Interesting article below from Keenos posted on Arsenal’s She Wore a Yellow Ribbon website. It identifies yet another footballing sub-cult that has made its way onto the terraces over the past year or so, another cultural trend towards the complete middle-classification of football.
Going off the article this type revels in the ‘spectacle of participation’, a kind of flourishing footballing class tourist mingling with the proles, quietly having a laugh at our expense. Ironically, and we live in the age of mass communal irony, they are using real world situations as a means to elevate their more authentic internet selves – it only becomes real once it’s posted online.¹
(It’s time we cracked open Common People again, just for the hell of it).
Rise of the LAD Bible supporter
Over the years, there have been many different groups of fans who go to games. Casuals, Shirters, JCLs and Tourists being four. But recently we have seen a new type of fan come onto the scene. The LAD Bible Fan.
They go to football just to say that they go to football. They see themselves as a LAD and the most LADish activity is going to football. They do not really care about the game, they care about telling their friends that they went to the football. They will take pictures, take videos, post them onto various social media, just to let you know that they are a LAD who go’s football.
A LAD bible fan usually wears Stone Island. Or if their student loan does not stretch that far, will wear Primark and will purchase a fake Stone Island badge that they beg their mum to sow onto all of their clothes. Why Stone Island? Because it is the most LAD clothing brand out there. They will pair their Primark jumper with a Stone Island badge with a Stone Island baseball cap and a pair of £10 H&M jeans.
You will often see them taking seflies of themselves, ensuring the Stone Island badge is on show. This will show to their Twitter followers how much of a LAD they are.
Before a game they are usually found in the concourse. Beer in hand, having a sing song. But look closer, and in the other hand, they have their phone. Videoing themselves and the crowd having a sing song. Then the bouncing starts. Then the beer go’s in the air. Soaking everyone. After all, what is more LAD than chucking a £5 beer in the air soaking your mate. It’s only BANTZ mate.
The video’s go online. Firstly to ensure everyone knows that they are a LAD who go’s football, has a sing song, and chucks beer in the air. Secondly in the hope that LAD Bible pick up the video, tweet it, and you go viral. You not only become a LAD. You become a VIRAL LAD.
During the game, they are not watching it. Remember, they do not massively enjoy football. They enjoy telling people that they go football. The game is just an inconvenience which takes time away from jumping up and down and throwing beer at each other.
To keep themselves busy during the game, they are usually videoing every moment. The play, the crowd, the opposition taking a corner. Why? Again, to let people know they are at the game. And in the hope that they might pick up a bit of golden footage that can turn them into a VIRAL LAD. They always carry a portable phone charger in their pocket. Don’t want the battery to run out when there is 90 minutes of footage to be have.
On the train home, they have a bit of a sing song. About Kolo and Yaya Toure. About Jamie Vardy’s party. About chatting shit and getting banged. This, despite them not supporting Manchester City, Liverpool or Leicester. This is probably the worst trait of the LAD Bible fan.
Singing an opponent’s song, for BANTZ, because they saw it on LAD Bible. One of their mates will be recording them. To stick it up online. So that everyone knows that they make a bit of noise on the train. When the train guard comes past, they sing at him. If you are a LAD, you do not respect authority.
When they get back to whatever town they came from, they sit down for dinner with their mum, trying to hide that they have had a couple of beers (they bought 6, but 4 went in the air), and are back to normal life. All the time checking their phone to see how many RTs or Likes their videos and selfies have got during the day. Refreshing theLADbible’s feed in the hope that they repost one of your videos.
The LAD Bible fans are an odd breed. They spend thousands going up and down the country watching football, to just tell people that they go up and down the country watching football. It is more important that people see them as a LAD who go’s football, then as a football fan.
There used to be a conundrum many years ago. Would you rather shag Paris Hilton, but no one knows, or not shag her, but everyone thinks you have. The LAD Bible fans are the same. They would rather not go football, but everyone thinks they do, than go football, but no one knows about it.
Their ultimate aim? To get a call from the BBC to appear on the third series of Football Fight Club. That will show their friends and family that they are a SUPER LAD.
The LAD Bible fans. Coming to a ground near you soon.
follow Keenos on Twitter: https://twitter.com/KeenosAFC
- She Wore a Yellow Ribbon is an independent Gooners website promoting the ordinary fans eye view down at Arsenal.
¹ aye and yes we’re not that dumb as to recognise the supreme irony of someone off the internet moaning to other people on the internet about people who live their lives on the internet. But (and i can’t speak for Keenos on this) when it comes down to it this really isn’t about the internet, it’s about us and how we are gradually being excluded from our own environments, environments which have already been turned into playgrounds for the rich and now the middle class want in, claiming it as their own.