532 Words on: Glory hunters

“Being a Juve fan must be like getting a helicopter ride to the top of Mt Everest then celebrating as if you’ve climbed it.” Some pissant

I don’t get supporters of dominant clubs, and I struggle to respect them. They invariably deny being blatant glory hunters, saying things like “I was a fan back in the days when we were hopeless” but I’m always sceptical. When you ask them why they started supporting the likes of Bayern Munich, Real Madrid or Juventus – they can never give a satisfactory answer. “I don’t know really, I just liked the shirts when I was a kid…” I’d respect them more if they just said “I like winners”.

Liking winners is ok I suppose, if you’re into that sort of thing. We all want our teams to win. I can recognise that at least. I just don’t understand the allure of perpetual winners. What’s the point?

Where’s the suspense? Where’s the angst? Where’s the preceding misery you need to properly appreciate victory? Why would you bother following football if you know your team is going to win every time they play and how can you savour a victory when it was always inevitable? You’d have to be a soulless opportunist.

And then there’s the complaining. Complaining is an integral part of football fan culture. Obviously I’m heartily engaging in it right now, and loving every minute. But there’s nothing more pathetic than a fan of a successful club finding something ridiculous to whinge about. “Oh woe is me, we didn’t pay 100 million euros for [insert name of player who scored a couple of goals against England at the World Cup here], the owners suck why don’t they open their damn wallets???” Poor poppets, do they need a hug? Bags not.

Then there’s the way fans like this get in your face when their team beats you… Are they really that hard up for something genuinely worth celebrating that they have to pretend beating Roma is some sort of achievement? SPAL has done it twice this year for fuck’s sake. Trust me, it’s not that difficult.

It must be because they know that on the rare occasions the teams I have the misfortune to love somehow manage a stumbling victory, it’s special in ways they’ll never experience. When Roma wins a scudetto over a million people gather in and around the Circus Maximus to sing as one and cry happy tears. Decades later that YouTube video of Grazie Roma in 2001 still gets millions of views per year.

Does anyone know or care what Juventus did to celebrate any of the last 8 Italian league titles? Do they even have a parade? Why bother? It’s not like many of their fans live in Turin anyway, they’d be better off having it in Sydney – and not the classy part.

I know what you’re thinking: “He’s just salty because Roma are a bunch of losers who couldn’t beat a gerbil at noughts and crosses.” And you’d be 1,000% correct. But at least if I did beat a gerbil at noughts and crosses I like to think I’d have the self-awareness to be a little bit sheepish about it.