By Chi Huynh, writing from Los Angeles.
According to Urban Dictionary:
1. (derogatory) a female fan, obsessed with something (or someone) to a frightening or sickening degree. Often considered ditzy, annoying and shallow.
Sometimes being a female fan of football can be a difficult thing to defend. Most fans are actual fans of the game. But there are some who make it difficult for that idea to be believable. No matter how many stats you can rattle off the top of your head.
The recent increase in “fangirls” since the World Cup has seemed to increase by the millions. Leaving the “real” female fans to have to defend themselves.
I witnessed it first hand when I went to see Real Madrid train the previous week at UCLA during their preseason tour of the US. While most of the people there were fans of the club/players. There were a few that I ran into who didn’t even know who former World Footballer of the Year, Kaká, was. It just made me want to scream, ‘GET OUT’. I couldn’t believe my ears. I remember specifically one particular conversation I had with a particular Cristiano Ronaldo ‘fangirl’ while I was buying lunch between training sessions…
I had expressed that I didn’t come to the training sessions to meet Ronaldo. I was only there to meet Xabi Alonso, Jerzy Dudek and Álvaro Arbeloa; any other player I met would have been a bonus. The Ronaldo ‘fangirl’ didn’t hear me.
She simply kept going on about keeping my head up and that I’ll meet Ronaldo in the coming days. I simply walked away as politely as I could to keep myself from stomping on the girl’s spirit as to why I think Ronaldo isn’t worthy of my praise, or anyone else’s praise really.
This same girl later called Spain’s Raul Albiol, Argentina’s Fernando Gago. On the bright side, at least she knew their names.
Another incident that I still cannot get over, is the recent tirade of certain Fernando Torres fans against Santi Cazorla during the Mexico/Spain Bicentennial friendly.
Torres was unavailable for international duty due to the hamstring injury he suffered during the final minutes of the 2010 World Cup final against the Netherlands. By logic, the number 9 shirt would be available for any of the players called up by Vincente del Bosque for the friendly. The player who was given the number 9 for the match was the ever lovable and talented, Santi Cazorla.
-I don’t like anyone other then Torres in 9 :(
-Why is someone that is not Fernando wearing the NINE?! DAMN IT!!!
-WHY THE F—- IS THERE A 9, AND HE’S DEF NOT NANDO!! IM PISSED!!
-WHO THE F—- IS SANTI CAZORLA? AND WHY IS HE WEARING THE NUMBER 9?
-OH, HOLD THE F—- UP, WHO IS THIS SANTI CAZORLA AND WHY IS THIS B—— WEARING #9. WHERE. IS. NANDO.
Comments are actual quotes from live match commentary on communities and on Tumblr.
When I read them, my heart rate went through the roof. It’s difficult to sit and see someone write such hateful words against an amazing player who was recovering from injury that left him off the 2010 World Cup Spanish roster.
And yes, I do understand that most of these comments came from girls who were just getting into the game and slowly learning the names of players. But it would have been a lot easier to just Google Cazorla’s name and learn some history, than to write up a tirade and stir up trouble with fans of the Spanish National Team, or even with just general football fans themselves.
Why does this matter to me?
It matters because it has taken away from the beauty of the game itself. To have to defend players, or even yourself, to other fans is tiring. It makes me cringe to see some of the comments being written. Although I don’t try to seek out these comments, it’s hard to ignore sometimes when they’re blatantly offensive/idiotic. Some female fans have even retreated to keeping commentary to themselves or in smaller communities in hopes that the ‘fangirls’ will leave halfway through the season so that we can come out of hiding. A deadline that we wished wasn’t so long when most originally wished after the World Cup the fangirling would die down.
I, myself, have even wished for Roy Hodgson NOT to bring back Fernando Torres too soon, in hopes that his ‘fangirls’ forget about him and bring back some sanity to the rest of us Liverpool FC fans. That and the fact that I don’t want to see Torres play until he’s 100% match fit. Although that obviously didn’t happen, as Torres made his debut for the 2010/2011 season today in the 75th minute against Arsenal.
I hope that these girls realize that some of their antics have been noticed in a very negative manner. They’ve changed the enjoyability of the game for some us.
Yes, we are female. Yes, the players are incredibly good looking. But they’re also incredible athletes who have amazing talents on the pitch. And they should be praised for their talents above any other physical feature they have.
And we hope that if these fans stick around, they increase their football intelligence immediately, and restore order in the female football fan world. Also so that I can go back to supporting Fernando Torres with pride.