August 15, 2017

Fans vs Supporters

By, Jordan Harbin


And let the apocalypse commence…

The ash and brimstone riddled black sky falling down around our heads leaves me quietly rummaging through the rubble of what once was Chelsea Football Club and the glory that emanated from it’s empire. Whether it’s the sweaty, quivering palm of Donald Trump resting on the shiny red doomsday button (…its just so shiny), or the Twitter zombies scraping through to claw their way in my front door that I find myself left typing my last keys on what’s left of these cruel final hours here on earth…

..well…not really…

(*motivational self talk*)

Okay, so maybe the world is not ending (…just yet), but somehow I feel that Twitter crazy millennials have taken over and forcefully substituted their own logic into mainstream Chelsea fandom. Apparently the sweet Blue world has ended and we are already waving sorrowful goodbyes to the Italian beauty that has now seemingly turned into a fast mistress whom we will never truly love. So how did we get here? What lead to this series of unfortunate and horrific events? Can we crawl our way out of this pit?

Yes. And for the record….can everybody just calm the Hilario down? ..Thank you.

Chelsea Football Club is not ending. Blue is still the colour. Football is still the game (unless you’re Craig Pawson). After the first game of the season against Burnley started in a cataclysmic nightmare of sequences, we saw something. And perhaps I’m talking about the brilliant death of a horrible refereeing career, but I believe we saw something else. We saw a will that we did not see two years ago. There was not a gentle waffling into that great light, but a collective rampage to fight, to seek, and not to give in. As an American based supporter, I found myself questioning for whom those “boos” were for at halftime. Surely not the boys? Surely not! As I waited and felt the depth and unity in these jeers and whistles I realized I knew exactly who they were for. The funny man in the middle running around the pitch looking like he was to wet his trousers at every glance. The supporters, mind you—not fans, were unified against this man. It was glorious.

 

fan flags cfc

        Source: Chelsea FC

I believe this brings me to a distinct conclusion that there is a monumental difference in fans from supporters of the club. Fans wear the same jerseys, drink the same beer, and possibly even sing the same songs. But don’t mistake these individuals for true supporters, because they are the ones who are lashing out on any platform necessary to slander our captain, our manager, and the commitment of our players. These, my little ones, are not welcome in my pub (albeit…it is a metaphorical pub…but a pub nonetheless!!). How can you say that the curly haired wonder who ran eighty yards to get on the end of a brilliant flick-on header by our new number nine was lacking in commitment to the cause? How can captain leader Cahill accrue so much hate for wanting to fight? Why is the world ending when fake news reporters are now heralded as truth tellers?!?

As I tried to gather some semblance of normalcy in this chaos that we call the Premier League, I found myself listening to some wise sages of truth. First of all, the beautiful American trio for which I am currently writing this piece for (@LondonBluePod). And second of all, for the great @StamfordChidge and the boys at @ChelseaFanCast. These men helped de-escalate my severe hypertensive crisis and calm the Ferreira down.. After listening to these most recent pods for each, I started to sense a divide in who is Chelsea and who likes Chelsea (this is not in reference to the podders themselves, but to the truths they were speaking of). We can talk about the mistakes of the ref, the lackluster defending, the makeshift line-ups, but it is vital to note that Chelsea is simply Chelsea. Even since supporting the Blues since the Abramovich Era, this club spins a wonderful drama that can never be clear-cut and conclusive. I believe that is one primary reason that we sickos keep on watching this. We love it.

 

 

Chelsea v Liverpool - Premier League

Source: Metro

Now do we understand what in the Hasselbaink is going on with the transfer window and who’s linked with who? No, don’t be daft. But we are Chelsea ’til we die. Supporters have the chant ringing through their ears when nothing makes sense. Supporters believe in the club even when they sold Robben and bought Sidwell (I mean….really, guys?). Supporters will follow this hallowed club all the way down to the non-leagues if that’s what it takes (please, please no..)! Fans are the first to blame and call out the flaws. Fans are the first to complain about not signing a few billion euro players because everyone else is. Fans are the ones who wear those atrocious double club scarves for matchday! (Who’s Shawn Wright-Phillips idea was that anyways?!?!)

So….what do we do then? Relax, breathe, and calm it down. This does not mean there is not frustration around the club. However, I do not believe it is the end of Chelsea Football Club or the title campaign either. If we know anything about Conte, it is that he can make some above par players play like legends. Does he make mistakes? Yes. Do we doubt everything now and abandon ship? As supporters no, but as fans….go the Flo ahead! What Chelsea needs now is the same passion and unity that scared the Pawson Posey into panic. Chelsea Football Club have never been simple or easy to watch. But…Damien Duff do we love them! So if you want to leave and change allegiances (insert Game of Thrones reference here), then you fans can go ahead. But for the rest of us….supporters…stand fast. Because if you know you are, if you are sure that you are, then you are Chelsea ’til you die! Up the Chels!!!!!!

 

 

conte running

Source: The Sun

(P.S. I do believe that my spell correct has in fact been infected with the same virus that @CFCgwlb has and now it coincidentally changed my expletives to rather tasteful, former Blues…so you’re welcome)

 

Thumbnail image courtesy of: Pinterest

 

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About jaharbin

Jordan is currently finishing up a degree in nursing, and has been supporting the Blues since 2004. He lives with his wife in Amish Country in Lancaster, PA and loves a good pint after a day of plowing the fields (or typing at his desk).

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