Monday, November 01, 2010

Cheer up

Before I even get a chance to sit down and do any kind of round up, however brief, I quickly have to vent on a certain subject. This post was put up by the Denver Post, and then was linked by here. For those without the time/inclination to read it, the basic gist is an insinuation that the British fans in Wembley stadium didn't know what they were cheering for, or who they were cheering for. The reality is just another argument against a London franchise. Just because the 49ers were the designated the home team by the NFL and because little flags with the 49ers logo were placed on the seats, doesn't mean that this was a legit home game. My own shouting/swearing/crying/cheering may have been sufficient to represent 3 separate 49ers fans, but that was offset by the fact that on my coach alone nearly 3/4 of all the fans were wearing Broncos jersey's. Walking around the stadium prior to the game, it was obvious that just as many Denver fans had arrived as San Francisco fans. In fact, probably a few more. Where I was sitting in the upper tier (which is awesome if -- like me -- you don't like heights) I was practically surrounded on all sides by Broncos, with the exception of 4 guys in the row behind. There were also hoards of Green Bay shirts, Raiders jerseys, Patriots, Saints, Dolphins, Giants, Jets, Vikings... I even saw a Bills fan for Christs sake. How many people in the US can legitimately claim they've seen one of them in the flesh? As for the NFL Redzone segments that were shown on the big screens being "particularly popular", that was purely down to two things: 1) Just as many people hate the Cowboys in this country as in the states. Seeing Jacksonville racking up the points left everyone with that warm, glowing feeling inside that you get from watching the Cowboys lose. 2) The number of Redskins fans present (see... the next paragraph). See, it's not the British fans who don't get football; it's the NFL who don't get British fans. They don't seem to have fully grasped the fact that we all have teams of our own. They don't understand that a lot of football fans in this country got into the game either in the mid 80's or the mid-late 90's, which explains the high proportion of UK fans who follow either the 49ers, Dolphins (by far the leading group in my opinion), Redskins, Broncos or Packers. They don't get that British fans will cheer for who they please, not necessarily the NFLs "designated home team". A lot of those Dolphins fans still haven't forgiven San Fran' for Super Bowl 19. And the league still don't seem to understand that some of us know more than our fair share about football. The league doesn't seem to get that the hardcore among us have to sit up till 01:30 in the morning just to see the kick off of evening games, which then don't end till 04:30. We know football. And the grand irony of the suggestion made by the Denver posts article? An older, American gentlemen sitting in the row in front of me lent back after the Broncos punt return for a TD was called back by a penalty, and asked me "What the heck is an illegal block in the back?" Say no more. PS. Kudos to my mate Rob, who has a stunning eye for spotting short lines at the beer stands. Shame he forgot to bring his glasses and spent the whole game watching 22 blurry blobs running around the pitch. PS (PS) (??) Yes, I did have a little cheer when Tebow scored. I'll be back later with some random thoughts on the weekends games, till then... Have a great day everyone.

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