Social Backlash: Is Being a Football Fan Twice As Tough?!

Chris Abalain@abbersboltonContributor IMay 28, 2009

Football fans (soccer fans, if you're an American) have always had it tough. If success doesn't come your way, then you can guarantee somebody not so far away is ready to pounce on your team's 4-0 drubbing, or their cup final defeat. We're all in the same boat, but how does a social network affect us as football fans?

As a reader, I wouldn't expect this to be an in-depth analysis, but rather a focused discussion. How does Facebook or Twitter or any other social networking website fit in to your status as a football fan?

Often, fans have a hard time coming to terms with defeat and a hard time being humble in victory, and these lengths are extended in extra special matches or nail-biting moments of relegation safety or condemnation.

Now fans can express their thoughts to the world and their mass circle of friends and followers on social networks, to further dig their heels in, or to simply express joy or sadness in a sporting moment.

The thought of this topic came to my mind right after yesterday evening's UEFA Champions League Final in Rome. Having watched the entire game on television, my friend (a fan of Manchester United, no less) decided to jump on Facebook and see what the reaction was.

To no surprise of his own, all of his Liverpool fan Facebook friends were updating their statuses to reflect the result. On my own Facebook mobile home page, five out of seven of the friends' statuses that appeared related to the result of the match just finished ten minutes previous.

Obviously, my friend updated his own status to strike back at the fans of other teams who had shot verbals at United fans and thus continued the comments and "liking" of statuses dependent on which team his friends were fans of.

I would like to know how much of our social interaction online is related to our love of sports in general, or in England, football specifically. To speak from a personal point of view, whenever my team has had a bad day, or a great result, it affects my status probably in the same way it affects my own mood.

What I can't speak for is the world in general, so I'd like you to help me out with this discussion. Please comment and ask your friends to comment, and we'll discover if our obsession with sports reflects our obsessions with social networking sites.

Also, with social networking meaning people having their own forum amongst friends, to some degree, do you think that football fans (or sports fans in general) can be a little more scathing than communication in person?

The online world allows people to say exactly what they think, so does that mean sports fans can be verbally battered on social networks (by their friends, no less) with none of the consequences of a real fans forum (for example football365 or where they might be banned or reprimanded for being insulting, or swearing?

Or is that ok when it's your friend that is gloating or sticking the proverbial knife in? I'd like to know your experiences.

Meanwhile, here are a few of the status reports I got:

"V is thinking football season is officially over... roll on August already!!"

"R is a Barca fan for the night!"

"J Lionel Messi is a ledge!"

"N for the odd few united fans still talkin s***.... Toilet roll is still on offer at netto !!!! 8-)"

"T ha ha ha barcalona champions love seeing grown men cry like b*****s make that any utd fan.... ha ha ha ha"

"N last minute cancellation- open top bus available central Manchester ha ha!!! Diddums!!! 8-)"

and mine:

Chris thinks Barcelona proved to be the better team, you can't say fairer than that?

I'm looking forward to your responses here on Bleacher Report.


    Liverpool's Joe Gomez Injured Against Netherlands

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Liverpool's Joe Gomez Injured Against Netherlands

    via mirror

    Justin Kluivert's Dad Advises Him Over United Transfer

    Manchester United logo
    Manchester United

    Justin Kluivert's Dad Advises Him Over United Transfer

    via men

    Live: Netherlands vs. England

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Live: Netherlands vs. England

    Scott Murray
    via the Guardian

    Injured Aguero Returns to Manchester

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Injured Aguero Returns to Manchester

    Redacción MARCA Claro
    via MARCA in English