It's an odd feeling that sits with me as I begin to write this post. Not odd in terms of my personal mood, that's fine, if anything it could be defined as angry, rather than up or down, happy or sad. So in that sense I'm in a good place, which is excellent news as whilst I rejoice in September as a month, it's one of those months that makes me reflective, which then makes me sad, down and depressed, which isn't good going into the Autumn and Winter months, where it's darker and colder. So angry is good right now.
So why am I feeling odd and angry? Well it's sport and the press. Last week saw the release of the report on the cover up from the Hillsborough disaster from 1989, it was shocking that a police force could cover up so much and try to re-write history the way they did and allow it to stand for 23 years. Shame on them and hopefully those who instigated the cover up, those who helped and contributed are punished fittingly by the law and internally if they are still in the police force. That I can not stress deeply enough has angered me.
What else that's angered me though is the reaction of the press, I still hold the view that whilst we can point the finger and identify the moment the disaster started and why, the blame lies deeper than simply one police officer opening a gate. A combination of actions and events from the previous 20 years led to the disaster taking place, and that includes football fans of all clubs, to which this disaster or similar could have befell. I include myself in that list of blame, so I'm not just blaming others, I'm blaming myself as well.
Now this weekend we've seen a reaction to Manchester United fans chanting a song, that that've sung previously without any comments and aimed at Liverpool fans for numerous events over the years, and not just ONE event. So the media have picked this up as being aimed at Hillsborough alone now, but it isn't and has never been just about that. In fact far worse songs were sung on Saturday towards Liverpool fans by United supporters during the game that haven't been reported. Which gets me very angry, in that it's being portrayed that United fans are the only "sick" fans in the country. I'm sorry, but as with the blame from the previous paragraph, fans of all clubs have sung sick songs at one point or another, it doesn't make it right to do so, but people are making the most of this because it's United.
United and Liverpool fans hate each other as a group. Yes, on an individual basis, I'm sure like myself, other United fans have good friends who support Liverpool or Everton, just as we have friends who are City fans and even Leeds fans. The same could be said of the other clubs in return. However, come the topic of football and attitudes change, and whilst the hatred and despise is ssbstanciially less than it was around the time of the Hillsborough disaster, it still exists. Take away the hatred and the dispise of each other, and the game would lose it's edge. It wouldn't be the biggest game in the country anymore, quite simply it would be just another game. I would hate it to be that, football has become to sanitised over the past 23 years since the disaster, some of that for the good, but some for the worse. Many others have commented on this in far greater depth than I, but the atmospere in grounds today are sterile compared to what they were like, and whilst it makes it safer, it's taken some of the enjoyment out of the game.
Sick chants shoulnd't take place, though it would be wrong of me to write that without accepting that some of the sickest chants have made me chuckle on hearing them first, before the implications of the song sink in as such. It's inappropriate I agree, but I'm big enough to say I've chuckled at a few, whilst shaking my head in disgust. Does that make me a bad person? No I think not, what is sung in the ground stays in the ground for me, I wouldn't behave or react like I do when watching sport to individuals, that's not my style. It's when it's taken outside of the ground that bothers me., and whilst many a Liverpool fan will know what was sung on Saturday has been sung many times before, and will launch into an attack at Anfield next weekend, some will be looking to extract a much different type of revenge, outside the ground and much worse.
The media are inmany ways to blame for this, they've been reporting this weekends events as if its a huge shock and the worse thing ever. They are stoking the fire as such, when it didn't need it. It's as if the report that came out last week has made singing any anti-Liverpool songs a crime. The only ones going to be singing those anyway would be Everton, United or City perhaps, and most likely United, as the two teams meet next week. To me the fuss over the songs sung first of all is being made into a mountin, when it's something or nothing. That makes me very angry.