The Tears of a Clown

Now if there's a smile upon my face…

Supporting your own (team)

Anyone reading much of this website will know of my Hibernian FC affiliations. This does not necessarily reach out to the game of football as a whole, perhaps surprisingly. Indeed my favourite sport is hockey, the version played on ice that is.

I guess I come from a fairly rare perspective. I got absolutely tired out with football a long time ago due to too much of it. One might add here that of all the TV coverage on offer over the past few years it’s not compulsory to watch it all. At the same time football becomes almost unavoidable in the UK media at times. One cannot switch on the TV or radio or pick up a newspaper without being confronted with it. Even the news stands around  the city I live in invariably have a football ‘headline’ on them during the afternoon and evening. ‘Forest pledge to play football’ or ‘Notts – we must do better’ type of non-news.

imageFranck Sauzee: ‘Le God’

I came back to the game only with an interest in Hibs solely. That interest was re-ignited by one man – former French international, Franck Sauzee. I was on one of my numerous visits back to the Capital and popped down to Easter Road on a Saturday afternoon to be utterly amazed by the man’s brilliance. I was staggered at his imperious display playing as a sweeper for the Green Jerseys and the flame was ignited once more.

To the topic though. I just don’t care about watching English football or any other football much really. I just don’t ‘feel it’ and can easily ignore it. Maybe that’s something to do with my reservations about ‘hyped up’ things. I seem to have a natural anathema against people telling me how wonderful something is – I need to find out for myself. Personally for me I’d rather watch one live Hibs game than a whole season of other televised football – even the great names of the beautiful game. I don’t expect many others feel the same way though.

image Amongst my own – Hibernian FC at Hampden

I find people’s attitudes a little strange on this sometimes (as I am sure they do mine too). On FA Cup Final day recently my partner and I called at a The Fox and Hounds in a Nottinghamshire village nearby. In an otherwise quiet pub with a few families in the yard and idyllic gardens, in the bar was much shouting and ‘yawping’ going on plus lots of bellowed ‘oohs’ and ‘aah’s” as giants Chelsea and Everton slugged it out on the small screen.

Even for a big-time game like that I can’t understand the rabid passion for something that has nothing to do with you. The guys, if anything would probably have been Forest/Mansfield supporters (maybe that’s the reason! Sorry Stags and Reds fans!)

When Hibs are playing I can get genuinely excited. I’m out there kicking the ball with them in my mind, probably like many others. I feel passionate about my club. I grew up with them and stayed with them through everything. The mean something to me. How can latching on to a behemoth like Chelsea compare with that true, honest and genuine feeling and passion for your own club? The truth is I don’t think it can…and I believe much of that stuff, that supposed ‘support’ is artificial.


June 10, 2009 - Posted by | Hibernian FC | , ,


  1. Absolutely great article and I agree 100%. I have no interest in any other league or team other than Hibernian and sometimes it is a disadvantage as I cannot find the energy to talk about the big ‘Chelsea v Man Utd’ game that was last night at School etc.

    Personally I think TV has ruined football. You have fans that sit at home and watch teams like Barca on a weekly basis but then catch up with there ‘home’ team and expect them to put in performances that mimic the like of the Catalan Giants.

    Support your local team, not the team that’s on tv the most.

    Comment by Owen | June 10, 2009

  2. Actually Stu, I do agree with you about preferring one live Hibs game to a season of others on the TV. You can get Premiership games and highlights on NZ tv here, but apart from some which I’ve caught accidentally I really can’t be bothered. I used to watch a bit of MotD in Cambridge, but again, no loss if I missed it.

    I enjoy watching the World Cups and Euro Championships and I can watch them all with a nice, relaxed detachment. Watching Hibs gives me an entirely different feeling! Come next season I’ll be subscribing to the Hibs online service so that I can see a bit more of the old Cabbage. I’ll also be praying for a home fixture on 19 September when I’ll be back in Edinburgh on a visit. D’you know I can’t remember the last time I saw Hibs at ER? The last half dozen times have been at Hampden!

    Despite all the years in England I never had a ‘second’ team. I went to see Cambridge Utd a couple of times, but I could never understand the hypocrisy of Nick Hornby’s obviously considerable devotion to them while he was at uni there, before turning his obsession back so completely to Arsenal. Mind you, I’m tempted to go along and see the Wellington Phoenix next season – there’s actually a wee tribe of Hibbies here, and other Scots fans who contribute to their fan base. Any excuse for a beer…

    Comment by Fraser | June 11, 2009

  3. Hi Owen

    Cheers mate. It’s interesting to see that there are others like yourself with similar opinions. I agree with you about TV’s effect on football. A few years ago Brian Clough predicted many of the games ills that would follow through it being taken over the TV and I think he was in the main correct. specially so in the case of how it would harm the smaller clubs.

    Hi Fraser

    I think if I was in a similar position to yourself, living in Canada say, I’d also be subscribing to the online service. Being so far away obviously leads to a more isolated feeling from the club and anyone with a passion wants and needs to retain that. I think you’d agree that living in England we still feel that we can always nip up the road and get a ‘fix’ even if we don’t do it in practice that often. It’s just important to know that you can.

    I can watch the odd big international tournament game like yourself. I can look upon it as a spectacle but in a detached way. I could never get ‘that’ feeling with it though.

    Yep, similar for the local teams too. Obviously Forest were a big deal a few years back now and what happened in this city with two European Cups was truly amazing it has to be said. One could only stand and admire those happenings but STILL I didn’t get any great feelings towards the club. In fact I always felt a bit more for Notts, being the underdogs that they were/are!

    Comment by Stuart | June 11, 2009

  4. will pop along I think and delighted to have Rangers at home on boxing day and back to the almost normal Hearts New Years derby – well the 2nd !

    Comment by Miss Edinburgh | June 17, 2009

  5. Hi Stu,

    It has been a wee while since I have been in touch but I happened to wonder what your thoughts were on the upcoming season and your hopes for the new manager.

    I agree entirely with your comments on watching the Hibs live. The 400 mile round trip from Campbeltown every other weeks means nothing when I can watch the Hibs live and although it costs, I can partially justify it to my long-suffering wife by saying that I do not pay to subscribe to satellite tv as I would rather use the cash to follow the Hibs.

    By the way, I think I may have your old pal J.C. for company in the seat next to mine in the Upper West for the new season. It is good to have someone to have some seinsible debate with during a game rather than some of the “supporters” who are never happy.

    Comment by Tommy Millar | July 4, 2009

  6. Hello Tommy – apologies for the delay in replying to your welcome message. It’s really good to hear from you again, I hope you’re well. So I find another supporter who much enjoys the live game to acres of TV coverage! It seems there are more of us than I first imagined. I was hoping to see JC on my recent visit to Edinburgh last week but unfortuately things fell through. Be sure and say a big hello to him when you see him in the seats at the start of the new season!

    Comment by Stuart | July 12, 2009

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