Similar to many of my friends I have been tuning in to watch the Aussies ruthlessly defeat the English in the first two Ashes tests this summer and I was lucky enough to be in attendance on Day 4 at The Gabba to witness our first (but certainly not last) victory.
And as an Aussie who has spent the past year and a bit living in the UK the opportunity to lord it over my ancestral rivals did not go amiss on my Facebook page. In fact I wholeheartedly delighted in telling all my English friends just how amazing it was to finally get one over on them after enduring countless taunts from friends (and more incessantly, their fathers!) following our below par performance at The London Olympics, The Lions tour and The Ashes in England. I think the only sport we won at while I was away was golf!
Despite our lack of success in sport I continued to support my country. Just not in the way the English would have me do it apparently. I spotted a user on Instagram the other day who stoically claimed that despite England’s loss he would still support England, unlike the Aussies. The implication was that we Aussies don’t get behind our teams when we’re losing. (How dare he?! I know right. Heavy stuff).
So I asked him for an explanation and suggested he check his facts before he commented next time. His response:
Well in my experience of being an English fan living in Australia is that I have come across many so called “fans” that cannot get behind there (sic) country when performing under the 8 ball. The Australian cricket team were crucified by fans and the media especially in throughout the 2010/11 ashes series just look at the boxing day test when you got bowled out for 99.
I guess I don’t see this as not supporting my team. Identifying weaknesses and facing facts is completely different to actively supporting another team. Australian supporters act differently to English supporters at games. English boys grow up going to soccer (football) games and learning an array of chants to yell at the ref and the other team from a very young age at school. And have you seen The Barmy Army’s song book lately? http://www.barmyarmy.com/songs/ . Australian cricket doesn’t even have a fan club let alone a song for every player of every team! The best we can come up with is:
- A chant of a player’s last name
- A chant calling an opposing team’s player a wanker
- Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi
- Come on!
Even at school and university we had a complete lack of originality when chanting at school sporting events. The subject matter of the chants also means that, in order to be relevant, they can only be yelled at certain points during the match. For example, when the person being referenced is up to bat or bowl. This means that for the rest of the game we Aussies pretty much sit quietly in the stands except for clapping. Any noises made are normally nondescript and don’t last much longer than a few seconds. This happens whether we are winning or losing. So I would challenge any English who say we stop supporting our players when they stop winning. Because winning or losing; that laid back attitude of ours means we just approach our fandom in a more chilled out kind of way.
And if we’re going on this Instagram user’s argument that a lack of support means being crucified by the media….then England sure as hell have lost all support from their fans if the articles over the past few days have anything to say about it!