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Monday, 28 January 2013

We Are Leeds. We Hate Nottingham Forest. And We Hate Liverpool Too

The article below was submitted via email.

Let me start out by saying this: there is a place in football for hate. 

Now, that might seem a rather provocative, not to say controversial statement, in these happy-clappy days when going to the match is supposed to be all about families, and fun. When oompah bands high up in the stands, are strategically placed so that the newly-gentrified population in the 36 quid seats should not have to hear anything raucous or profane. 

But it's true, nevertheless. Football is tribal, football is cathartic, football is where you get to let off some steam after gritting your teeth all week. And, for all of that, you need someone to hate.

Hate is a much misunderstood, possibly demonised word these days. It's not really to be found in the lexicon of the politically correct. It sends out the wrong message, don't you know, and speaks of the extreme edges of emotion and feeling, where those of pallid personalities do not wish to be seen. 

But hate is a real human emotion, and you can't simply wish, or indeed legislate it away. Properly expressed, it's just about the best catalyst for atmosphere at a good old traditional sporting fixture.

The professionals should stay out of it, and get on with the game - it's not really within their remit to get caught up in the atmosphere a bit of hate generates (although it's frequently more entertaining than the football when teams DO let the passion affect them). However, the real arena is in the stands, or on the terraces, as we used to say in happier times. 

Here is where the mutual dislike, felt in extreme measure in some cases, can safely be vented. Two sets of supporters, bound by a common loathing, hurl insults of glorious vulgarity back and forth, each seeking to outdo the other in a contest outside of the on-field engagement.  The feeling is atavistic, and there's no actual need for it to spill over into physical confrontation for honour to be satisfied. The occasion as a whole is enhanced by these pieces of human theatre.

The modern tendency towards crowd interaction being drowned out by super-powerful PA systems, pumping out crap music, has detracted from this phenomenon, as have the silly drums and trumpets they call 'bands.'  My own beloved Leeds United, made an ill-advised decision a few years back to promote a 'band', but the masses behind the goal did not approve. The occasional toot and drumbeat were heard, only to be swiftly squashed by a throaty "stand up, if you hate the band", and the experiment died an early and unlamented death. Rightly so, too. Bands at football stadia prosper only where the indigenous support lacks the moral fibre to resist such contrived attempts at a 'nice' atmosphere. Sheffield Wednesday is the obvious example.

Sadly, it appears that the good old days of free expression, where a cadre of like-minded fanatics could express their hatred of 'that lot from ovver t'hill', are soon to be behind us for good. Yet there are still football clubs and fixtures which can conjure up some of the old atmosphere, so deeply do feelings run. 

I'm glad to say that dear old Leeds United is one such club, so pathologically hated by so many other sets of fans, and so willingly disposed to return that sentiment with interest, that our matches against a select group of old enemies roll back the years, and set the blood pumping with an almost-forgotten vigour. Long may that remain the case - these are the real football clubs, with the real fans, and it's this unreconstructed minority which is striving to hold back the tide of plastic, family-orientated, artificial bonhomie that so threatens to dull the palate as the 21st century progresses.

It's not PC. It's frowned upon by the self-appointed guardians of 'The Good Of The Game'. And admittedly, it too often spills over into taboo references, or actual violence, which is never something to be condoned. But come the day when they finally kill the last wisp of hate-fuelled atmosphere, at the last old dinosaur of a non-modern non-Meccano stadium, they'll be well on the way to finally reading the last rites over the corpse of the game as we used to know it. And then - why, I'll throw in the towel, say my goodbyes to Elland Road, and sulk off to watch Frickley Athletic play those gits from FC United of Manchester - confident that there will be enough curmudgeonly old reprobates on both sides who will be happy to spit venom at each other for 90 minutes - just for old times' sake.

Rob Atkinson

40 comments:

  1. Very well written Rob. I don't hold with hate. It is a word I have used but now consider too strong. Loathe does it for me. Maybe because it alliterates with Leeds!

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    1. And Nottingham Forest Hate you ,You B******s

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    2. Read the article you semi literate twat. Its nothing to do with Forest. They were just an example to make up a headline. Pretty much what they decended to as a Football Club.

