When I was a kid at (super) Brentford FC in the Royal Oak end and was occasionally the one to start a chant, it was the most intoxicating feeling when people joined in. It may even be responsible for the way I’ve created my networks over the years.
Football, of course, is much changed from the 1980s, er I mean, 1970s. The creation of mostly all-seater stadia has seen that side of culture become as mundane as the plastic seats its progenitors now sit upon, but occasionally a fabulous one will slip out.
Such was the case at the recent Brighton and Hove Albion v. Crystal Palace match.
Now, these two teams hate each other. They are kind-of local rivals, but the increased enmity goes back to a FA Cup tie in 1976 when a last-minute penalty by Brighton was missed and a feud was born. This YouTube video illustrates it nicely.
So, twice a year they go at each other and if we were back in the 1970s, then it would have been with Stanley Knives and machetes, now they must make do with abuse.
In recent years, Palace have been in finals and the Premiership while Brighton have been in the lower divisions at different homes. More recently, however, Brighton has a spanking new ground and the two are viewing with each other for promotion to the Premiership.
Brighton matches now sell out and attract up to 30,000 fans; Palace struggle to fill their ground. So, when one Brighton fan found out that Palace were using Groupon to attract potential supporters, the outcome for chanting was inevitable.
So altogether now, sing it loud in the same way as Liverpool fans sing that old favourite from the movie Carousel, You’ll Never Walk Alone:
Buy one! Buy One!, Get one free! Get one free!
And you’ll never fill your ground, you’ll never fill your ground!
Group on! Group on! You’ll never fill your ground, you’ll neee-ver fill your ground.
Group on! Group on!
I like that, I like that a lot.