Call out the instigators
Because there’s something in the air
We’ve got to get together sooner or later
Because the revolution’s here, and you know it’s right
And you know that it’s right – Lyrics to “Something in the Air”
Thanks to the power of social media, the global coverage of football is more accessible than ever before. Don’t worry, I’m not here to criticize social media and cry about how it’s denigrated our intelligence as football fans. In fact, I support social media and its flow of information.
Ironically, every tool has the potential of becoming a weapon. In the case of social media, it’s our intelligence that’s attacked. We’re provided words which are supposed to translate into information but the question I have is, who is actually reporting the information in person?
With all the match recaps circulated throughout the World Wide Web, I would love to know the percentage of “reporters” that were actually at the venue to watch it live. If you’re watching a game from the telly and you write about it, did you actually cover the match or write a review? Which fan, player, or manager did you interview? Or better yet, do you even have permission to use the club’s logo & match photos while receiving an official match recap from the club?
What’s wrong in admitting to your audience that you saw the match from the comfort of your home or bar? What’s wrong with admitting that you knew little about the club but thanks to the Supporters Club, you have a better understanding?
I’m fortunate that Robbie Kennerney and Jack Keane of the Football Factory at Legends understand my vision in provoking change in how football is covered. With all the coverage going around, do I really have to produce the same boring, assembly-line, cookie-cutter of a match recap?
I don’t think so because it would be insulting your intelligence. What I intend to do, is rightfully acknowledge the Supporters Clubs here at the Football Factory. In addition, I intend to learn about their Supporters Culture and passion for their selected club.
If I’m going to interview anyone following a match, it’ll be the Supporters. While my profiles may not consist of poached quotes from managers and players, it’ll be organic and honest because at the end of the day, it’s the supporters’ passion & memories that provide life to any football club.
In layman terms, my football education will be jumpstarted by the Supporters Clubs I profile. As part of my Football Darwinism, I look forward to receiving the kind of soccer education that will be based on Supporters knowledge and passion.
With that said, I’m honored and proud to hopefully usher in a new era at the Football Factory. I’m also honored to report that the first Supporters Club I watched a match with was Paris Saint-Germain Club NYC (PSG Club NYC) as they watched their beloved team take first place in Ligue 1 with a 2-0 home victory over the Olympique Lyonnais.
PSG Club NYC was established in 2006 by Julian Stein; President/Founder. As stated in their website, “the club has continued to grow with the support from fans all over the United States as well as around the globe. While for most games we may be anywhere from 10-20 supporters, the “Classico” and big game of the year against Marseille will bring together over 100 supporters of Paris Saint-Germain.”
This was an experience I enjoyed because the atmosphere at the Football Factory was at times jovial while at others anxiety appeared to have circulated the space. Personally, it’s easy supporting a club I have no clue about with their Supporters because my mind isn’t clouded with personal prejudice.
Watching the match from the bar, I concluded that the Kobe Sliders and Stella were the most popular items ordered that day. I also learned that while I may not understand French, I clearly understood the universal cheers and groans during the match.
By wearing their Supporters t-shirts, it was easy to identify members and they were extremely helpful in educating me of the significance of PSG’s match. Some of the people in attendance were tourists. When asked how they heard the Football Factory was showing the match, they stated the PSG Club NYC’s website was their source.
Following PSG’s victory, I spoke with PSG Club NYC Supporter Pierre Waitez. When asked about PSG’s victory, he answered, “This is a good victory for us. To earn three points and be in first place in Ligue 1 gives us reasons to believe this may be our season.”
With the combined ownership of Colony Capital and Qatar Investment Authority, Waitez made it clear that their intention is to make PSG a club that will join the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea, Milan, and Barcelona as a pillar of European Soccer. He believes the team has the players to produce a championship.
Throughout our conversation, Waitez educated me how the current ownership played a role in eliminating the hooliganism which some of the PSG supporters were notoriously famous for. While this is a topic I didn’t ask about, I commend Waitez for addressing it and insisting that the majority PSG Supporters don’t condone hooliganism.
He made it clear that PSG Club NYC is open to anyone who wishes to be a Supporter. Even though they have a healthy relationship with the club itself, Waitez informed me that they’re an independent Supporters Club. By selling their scarves and t-shirts at cost, PSG Club NYC’s motivation isn’t to make a profit; it’s to welcome new members as they grow.
As our conversation drew to a conclusion, Waitez invited me back to watch the “Classico” on Sunday, November 27, 2011. More than likely, I will be in town to watch the match at the Football Factory. If you’re in the area, please show your support for PSG Club NYC.
For more information about PSG Club NYC go to: http://psgclubnyc.com & @psgclubnyc.
Cesar Diaz covers Soccer for LatinoSports.com and 5 Points Press. He also writes for USSoccerPlayers.com; your source for American Soccer news brought to you by members of the U.S. National Team. Easily accessible, you may reach Cesar at email@example.com and at Twitter at @CoveringSoccer.