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    3. Oh the irony!

      Descended

      #literacyhour

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    4. Well, hate is a legitimate word. I certainly hate Manchester United, and all they stand for. I don't with it as a term that's suitable for a regional rivalry, as the accident of being a team based nearby is no basis for hate - to hate something, you need to identify something intrinsically detestable about them. The local rivalry thing is just territorialism, pure and simple. I don't hate Bradford City, or any of the other lesser Yorkshire clubs - but there's lots to hate about Man Utd, so it's easy.

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  2. Funny that, because the feeling is not only mutual for Forest and Liverpool but the entire footballing world. Everyone hates Leeds don't they?

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    1. And we don't care..........

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  3. Excellent article and thanks to HF for 'putting it up' on your blog site. Now that Clarke One Nil is no more its nice to read some well written and well argued opinion. I agree that 'hate' is a bit strong but overall I think Rob is right. I take ear plugs to grounds these days because the PA systems are so loud and pump out so much rubbish that its the only defence until the footy starts. As a Leeds fan at away games, even if the pitch action is dire - which it has been for most of this season, I can usually depend upon the traveeling Leeds support for entertainment. Actually, I would prefer a marching band to deafening PA nonsense - takes me back to the old days....

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    1. 7.51, One does hope this comment is written well enough for you. Get your tongue out of the armchair hammers arse,you snivelling wretch. Good day.

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  4. Yes well written indeed. Interesting also to read your reply.Yes you do loathe Leeds and when you think about it, as a West Ham fan, by doing this you're saluting Leeds.
    Its not natural for West Ham to hate Leeds. We have no geographical rivalry and historically we have not had much rivalry on the field either.
    You, Hammersfan, like others for generations have watched Leeds and quite frankly are jealous of what we have. That indefinable quality that only Great Team's possess. Your West Ham do not have this and never will. So loathe on my friend. Leeds will never loathe West Ham because they are not significant enough for Leeds to be bothered loathing.

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    1. ....although West Ham DID win the World Cup in '66 ;-)

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  5. Everyone hates LEEDS because everyone's scared of us !! MOT

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  6. Best piece you've ever written!!........COME ON YOU WHITES!....�� Marching on together!!!!!!!��

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  7. Yes they do all hate leeds.But it's much better to be hated than ignored. Right Hammersfan?

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  8. Super Frickley!

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  9. Did hate Leeds your just a distant thought now........

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    1. Sure we are. Thousands tell us this all the time, even as thousands of cockneys and and West Country wurzels on the former Stretford End sing "we all hate Leeds scum". Strange that, isn't it? We're not famous any more - yeah, right.

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  10. Yes moron there is still the little matter of!,, FOUR...2... Dirty Leeds scum

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  11. dirty leeds scum,forest hate you too ,7-3,4-2 happy days

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  12. the best article ever on your blog hf. funny that it wa written by someone else!

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  13. Every single English club hates/loathes dirty lxxxs not so much the football team but the dxxkheads who support them, hope you enjoyed boxing day as much as we did filth.
    now you've got Collin as manager we HATE you even more

    red army...

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    1. Get back into bed,your sister is missing you. You can't even spell Leeds, you tool.

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    2. "Red Army" indeed! Your massive support is envied and admired throughout the footballing world.
      And to continue the theme of "fan hatred" you speak of, you may want to ask yourself why so many fans from West and South Yorkshire hate sections of your support so much. Not because they are "dickheads" or "filth" - no, it's much more serious than that, isn't it. If you can't remember, ask someone what happened between March '84 and March '85, or try Googling it. You'll find those sorry excuses for human beings from your county were much lower than dickheads or filth.

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    3. A good proportion of Forest Fans weren't born until after the Miners Strike. But then again, a good proportion of those fans that chant 'scabs' at the Forest fans weren't either. It may be through ignorance that you don't know that as many, if not more Notts Miners, were on strike as there were those that chose to cross picket lines. The Miners Strike caused rifts in communities & families that exist to this day. There are brothers in Nottinghamshire that havent spoken for over 30 years because of this. The cost of the Miners Strike is felt more in North Notts than anywhere else in the country - so take a few steps down from your moral high ground.
      Does Yorkshire's hatred extend to your hating your very own Barnsley fans? After all, it was due to the pigheadedness of a son of Barnsley as it was the spite of a daughter of Grantham that killed our coal industry.

