Proud to be a Sunderland Supporter
Yesterday afternoon was one of my proudest moments as a Sunderland fan.
Singing our hearts out in the South West Corner (the North Stand and other areas also roused themselves), displaying our love for a club that will almost certainly be relegated this season.. A lot of people left, and I can understand their sentiments, they can’t bear to see us in such a state. I can bear it, I’ve seen it before, and disappointing as it is, it’s still Sunderland AFC and I can’t bear to leave games before the end no matter how bad they are. I would imagine those people who stayed were, in the majority, those who have been through the bad times (And I repeat, I’m NOT knocking those who left early)…… and just go because they love the club. Any sniff of success is just a bonus for us, a crazy adventure which just isn’t what we’ve been used to.
You may accuse me of being happy with second best. Not true. I want to us to win everything, be European Champions. You may say as long people like me put up with the dross we’re currently watching and cheer the team on, we won’t get anywhere, as those in charge will complacently think they’re doing ‘enough’. I disagree. There are enough of you out there who do vote with your feet. Attendances illustrate this But I am truly proud there is a hard core of fans who‘s priority is supporting the team whatever, and whose main enjoyment doesn‘t come from winning, but just from being part of it all.
Don‘t get me wrong. Our victories, such as the 2-1s, the 4-1 against Chelsea, Cup runs in 85 and 92, and many, many more have left me with feelings of elation which last days, weeks even. Of course winning is important. But it‘s not the MOST important thing to me… maybe it will become like that if we ever become successful. I don‘t know, and maybe I never will.
Some people on here have said that we are not the greatest supporters in the land. We didn’t get behind the team until we were three nil down, and then it was too late. Well I’m afraid you can’t create a special atmosphere all the time, otherwise it wouldn’t be special. At every ground of a struggling team, or even a mediocre team and in some cases a successful team, there are games where the atmosphere dwindles, and passion isn’t as evident as normal. That’s the just the way it is, it’s human nature on a large interactive scale. But I don’t think there are any other clubs in the country who, when 0-3 down to a limited side at home, bottom of the league, and without a trophy in 30 years, would still turn out to the tune of 36,000 and back the side with constant singing. The Mexican Wave was all a bit of a piss-take, of course. But it takes widespread courage and stoicism in the face of adversity - as well as a top sense of humour - to bring it off. The faces of the Charlton supporters during that period were a picture. They couldn’t believe it. Some broke into spontaneous applause.
The Villa Blackburn game is on my TV in the background as I write this. Imagine their fans behaving like ours. It wouldn’t happen, for whatever reason, it just wouldn’t. Mags argues they have more passionate fans. They certainly have bigger crowds at the moment. But would they react like us in the face of adversity? I don’t think they would, but they’re doing too well for their loyalty to be tested. I think those Black and Whites who gloat now would be embarrassed at what would happen to the size and nature of their support if they were in our position. But that’s another matter, a petty argument which can never truly be resolved.
All I realy want to say is: To every one of you at the game during the second half, thank you. You made me proud and you’re why I love SAFC.
I hope and pray we can somehow find a miracle and stay up. But I’ll be back whatever, because no matter how crap the football is, no matter how fascist the stewards, no matter how expensive the programmes and the pies, I’m addicted for life……..
Protest against Murray if you will (it’s not all his fault in my view… but that’s for another post!), boycott games if that’s the way you want to do things….. Support in your own way… but KEEP SUPPORRTING.
Keep the Faith. Our time will come.
It's just around the corner......