickets than with.

And yes, these are the same TV commentators who usually bemoan the fans who travel without a ticket.

The thing is that Celtic painted themselves into something of a corner. Once seen as good blokes one and all, they could not then storm off in a huff, or worse.

The herd mentality works just as much for violence as it does for staying in the ground after closing time or being a gallant loser. Football fans do as they are expected.

It is, of course, an improvement to smashing the town centre.

Posted: 23rd, May 2003 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink