It’s not just a game! It’s Football! Everything I love about football… Other than football!

by admin

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

For me, the culture that surrounds football is as equally mesmerizing as the very sport itself, and in turn encapsulates my love of Oxford United.

In the coming weeks I will explore some of the things I love about United other than the eleven players on the pitch, and the art of kicking a ball around a big field. Starting this week with… the chant.

I have always found football chants a fascinating thing. They are a primitive and primordial act, reminiscent of our days as barbarian, neolithic warriors. Like wartime odes sung across a raging river or some other geographical divide, before going into battle against a rival clan with rusty blades and makeshift spears.

In todays slightly more civilized world however, separate several thousand passionate, patriotic, bloodthirsty football fans with a thin sheet of black fabric or a line of nervy stewards and watch them once again brandish their only remaining weapon… the larynx!

There is something quite bizarre about a group of hard nosed, testosterone fueled men singing in chorus across a stadium divide or a piece of netting as if their lives depended on it. I have often rendered myself voiceless for days following matches, but still, it was worth every decibel!

At Oxford we have a wonderful arsenal of chants. As a fan base they are the weapons we take in to battle as our players fight it out on the front line.

From the somewhat gratuitous appraisal of Matt Green’s libido and a certain upper class spice girl, to the more family friendly ‘come on you yellows’, an afternoon at the Kas-Stad becomes so much more than just a football match.

In my opinion, you could divide our armory of OUFC hits into a handful of main categories.

The first of these are the ‘clean’ chants. Loved by one and all United fans they are the songs we all know and cherish. The afore mentioned ‘COYY’, the temporarily muted ‘Ei ei ei o’ and ‘Come on, come on… Oxford!’ sung to the tune of Oxfordshire’s most famous musical ‘export’ Gary Glitter. These are the chants that are as at home in the south stand lower as they are the peak of the Oxford Mail stand.

The next category of chants are those we save solely for our opposition. Outbursts of ‘Who are ya!?’, ‘My garden shed…” and the one that really hurts ‘Your support is…’ you know the rest!

Then comes the compilation we direct toward the man in the middle. The wonderfully improvised ‘he only refs on a sunday’ featured in our recent FA cup clash at Burton, ‘All we want is a decent referee!’ and my all time favorite, although rarely heard now eleven years on, ‘Are you mike Reid in disguise?’.

The fourth and final selection of tunes belong to our much hated arch rivals who play in red. Wintry, red breasted garden birds, bonfires, ‘surrender or you’ll die’ all spring to mind.

Like every football team up and down the nation, our chants are what make us who we are. Some of them belong just to us, some of them we we share with the entire country. But all in all they are just good fun, and make a day at the football a little bit more than just a game! Which one is your favorite?

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  • Mystical Mike

    keeping it real Terry, good passionate piece!

    My mate is a Boro fan, and he prefers the Championship to the Premier League. Real football for real people is what he tells me, I’m sure you’ll agree

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