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9.4.2003
How far would you go?

Would you think that all your actions are always justified? Would you be able to endanger your family? Would you be able to lose bit of your humanity?

If you think that this rings a bell, you are most likely a hardcore Turkish football supporter. Or you could actually be any fan of any football team. Football has sometimes a strange effect on some people.

Or what else in the world would make an eighty-year-old woman spit at the bus I am in? Or make a five-year-old boy threat me by showing how he will cut my throat? Or keep people yelling whole night in front of my hotel so I wouldnít be able to sleep that well?

Football can have this effect. Or actually passion! Not always passion about football itself but rather a passion about a team, the extremes some people are willing to go to support their own colours.

I, like most of the footballers have received my share of stones, threats, booes, insults and many other negative things from random opposing team supporters. I havenít fooled around with their girlfriends or anyway insulted them, but still some of them are abusing me and feel they have the right to try to get me off the track.

I have not been even given a chance: I have never met them and we donít know each other in any level. It doesnít matter what I do or who I am, it is written in the script that I am not wearing the right colours for them.

It has all to do with the uniform I have. They donít really hate me, but they just donít like anyone that is not one of them. That is only thing that counts, being proud of your own colours. This all is part of sports.

Most of the supporters come to the games, sing the songs, follow their team and hope it will win. That is a very nice way of liking a team and football, a normal support is always highly needed and appreciated.

However some fans are willing to go further, sometimes even to extremes to have the feeling of doing even little bit more for their team. And it is not just by trying to help the own team but also finding ways to make it worse to an opponent. That is very patriotic but often also quite silly.

Or could you cut down and drag a massive oak tree into a middle of the road just to make it harder for an opposing team bus to get to the stadium in time? Could you send threat letters or could you try to spoil someoneís food? Could you yell outside the hotel whole night to prevent people sleeping properly?

Opposing team supporters have given their share to teams I have played for, but our own supporters have also gone through a lot in their mission to help us. The support has been amazing and I really appreciate that.

Sometimes though I have also been quite amused about the irrational behaviour sport can create on normal people. I have seen and heard about all these weird traditions, superstitions and beliefs that supporters have and are willing to do.

Would you miss your babyís birth only because you wanted to be at a game? Would you wear the same dirty shirt for weeks to keep the team winning? Would you lie to your best friend or neglect your family and work just to stick with your pre-match rituals? Would you give eleven names to your son after a starting line-up of a winning team?

It is not always the most obvious ways indeed. One geezer for example was sure that a reason why I stopped scoring goals was that he started dating a girl. So he split up with her and I immediately scored once again, and now the poor geezer has been living in selibate for ages although I havenít hit the target for a while.

I also know this bloke who has last two years always been waiting to drive through a red traffic light only because he accidentally once did it and our team happened to play a great game the same day. Now he thinks it is down to him and his driving whether our team will have a good day.

Some people just love the game and their team. They donít do any of this weird stuff but they are willing to sacrifice a lot. There is for example this Norwegian man who moved to London just to support Crystal Palace, being closer to his team. He had no friends, no job or no home here, he just wanted to follow the team he had chosen for his heart. Now he is in a foreign country driving a big red bus in the wrong side of the road just to make it through the day to be able to come to a next game.

He has given everything. Have you chosen a different approach? How far would you go? Would you not enter a red car if you supported a blue team? Would you put football before your marriage? Would you use all weekend and your money to travel on a rainy day to Blackpool to follow a bad game?

It wonít make you better or worse supporter if you donít. These are just some ways of normal people showing their passion. There are many other ways as well. You could even be one of them that think nothing is ever enough? Could you humiliate yourself in front of your son? Could you have a verbal or physical fight with anyone who said a sole wrong thing about your team? Could you be ready to endanger your health, relationships, living and humanity?

If you could, you are again a football supporter, a different end of it. I have seen all this. I have experienced many far ends. I know that out there is even more. Apart from violence and aggressions it is good to be passionate. On the other hand some of it is worrying, even dangerous. I have a massive respect for supporters and their passion. Still I donít think everything is good for the team or healthy way of loving football and your own colours.

I think it is already a lot to come to a game and support your team. But if you are a football supporter it is your choice what way to go. How far have you already gone? And how far would you go?



This time I recommend:

1. Being supporter
- It is a good way to express life to have a passion to sports and a team -
2. Arlington road -movie
- Intelligent and exciting, makes you see your neighbours in a new way -
3. Wearing helmet if you are about to give throw-inns at Turkish stadium
- On the other hand, you will never again be in need of change or batteries -


I do not recommend:

1. Aggressive or violent supporters
- It gives more shame than good to your team -
2. To depend your relationships to my goal scoring form
- It could be too handful task to cope with -
3. To trust on traffic lights on game days
- You never no how far some superstitious supporters can go -


ď There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so ď
- Hakimlet



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