Thursday, 16 February 2012

Being a Female Football Fan

Might as well get this post over and done with as it has to be done.  Firstly I shall answer the most important question, do I understand the offside rule? Yes, really it's not complicated.

As I said in my introduction post my family aren't football fans except for watching England play during the world cup and even then it's only if they're doing well (so not often then) however this is actually a lie. You see I'm speaking about my adopted family here, my genetic Mother doesn't just follow football she's a huge Wigan Athletic FC fan. She's a season ticket holder,lives 5 minutes walk from the ground, follows them away a lot,she had her reception at the JJB Stadium and her general football knowledge would put most people to shame. It's for her husband I hear you cry! Nope, he doesn't go,he's interested because his wife talks about her team but it's her team,she's the big fan, not him. She goes with a few female friends, all season ticket holders of many,many seasons, most of whom leave their husbands at home.

When I tell people I'm a Sheffield Wednesday fan they automatically turn to my other half and direct any football questions to him. I have to admit,he has been a fan for much,much longer than me and his knowledge is impressive but mine isnt bad at all. The fact is 99% of those we talk to havent got a clue that i'm a fairly new fan they just assume that as a woman I must follow Wednesday because my other half does. Whilst I started my love for Swfc because of my boyfriends there is no doubt in my mind that I have as much passion for them as he does now,as every fan does. If for any reason we weren't together I know I would still follow Wednesday, still wouldn't miss a match,still would haunt Owlstalk, still would listen to praise or grumble and football heaven.  You see I am now Wednesday through and through,I cried (along with plenty of men) when we got relegated,I mourn over the summer when my beloved team aren't playing and there's no morsel of news, I don't sleep for 48 hours before the big derby (who can?) and I over analyse every word from Gary Megson. I see being a football fan a somewhat of a disease,once you have it you never get over it so you might as well accept it.

I have to say I have had very few problems with other football fans, I thing generally Swfc is a very friendly place and I have been treated as one of the lads. I shout and sing and join in just like everyone else (perhaps louder than others at times but that's me!) There have been the odd occasions when someone has made a comment but I think I scare them by turning around (they're always sitting behind you-cowards) and staring at them, seems to shut them right up. 

I do think there should be more women in football, I think it's a disgrace that there isn't one female football manager in the male league. I don't see why a female manager who is successful with a female team would not be successful with a male team. I understand the relationship would initially be strange and unusual for the players but they're not idiots,they're capable of following instructions and taking directions from a woman just as they do a man.  You see I believe the best person,man or woman, should get a job, that you shouldn't be held back from doing what you want to because of your gender (or sexuality either!).  The same goes for Radio Sheffield (really all football programmes I've heard), I think it's amazing (in a bad way) that not one of their commentators is female. There are many women who are passionate about football and would be brilliant commentators. Initially viewers/listeners would find it unusual but before you know it it would be commonplace.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Not a Good Evening..

My belief in the boys in blue and white has been shattered,yet again. Every time we lose (sometimes when we draw like with Huddersfield) I feel the same way. It starts with anger then comes the sinking feeling of despair that transitions into emptiness. Today the anger started at about 65 minutes,yes we could have easily gone on and won with 25 minutes left but I knew we wouldn't. It's horrible having such little faith in your team and no matter how much I try and believe that we will be OK,we'll get promoted, listening to us perform like we did today game after game is hard.

I was a rarity, a fan of James OConnor, don't get me wrong I certainly didn't think he was a fantastic footballer because he wasn't but he brought something special to the team,his enthusiasm. He would run around directing people,cheering the team up when they needed it and generally being a good senior player and working damn hard. I cant believe that after Gary Megson said he wanted him to stay and JOC said he wanted to stay that Paul Aldridge (the money guy) didn't even offer him a contract. He wasn't on a lot and most importantly the Gaffer said he wanted him to stay and to me that's enough. I really think we could do with someone like him now to focus the players and keep them going through a rough patch.

