Thursday 28 October 2010

Don't be a Closet Jack!

Since my blog traffic stats had to be deleted and reinstalled, I felt the only way to get my traffic tracker whirring again was to announce a new blog post! So here it is!

A few things have happened since I last posted. Frank Nouble has returned to West Ham after a not very memorable performance with the Swans, Gorka Pintado is back playing for the reserves (is he really going to feature again in the first team?) and the Swans ended their Carling Cup campaign, after being beaten by Martinez’s Wigan, 2-0 on Tuesday night in front of a massive truckload of travelling supporters. And it’s these travelling supporters I want to talk about.

These men (women and children) who braved the endless motorway journey to Wigan, just to see a second string side, returned home very disappointed. I can safely say that half of the 4000+ Swans fans wouldn’t have travelled so far if they knew such a weak team was going to be played. But do these long, away game trips show you are a good supporter?

Not really, no. You are not obliged to make that kind of trip. You don’t even have to buy a season ticket. I think that by making the effort to go and watch Swansea at home a good few times a year, checking the scores and reports online when you can’t get to the game and generally keeping up to date with the club is the way to show you are a true fan. So by travelling to these away games it just shows that you are not a good, but a great supporter.

I say all this because the Cardiff game is just around the corner and, with it, the true “fans” begin to show themselves again. The ‘Closet Jacks’ as I call them. “Fans” that don’t know Dyer from De Vries, but will watch the Cardiff game in the safety of the pub just to shout derogatory slurs at our neighbours. These “fans” who are unaware that Trundle has left the club are the people who will buy bulk tickets to the Cardiff home game, just to chant ‘scum, scum’ and so on, leaving no tickets for those who watch the Swans most weeks but can’t afford a season ticket!

When (and it will happen) Swansea achieve promotion and play their football in the Premier League, these Closet Jacks will show up more and more, but not because they are becoming bigger fans of Swansea, but rather just to see Man Utd down here. To watch the Arsenal, Chelsea, and Liverpool games. This, of course, will only be to see Rooney, Gerrard and Drogba in Swansea. They won’t be there for the game against West Brom, Wolves or other smaller Premier sides. Why bother go to the game unless you can see a star? These people irritate me. I have a friend who is a Closet Jack. In fact, the only time I will receive contact from him is to watch the Cardiff game on TV in the pub. I don’t think he’s been to the Liberty. I don’t think he knows half of the players, what points Swansea are on and the last handful of results.

While annoying, these aren’t necessarily bad people. However, when you only watch two games a year on TV (both vs. Cardiff), you are not a true supporter. Being a Swans fan shouldn’t be about hating Cardiff. It should be about loving Swansea! It may be great to see Swansea win against Cardiff, but don’t be the loudest one, shouting ‘you scum bastards’ then forgetting about the Swans until the next Cardiff game. It’s much like the Six Nations (rugby) tournament. Every rugby “fan” in Wales will pull on a battered old Welsh rugby jersey and scream “Wales, Wales, Wales”, “as long as we beat the English” and such, which is all very well, but rugby is played throughout the year, not just at the Six Nations and not just against the English. Where are these Closet fans when Wales play Canada in a Friendly on a rainy Cardiff night?

I’m only a relatively new Swans fan (within the last three years – read my bio and you’ll understand), so I am in the position to salute all you who are there week in, week out. Well done to those of you who travelled up to Wigan, and those of you who travel to occasional away games, and those of you who have a season ticket, and those of you who go to most Swansea home games and check the scores online if you can’t – you are true Swans fans, and put Closet Jacks (like my friend) to shame.

Long blog over!

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