turn it up !!

10.2.2002

The recent game at Derby was a prime example.  Awaiting the teams arrival with keen anticipation and then as they start to emerge onto the pitch we were hit with a barrage of sound.  Not any old noise, but crap music and shouting from the announcer who was trying to gee up a crowd who had not had a lot to cheer about this season ... up until now.

So, what makes club's crank up the volume to get their fans into a frenzy.  While the half-time music at Spurs might be quite loud, there is no great fanfare on the entrance of the teams either at the start or at the start of the second half.  Newcastle United do it and at Old Trafford the noise level is much greater than during the rest of the match, when fans are sweeping the crumbs from their prawn sandwiches off their laps with their napkins. 

But is it necessary ??

My great fear as we head for Cardiff is that we will be subjected to another mind-numbing display of insensitivity from the powers that be.  Wembley 1999 was the same.  Singing competitions between the fans before the game to songs chosen by the organisers (probably to keep any naughty words out of the equation).  Then at the end, when we wanted to celebrate in our own way, we were treated to a medley of Spurs songs from years gone by.  All well and good, but the fans want to pay their own tributes and not be restricted to what CD's they have in the stadium studio.

From the fireworks as the teams come out of the Millennium stadium tunnel to the final strains of "Ossie's Dream (Spurs are Going To Wembley !!)" - should we win, they will try to channel us in what we can do and think during our visit to a major showpiece of the English game.  No free thought is allowed and no allowance for individual preference, just a homogenised experience that is interchangeable for either team and one that projects the right image for the sponsors.  Luckily, they cannot control what the fans sing during the 90 minutes of play and that allows the development of chants like "We Only Had 10 men" at the Leicester City fans in 1999.  Cup Finals used to be an occasion for fans and now they are just directed for the television audience, with those attending there for atmosphere purposes only.

It is a shame that there is this strict control on the pre and post-match singing, but then there are only so many songs they can play. When they are over the winning teams supporters will be singing their own songs in the ground, as they leave and in their cars, coaches and trains on the journey back home. 

It may not be Pop Idol, but it is greater drama than such a programme as that can ever produce.  So, come on you stadium announcers ... and if Worthington is really a fan thing ... Don't Pump Up The Volume.

The Funky Phantom

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