I am not going to insult your intelligence and tell you that everything is going to be okay- especially after today’s shambolic display against Hibernian. Things on the pitch are pretty dire at the moment and they don’t seem to be improving at all is troubling.
I’m not going to criticize anyone who has chosen to voice their displeasure with the club’s performance this season by booing the players. It’s not my style, but if you bought a ticket and your opinions are confined to what’s happening on the pitch, it’s your right.
What I am going to take issue with is what I’ve observed on Facebook, Twitter, and various County message boards today- County supporters calling out other County supporters for not being “committed enough,” not being “real” supporters, etc.
This nonsense reminds me of my teenage years when “punks” would call each other out for not being “punk enough.” Not only is it an idiotic and pointless argument, but it goes against the very ethos that those involves claim to live by.
What is a “real” supporter?
Is it somebody who goes to every match, home and away, in every competition, every season?
Is it somebody who goes to every match they can given the responsibilities of work and family?
Is it somebody who can’t make many matches but uses their holiday time to watch preseason in the Netherlands?
Is it an ex-pat halfway around the world who follows as best they can from afar and makes sure to see a match when they occasionally return to see family?
Am I a real supporter?
I’ve only supported the club since 2002, but every other year since then I’ve spent thousands of dollars of my hard earned money to travel to Scotland for two to three weeks. I hike, I visit relatives, I go to museums, and a hundred other things, but the entire trip is planned around how many times I can see County (and Scotland, if I’m lucky) play.
I’ve done this for the excitement of seeing the Highland Derby at Victoria Park, but I’ve also done it for the pleasure(?) of sitting with less than a dozen supporters in the wasteland of Somerset Park to see County defeat Ayr United in the Second Division (goals by Barrowman and Gardyne if I’m not mistaken). I was at Victoria Park in March of 2012 to see Falkirk supporter/streaker Lewis Fraser show 4,000+ what he didn’t have.
I think we are supporters are all “real” supporters.
County supporters consider themselves a cut above the supporters of other Scottish clubs, and with good reason. However, when we turn on each other we demean ourselves, our fellow supporters, and our club.
We need to draw a line under the kind of behavior I observed today and move forward.
That doesn’t mean that we can’t be critical or that we can’t express our displeasure when we don’t like the direction on the club on or off the pitch. Pessimists are as welcome as optimists and realists, but our disagreements must never be personal. Remember how aghast we were about some of the things said about Richie Brittain last season? That has no place at County, not in the stands or on the internet.
I’ll boil my sentiments down to this:
If you support County, I support you.