I've been thinking lately about how supporting punk rock music is a lot like supporting a rubbish football team.
Obviously one of my biggest passions in life is punk rock music but, unless you know me away from the words I type on the internet, you probably don't know that I'm also a big football fan and am a avid supporter of the mighty Crystal Palace. I often get looked at funny or get a condescending "oh, that's cool" comment when I talk to people about my love of punk and I get the same look when I say that I support Crystal Palace. Granted, it's a bit more acceptable now to support them as they're an established Premier League team but they are still far from fashionable.
It's never been an easy thing to support Crystal Palace. Over the past twenty years that I've been a member of the Red and Blue Army I've seen many embarrassing losses and relegations and, on three separate occasions, they’ve gone through administration and almost ceased to exist as a football club. It would have been much easier to support a team like Manchester United or Chelsea, win matches every week and have so much money you can go buy the best players whenever you want. But why would anyone want that? Anytime Crystal Palace have some success it means so much more to the club and every single fan.
Something I've noticed over the years is how supporting a rubbish team brings people together. If you go to Selhurst Park (home of Crystal Palace) then you will see people o f all ages, gender, sexualities, race and class coming together, uniting for the common cause - supporting our rubbish team through thick and thin. To be at Selhurst Park feels like being part of a community, much like coming together with other like-minded punks feels like being part of a community. Punk shows also bring people from all walks of life together for a common goal - to do something different and to do it the right way. People coming together to make a difference, no matter how small it is, makes me proud to be a tiny part of the punk community. Punks working together to put on shows is what keeps the genre alive much like the fans of a football team are what keep it alive. In 2010 Crystal Palace were minutes away from going out of business, a group of passionate Palace fans protested the bank's decision and this was a massive factor in Palace being bought and surviving. It goes to show what people working together with the same goal can achieve.
Like with going to a punk show, going to see Palace live is the best part of being a fan. The atmosphere is something you have to experience to fully believe just how good it is. This is real passion for something that you love. I remember going to see Palace lose on countless times but the fans never stop singing, such is the passion for their team. Win or lose, rain or shine, we sing at the tops of our voices for the team that we love much like we do at a punk show. Whether it's a sold out show at a big venue or you're at a gig with 10 other people in a tiny pub in Camden, you sing your heart out along with the bands that you love.
Supporting a rubbish football team or listening to punk rock is supporting the underdog. It'll never be a cool thing to do and very often it'll be a struggle, but it will always be one of the most rewarding things I have in my life.