Sunday, 9 November 2014

Hard work

Queens Park Rangers 2 Manchester City 2

I'm not usually able to catch QPR's official weekly show 'London Call In', and to be honest I have never cared for it too much as it always feels a little too official and censored. The QPR Podcast with Finney et al has always been a lot more fun, and something I can relate to. But this week I watched the Rodney Marsh special and was struck by something that he said about QPR fans in particular. He called our fan base a 'cult' and said there will always be that hardcore 17,000 no matter what- rain or shine, league two or premier league. The reason why it struck me is because I've always wondered whether all football fans are the same and whether the only thing that separates us is the club that we support. I'd very much like to think that we were all different, after all- how can an Arsenal fan be anything like a QPR fan? Their version of disappointment must be extremely different from ours. I can't imagine their fans saying things like ' I wish the team really wanted to play for our shirt', or 'Wouldn't it be nice to be first on MOTD?'.

Currently we're pretty happy with our team's performance on the pitch. We've only gleaned 4 points from the last 4 games, but most of us don't care because it is such a pleasure for us to finally watch a  blossoming team - with team being the operative word. Like most I can't fault anyone's performance in the last few games, but for me at the heart of it is this player called Charlie Austin who would much rather see us win a game than see himself score a goal. It is obvious that he getting fitter (no pun intended), and more confident and I am even more excited about having him with us now than ever before. But, and I have said this before, what makes it all so great is the fact the epitomises what we British folk all love - a working class hero who has been through the hardship and come out the other side. Scratch that, people love someone who has worked hard regardless of who they are, for what they have. At least I'd like to think that is exactly how QPR fans are.

Harry hit the nail on the head in his post match interview with his son Jamie yesterday. He used all the other 'excuses' around the players that he had, the fitness levels and the injuries to explain the earlier poor performances. But admitted that at the end of the day it was the simple premise that if one doesn't put in a good shift on the pitch (i.e. vs. Manchester Utd and Tottenham), one simply isn't going to stand a chance of getting anything out of a match. Last week I talked about some simple things that needed to change and that the team appears to have discovered. Add to that one overriding simple point - if you ain't prepared to put in, you ain't going to get anything out. I often wonder whether this highly digital world we live in, this world of video games and Millennials sitting next to each other who are talking to each other on their phones via whatsapp versus face to face, the idea of effort is slowly disappearing. In the UK in particular, as the work place continues to change from one of industry to one of service and technology, are we surprised that many people (not just the young), are trying to find quicker ways to provide minimal effort for maximum effect? And is that the right thing to do, or the right way to go?

I'd like to think not. And on that note I've been hearing about a documentary being made about QPR called The Story of QPR. It's a project by the The Octavia Foundation and QPR in the Community Trust working with young people 16-24 to produce a range of multimedia telling the story of QPR. It's fantastic project and I've seen a 'teaser' here on youtube: Story of QPR Teaser. But I would say that wouldn't I? Although I don't think I am biased in saying that for a small club like ours with a cult like following, we do a hell of a lot of good stuff that really matters in this world.                  

When I see effort and projects like this, it's hard to believe that there is any truth in the theory that we're all going through a bit of a change in society and  in our cultural beliefs about work and what it means. I don't know what's going to happen but I would be horrified if we see a huge value shift and we stop respecting the Charlie Austins that come our way.

But, I am comforted by what I see in football and the little world of QPR that we know and love.

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