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We are the game, we are the fans

Editor's Pick 08 Mar 2012, 22:24 IST

I have said it many times in my posts that I am a big football fan and a true, hardcore Arsenal supporter. I rarely miss any game of EPL, be it live or repeat. But whenever I sit down to write a post here for SportsKeeda, the only team I think of is Arsenal. They force me to think and feel the game; other matches are just a time pass and an excuse to sit in front of the idiot box.

But today, this is not about a team, a player, or a nation. I will not talk about any match that happened this week, nor the super game between Gunners and AC Milan where we almost overcame that 4-0 lead. This post is about us. Yes, we all, who write here at SportsKeeda. We the people, who follow our game, our teams, our heroes passionately. Be it India or Pakistan; Manchester United or Manchester City, Messi or Ronaldo; it does not matter. This post is about the FANS of the game.

This weekend, when Robin van Persie scored the second goal against Liverpool in injury time, he started running towards the fans. What I saw on the screen was, RVP going to the fans and celebrating in front of them. The goal meant a lot to him and he dedicated it to them. Their eyes were locked on him and the fans could feel the thrill as if they had scored the goal themselves. What makes this possible? What makes us follow a team or a player so much that we can’t hear a single thing against them? Why do people fight when it comes to sports? Why is a Liverpool vs Everton affair such a high voltage one?

It is not hard to imagine what would have happened if that match would have been played in an empty stadium. RVP would have never celebrated in such a manner. There would have been some customary handshakes, big thanks to the man who provided that delightful ball(Alex Song), and game would have carried on. But the roar that generated after that goal made the adrenaline in RVP’s body rush faster. Some might say, he should have first gone towards Song. But he went towards the fans. Towards those, for whom the team and goals mattered the most. Because when they’re playing the game, we feel it, we live it and we fight for it.

I believe we, as fans, are the most powerful people on earth. We can make heroes and zeroes in a moment. We made Wenger a villain when he substituted Ox against Man U in that 2-1 defeat and we made him a champion after the 5-2 win over Spurs (I am awfully sorry to use Arsenal as a reference everywhere but as I said in the start, I could only remember Arsenal’s matches completely).

What gives us this power and why do the players and teams say sorry to fans after a dismal performance? There is only one reason for this – we are the game. We are the victories and we are the defeats. No Rooney or Terry would have found his name without us. Nobody would have known them. No Muhammad Ali would have become so popular. No Usain Bolt would have agreed to run the best race of his life for an Olympic Medal if he had to do it in front of empty seats. No Barcelona and Pep Guardiola would have earned so many accolades if they didn’t have the fan following.

“The one nice thing about sports is that they prove men do have emotions and are not afraid to show them.” - Jane O’Reilly

Ask Federer or Nadal why they shriek in a match of tennis? Why do they have to show their emotions or more importantly, to whom are they showing their emotions? Why does the fist go up in the air when they win a point? Why is Vettel’s win so widely celebrated and discussed in a game where the crowd is quite some distance away from where the real action is happening? I don’t think there’s any need to explain further.

Signing off, a FAN says- I am proud to be a fan. I won’t say of a team, a player or a game. I am a fan who makes sports successful; makes it immensely watchable and makes it into something that leaves its mark long after the game is over.

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