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City Blogger: Blue Blood

  • 06 February 2014 08:31
  • Posted by @BerryFLW

In her latest blog entry, Lorraine Berry attempts to define exactly what makes up the DNA of a fanatical City supporter...

Just when I think that it's easy to be a City fan, they have a game like the one they had against Chelsea, and I find myself feeling bad. It's odd to actually feel badly because your team lost—why do we invest so much of ourselves in our teams—and I remember that this is part of being a true fan. That you love your team win or lose or draw, even if it hurts when they lose an important game.

It's difficult to explain fandom to those who don't follow sports. They think that there's something a bit wrong with you that your mood can be affected by how well your team plays on any given day. But I think part of a fan is this irrational love that only those of us who feel it for our teams can understand. To someone who doesn't love football in general, or doesn't love a particular team in particular, all of this seems almost child-like, that we could put our faith in our teams. But my love for City is a complicated thing, and it's further complicated by the fact that my family has been City fans since I was born, that City is my last tie to my father, that I watch the games in front of a television, thousands of miles away, and I still wear a scarf, and imagine what my old man would say.

When I sat down to write this, I had originally intended to write about Manchester United, who for so many years, dominated the BPL and who cast a shadow over Manchester City. I was thinking about them because they are not doing well this season, and their fans are having to get used to taking the bad with the good. Many of them, at least according to Twitter and other social media, don't seem to be able to cope with suddenly having a team that is not confident that it is going to step onto the pitch and win every game they play. And, if they lost, they always had an excuse. Now, there are no excuses. They are a struggling team. Not in any danger of relegation, as City has been in the bad old days when we were really struggling, but still, many of their fans can't seem to fathom—or handle—the fact that they are not top dog.

The dynamics of the league have changed this year. I've always thought of Manchester United as our greatest rivals, and historically, of course, this is true, but this year, while United is out of it, I find that I'm suddenly regarding Chelsea and Arsenal through a different set of eyes. These are the teams that I really want to beat, so that the defeat at home against Chelsea felt much more like an affront than it might have last year.

I woke up the morning after the game and I felt better. I just thought, "well, we'll figure it out. We played a bad game, but we will have shaken off whatever went wrong Monday night and play much better in our next match." And I notice that I think "we," even though, of course, I am just one of millions of fans of Manchester City.

I do feel sorry for the true Manchester United fans this year. It hurts when your team is not doing well, and for those who are deserting the team in droves, those who became United fans because they were the winners, and winners attract sycophants, well, those fans I think the team is better off without. Just as I know that City has attracted a whole new fleet of fans since their success in the past few years, but I hope that those fans will really learn to love the team, to accept the team, flaws and all, and will be as willing to love the team when they win 5-1 as when they lose 0-1.  

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