Singaporeans are fans of Manchester United. I am not sure why. For whatever the historical reasons are, the reality is out on display. United banners decorate sports bars were came are televised. Man United games take precedence over all anything else. Other English teams are relegated to second place, as are alternative sports. It is acceptable for minority support for a limited number of teams – usually Arsenal or Liverpool.
I am in trouble because I support the enemy, Chelsea. The fact that we won last year continues to create silent space when the subject comes up. This year’s leader is what it should be, Man United, except that there are three games left and Chelsea still has an opportunity to claim the title.
Singapore fans are somewhat fickle though. If one admits to weaknesses in the team they support, it is often followed by an “I really want the Spurs (fill in name of any non-top 3 team) to win”. The fan base morphs and realigns itself to the teams at the top.
When I meet a true supporter, the conversation is framed by her/his support of the team. There are no ifs or buts. There is little wavering. They will talk of the fears, voice their concerns, and support their team. There is an enduring connection that one does not always think about. When someone “believes”, believes with one’s heart, mind, and everything that is left, the behavior shifts. There is a bond that exists between everyone in the community. And old writer described the team leadership’s voice this way; “Along the same lines, the Master directed that those who spread the Message be supported by those who believe the Message.” (1 Corinthians 9.14)
As I look at the values I hold closest to my heart, I wonder what kind of fan I am. Do I go with what works at the moment or stick with what I have? Am I holding or embracing? Do I believe?
Whatever the answer is, it will be reveal itself through the actions of the day ahead. Game on.