As for Ben Marshall, he was brilliant, everytime I saw him play I was impressed (bar his final game against Charlton) and we certainly miss him but he's at Leicester so we need a replacement. JJ has been brilliant and consistent (but how long that'll last is anyones guess) but we need another winger and so far Bostock has been useless.

Welcome and Hi

Hi, I'm Rj and woman and I’m a Sheffield Wednesday fan (for my sins).

  I haven't had the fortune (or curse as it often seems) of growing up as the Sheffield Wednesday fan or as a football fan full stop. My immediate family can't stand football and I grew up in Hong Kong where football isn't popular at all. I came back to the UK the University at age 18 and within four months met this lovely guy who was pretty perfect apart from the fact he was totally and utterly obsessed with this very strange, unknown to me, football club called Sheffield Wednesday. All I knew about them was that when we were together on Saturdays we had to be next to a radio from 3 PM until 5 PM for this game then 5 to 7 p.m. for this radio show called praise or grumble (which I quite liked). Also if they lost he was a grumpy sod.

  Anyway, I missed most of the 2007/2008 season being  that we had just started dating and that I travel back to Hong Kong at regular intervals for fairly long trips (that's being University student for you). Fast forward to January 17, 2009 (after stupidly missing the Sheffield derby for a reason I know must have been important but can't the life of me remember) I went to my first ever football game. If only I had known this would be the starts of the total and utter obsession... would I have still gone..of course!  Sheffield Wednesday were playing Charlton at home, we had seats in the North stands about 12 rows back and on the centreline. As we approached the stadium  the excitement built up inside me and by the time that the first  ball was kicked I was totally and utterly hooked. I can't explain it, I've tried to but I guess it’s like a religious experience.  My family think I'm absolutely mad (apart from my extended paternal family who are Manchester city season-ticket holders). I don't know whether it was being surrounded by almost 29,000 people most of whom were chanting for one team, I don't know whether it was the electric atmosphere that feels Hillsborough before kick-off, I just can't explain it but suddenly it was like someone flicked a switch and I went from hoping for M’s sake that his team would win to them being MY team and it meaning the world to ME what happened.  I guess it helps that we won 4-1, it was a brilliant game. It was decent season too, finishing 12th and doing the double over United.

Sadly the next season didn't go terribly well but let's not talk about that or the manager who took over from the generally brilliant Brian laws.

Flash forward to now and if I could afford to I would go to every game but I can't. We go to roughly one in every three games and I still get the same feeling as we walk up to the beautiful, beautiful stadium that is Hillsborough. I couldn't not listen/or watch when Sheffield Wednesday are playing, it’s just not possible I feel like part of me is missing if I try. Gone are my Saturdays from August to May from 3 PM to 7 PM.  Gone is my good mood if Sheffield Wednesday lose or draw in some cases however when we win I am the nicest sweetest happiest and generally most lovely person in the world. Now the summer feels like a horrible ordeal where my Saturdays are empty and I long for August.

I have to say at the moment I'm a little bit concerned with Wednesday our consistency has been ... well we haven't had any. We seen to believe that we've won a game before it's even begun and seemed to have forgotten that you have to earn the right to win them. Saturday (against Exeter away,lost 2-1) was case in point. I can't tell you how angry I was, how upset, how gutted but that was Saturday. We're kicking off in 10 minutes playing Stevenage at home and I am as nervous as hell I have trust in Gary Megson but I'm not sure I truly trust our players to turn out when it's important I'm not sure what else we can do. Over the last few days I've threaten many, many times to not listen tonight, to totally and utterly ignore it but here I am with 10 minutes to kick off my Wednesday shirt on nervous but no way in hell would I not turn Wednesday player on couldn't do it you see like every other Wednesday fan probably every other book or fan I believe that my team needs me. I'm not going to pick the result because like I said I'm in a fairly pessimistic mood and I never ,ever predicts that the beautiful blue and white wizards lose. I also do hope we can make a comeback tonight, that we can dust ourselves off and put on a true performance, one that will make us proud to be Wednesday fans.