Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Tuesday February 16 2010
Can you just imagine it, you`re sat in the cinema watching Braveheart, the Scottish army is on the field at Stirling but there`s trouble in the ranks, the rabble of soldiers are dissenting the reasons for fighting against the English, they are ready to turn their backs on their leaders and leave the battlefield.
Just as they are starting to turn six or seven horsemen come from over a hill and ride through to the front, its William Wallace, nah says one Wallace is 7 feet tall, aye says Wallace, played by Mel Gibson, aye he is and if Wallace was here he`d consume the English with bolts of lightening from his eyes and thunderbolts from his arse, I am William WallaceÖpicture it?
Just as the tension is starting to grip and the excitement is tingling Mel Gibson drops his Scottish accent and bellows the corniest `Freedom` you are ever likely to hear, to your surprise the members of the audience start to boo, someone near you screams 'get off Gibson, you`re crap`, and the barracking continues throughout the rest of the movie, embarrassing or what?
Take it up a level and imagine you are in a theatre watching a play, the same thing happens there, how would that affect the actors, would it spur them on to, pardon the pun, `get their act together` or would it truly ruin their performance and lead to the booers and jeerers no doubt being evicted from the premises.
Why should they be evicted, they have paid their money and surely should be allowed to vent their feelings towards someone whose confidence is shot to pieces?
A ridiculous notion I hope you agree, booing and jeering and snarling abuse at performers just because they drop a line or mis-quote a passage or fumble an accent isn`t acceptable for lots of reasons, so why do people feel its acceptable at a football game?
Last week before the Latics Stoke game, as the Wigan Athletic team was being read out there were boos when Jason Scotlands name was announced, a ball hadn`t been kicked and one of our own players who`s confidence is rattled to start with was booed by his own supporters.
Throughout the game I noticed people jumping from their seats when a ball was mis-controlled or possession lost or a chance missed, they were spitting venomous insults at the players, the strongest language being used, this wasn`t good natured or funny as so often it has been in the past this was vile, abusive anger directed at our own players.
This behaviour of our fans hasn`t been isolated to the Stoke game, its something that`s been occurring for most of the season, I find it pretty disturbing, I see dads with their young children sat beside them stand up and start to gesticulate towards a particular Latics player, hurling a tirade of gross insults, what a great example of how to be a caring human being they are setting.
Don`t give me they are passionate about the Latics, if they are passionate then they`d get behind the team instead of making bad situations worse, don`t tell me that they have paid their money and are entitled to show dissatisfaction, I have also paid my money and I don`t want to be spat upon when over active mouths cant control the venom or get continually bumped as angry arm waving men jump from their seats.
Something as happened at the Latics this season, something that I find quite embarrassing if the truth be told.
We are changing from a club, and by that I mean the supporters, from a club that could laugh at its self, a club that had no airs or graces, no pretence, no concern of what others thought of us, we knew what the rough times were because we`ve been there and lived them, but we are seeming to forget these qualities.
Now we are growing into Premier League supporters, we want it easy, when the going gets tough we`ll get off, we want players with flair and skill but also they have to get stuck in like an old centre-half, have the work rate of a steam locomotive and have their heart and soul in the club, it aint going to happen and it never did, we should appreciate what we are, we are Wigan Athletic, a small club in the biggest league in the world and its fantastic to be here.
To stay here we need to stay together, be supportive not destructive, it is without doubt that the team is going through a rough patch and we are definitely flirting with relegation, the last thing that the players need is the supporters to be on their backs.
Certain clubs are noted for the passion of their support and this is highlighted through desperate times, Manchester City are one and at the moment Portsmouth fans are like a beacon as to what it means to support your club through thick and thin.
To be totally corny myself and getting back to Braveheart, Mel Gibson at the scene described above when the Scottish army was about to run away at Stirling said 'you may run, but years from now what would you give for just one chance to come back to this day`
Wednesdays visit of Bolton to the DW Stadium is a massive game for the Latics and the players will need the supporters to play their part and get behind the team, lets make a difference and leave the ranting and booing behind on the message boards.
You can listen to the Latics Speyk podcasts now by clicking on the player here:
Date:Tuesday February 16 2010
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