Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Yellow Fever reminds us what really matters

It’s reassuring to see that while the nation struggles to come to terms with its worst disaster since Mt Erebus, some people are determined not to be distracted from what really matters.

Today’s Dominion Post reports that members of Yellow Fever, the fan club for Wellington football team the Phoenix, are up in arms that the team’s young star Marco Rojas has signed with rival team Melbourne Victory.

The Dom Post reports that angry messages dominate Yellow Fever’s website message board. More than 50 respondents to a poll called Rojas a “Judas” for defecting.

In Christchurch, police are trying to identify mangled bodies and rescue workers are risking their lives probing the wreckage of destroyed buildings. But these pathetic football fans remind us that even at a time of national mourning, some people can’t see beyond their petty obsession with sport.

The petulant Phoenix followers feel betrayed because it was Yellow Fever that got Rojas his first break, a training scholarship, with the Phoenix a couple of years ago. Well, boo-hoo. That’s professional sport: players act out of self-interest, not out of any imagined obligations to a bunch of precious fans.

The cry-baby reaction from the Yellow Fever members fans tends to confirm what I’ve always thought about organised fan groups. People who live vicariously through their sporting heroes, who derive a sense of tribal solidarity by dressing up in silly costumes and chanting at matches, suffer from an emotional form of arrested development. The Barmy Army is a textbook example.

On a wider level, I marvel at our ability as a country to get churned up over inconsequential sporting controversies. The furore that erupted after the All Whites won the supreme Halberg award last month beggared belief. One story on the New Zealand Herald website attracted 333 comments, which must surely be some sort of record. I mean, who the hell cares?

Never mind the economic crisis, never mind political issues such as the foreshore and seabed, never mind the potentially earth-shaking turmoil in North Africa and the Middle East; there’s still a depressingly large portion of New Zealand blokedom that regards sport as the only issue serious enough to justify getting steamed up over. God help us.


FatJesus said...

You have absolutely no idea.

Should all sport stop for a few months, every TV show be scratched in place of the earthquake news coverage on a continuous cycle?

Normality often gets people through tough times, that includes going about your normal routines, hay even supporting your favourite sport teams!!
I seriously doubt there are any (exception of looting types) Kiwis that aren't touched by the Christchurch earthquake and I'm sure the Yellow Fever (who are running their own fundraising event for the cause) are no exception.

- Who. Are. Ya.

Surge said...

Hows the view up their Karl?... up there on the moral high ground.

Did you take the time to read the content of that thread?... or was taking that twenty minutes of your life too important to sacrifice?...no, I didn't think so.

Good luck with your career... writing you're admitted ill informed opinion about things you admit you know little about. You may need to locate either a sense of humour; some knowledge; or some researching skills to progress your journalism career - I hope you've tuned your bass - it may be useful sooner rather than later.

I guess you'll delete this comment also?


Karl du Fresne said...

No, Surge, I won't delete your comment. Why should I? The comment I deleted earlier this week was struck out only because it referred to a public figure as a lazy f****r, and I object to anonymous people using this blog as a platform for abuse. Other than that, the only comments I can recall deleting in the three years or so this blog has been going were from a single-issue obsessive from overseas whose long rants were simply becoming tedious.
As for your comment, thanks for wishing me luck with my career, but I fear it's a bit late for that.

Karl du Fresne said...

I should have added that the view from up here on the Olympian heights is brilliant and the air is clear.

David said...

It's sad when a supposedly well informed, well respected journo, produces a piece of utter garbage & gets its published. How much research did you do for this piece? Did you even read ALL of the posts, did you look around the rest of the Yellow Fever Forum? I am picking that the answer to that is NO. If you had done a little research you would have seen the various threads relating to the Canterbury earthquakes, & the gestures of goodwill posted by Yellow Fevers "pathetic members" You also would have read forum posts from Phoenix fans who live in Christchurch. According to you, they are also pathetic. I make no apologies for being passionate about a football team, but I am capable of posting on a forum to voice my opinion, as well as feeling shocked by the events in Christchurch. Yet another piece of lazy journolism from the mainstream media portraying football fans in a bad light.

David said...

To show how little research you did for this blog please look at http://yellowfever.co.nz/forum/forum_topics.asp?FID=1 . Take note that the first two threads on that forum relate to a charity Basketball game & a Fundraising Golf Day, both of these to raise funds for the people of Christchurch, not bad from "pathetic" fans.