Date:Tuesday April 17 2012
There's definitely two sides of the fence in regards to voting with your feet and not attending matches in one camp, (in the hope of knocking some sense into the powers that be), versus withholding support which will be of further detriment to the club when it needs that support most.
Within the latter camp there also seems from some of its members to be a suggestion that not supporting the team through thick and thin makes you a lesser fan, whereas in camp one the suggestion that by continuing to fund/attend matches enables the status quo to continue and in the long term harms the club.
Personally, I've voted with my feet.
Unlike some, I wasn't introduced to football by my dad, relative or friend. I picked my team aged about 7 or 8, attended the odd match here and there before becoming a regular under my own steam in my latter teens.
In a sense it isn't 'in my blood' like some. I wasn't given the talk from my dad, that his dad had given him. I was never told to support your team whatever their circumstances - that it was akin to a crime to change clubs.
With my uncles and other family scattered around the globe (South Africa, Canada, California, London, Nottingham), they didn't influence me in any way shape or form, though, through my footballing life I have learned many of those 'lessons' independantly.
The closest I came to these kind of 'passed down values' was politically. My mum and dad not originally coming from these shores were bought up favouring the right in a 2 party system where the left was very socialist.
Some 50 years on they continue to vote conservative irrespective of whether they have any idea of what the policies are for either/any party...my dad voted right, his dad voted right...and we've always voted right and continue to do so, are pretty much comments you would hear from them.
I have absolutely no qualms changing my political allegiences. I've also in the past not voted either, and if you were to equate this to a football analogy it would be like saying I've started supporting another club/voted with my feet.
I remember some while back posting that there are some fans that use football to almost create an identity for themselves, often attending all matches (european away, reserves, youth etc), 'I was there when there was 3 fans and a dog when we played Tinpot Utd in the old Southern League days' because by not doing so it makes them a lesser fan and being a 'better fan than you' is more important than actually loving the experience of being a fan and loving the game.
I got both barrels from Glensider on that one before one of his sons in law could see the point I was making and he accepted that there were some fans like that.
At no point did I suggest that ALL fans willing to watch every match at every level were like this. For many they truly love everything Aston Villa and would happily watch 11 shirts hanging on a line to dry.
Brain experts say by the age of 35, that 95% of everything we do is an unconscious habit, and only with a lot of concerted conscious effort to change are we able break those habits.
By voting with my feet this season, and having considered doing so half way through MON's tenure, and not very much enjoyed last year either, I believe the habit of supporting the club irrespective of the circumstances has been fully broken.
I'm not saying I don't support the club, just that I believe my consciousness has been awaken and no longer do I think like a Catholic that considers the Pope to be infallable.
Whilst I could never consider supporting another club, I do question why it's only football that scorns people changing their allegience.
Would they scorn floating voters or people changing religion and would it be considered politically incorrect to scorn someone who had changed their sexual preference, so why football?
It's certainly started an interesting debate on the forum Click Here.
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Date:Tuesday April 17 2012
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