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  14. No, we don't hate Liverpool. Anyone who knows anything about our football history knows that Leeds United had a respected friend in Bill Shankly which started in the 1965 FA Cup Final. Shanks openly admired a few Leeds players and said he wouldn't have minded signing them at the time. MOT.

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    1. I agree with this, but there were still a few anti-scouse songs at Elland Road in days of yore. The title song to this article was one, there was also "In your Liverpool slums", and, almost as a tribute to glam rock Gods Slade, "We'll Bring The Scouse Down (Whoa-oaah-oah-oaaaah-oh)". All good clean fun....

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  15. Replies
    1. 7-3 in your cup final. Well done,it'll give you something to crap on about for the rest of your sad life. I bet you're all still celebrating in the city of scabs.

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    2. sorry our cup final came in '79 and '80, we will crap on about that for the rest of our sad lives instead.

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    3. They have a cup for Scabs?

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  16. The armchair hammer forfeited his right to an opinion by avoiding going to games. There's no point mouthing off about football when you've got a season ticket for a fireside chair. You couldn't write a review of a restaurant standing outside with your nose against the window. You couldn't write a review of a Florida resort by sitting in Cleethorpes. You DO NOT attend games,therefore your opinion DOES NOT COUNT. It is VOID and Armchair Hammer is a FRAUD.

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  17. Using someone elses article is hf's desperate way of trying to get back at us after yesterdays great result! Forest and Liverpool are not even mentioned in the arcticle, they're only in the title that hf himself has given it,to pull in fans of those clubs so that they blindly berat us. Wot a sad length to go to for hits!

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  18. ...well its a good write up ..i remember the wednseday night fixture at the city ground against leeds ..1978 .was very foggy ..the match was called off ...but my o my ..did we have some fun !!..and looking back through all those years ...standing in different firms terraces...awesome ...and today we find little police but more private security firms ..telling you to sit down and shut up !!...the game is changing fast ...but they will never change our memories ..well not yet anayway !! i always loved the leeds encounters ...because it gave all !! and i loved it ..and i dont hate leeds .....great memories ....from an ageing nottingham forest skinhead

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  19. Just shows how thick Forest fans are - Hammersfan made the title up you, at no point in the blog does it mention Forest or Liverpool!

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  20. No, to be fair, I asked HF to use this article, which I submitted to him by email, having previously run it on Huffington Post (see my other stuff there unless you're an easily-upset Man U fan). The title is mine too, derived from an old 70's terrace song. HF just added "We Are Leeds" to it. He's used my article in full as per his pledge to publish anything that conforms to the usual rules of decency etc.

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  21. Yes, I totally agree with you that for a football arena to be gratifying, an atom of the dislike sentiment is mandatory. After all the game itself is a contest, a battle of supremacy between two sides that believe they are a match for each other. As a die hard liverpool fan, every opponent is the enemy that needs to be crushed over the 90 minutes duration of the match. And everybody {fans} that identifies with the enemy, also becomes an enemy by default.

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    1. So what happened at Oldham yesterday then?

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  22. A good article that. We all love to hate certain clubs that we have a rivalry with due to historical or geographical reasons. As a Forest fan, the first fixtures I look for at the beginning of a season are our games v them sheep botheres down the A5-2 (Derby County - in case you were wondering who I meant). Presuming our nice little neighbours Notts County aren't in the same league (they rarely are), the next fixture I look for is Leeds. These games are ones where we can guarantee a big crowd, a great atmosphere & plenty of banter between fans.
    As much as we hate both Derby & Leeds, in this age of clubs potentially going bust due to chasing the Premiership dream, we don't hate them that much that we would rather them not exist. Now if it were the professional victims that are Liverpool on the other hand...

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  23. The day you lot (blogger included) stop hating us is the day we concede we are no longer a 'big' club.

    Long may that continue.

    MOT

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