The day the Tifo died…
While other football loving nations persist in showing their love for their teams through complex, choreographed fan art from the stands, we British have, as usual, remained stoic and unaffected.
Not for us hours spent on hands and knees on warehouse floor, planning, sketching, painting and testing a tifo, before co-ordinating hundreds of fans in our section of the ground to maximise the impact of our incredible art.
No. If we’ve got something to say, we’ll wake up late on the day of the game, scribble our message on a bit of A4 someone found in their bag on the bus, spell it incorrectly and then hold it up with the same pride one might find in a British gold medalist on the podium.
It’s better that way. Because when we try to take part, things like this happen and… well, our reputation in Europe is at a low ebb anyway. Let’s not hammer it home.
Even our American cousins have raised their tifo game of late; most notably when NY Red Bulls offered a satirical response to rivals New York City adding Andrea Pirlo and Frank Lampard to their roster.
Thank goodness for Seattle Sounders. Without them we might have become a laughing stock of global football, a population throbbing with potential that never quite manages to get it together when it matters.
For while the Sounders tifo game is generally strong, it’s fair to say that their effort at the infamous derby vs. Portland Timbers on Sunday night fell so wide of the mark, they might have been better off sticking to bits of cereal box and gaffer tape.
Oh wait. They did. With a special appearance by Rick Astley.
If you’re not familiar with the concept of Rickrolling (and you could be forgiven, as it was a thing that was big in 2008) it basically involved playing the video to Rick Astley’s ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ in unexpected places, either via a hyperlink, a Melania Trump speech or, as it turns out, at a football match.
Twitter (never backward in coming forward when it comes to issuing honest opinions about creative efforts) went in two footed, which prompted the Emerald City Supporters group to issue a statement explaining how their tifo was a wily effort to draw attention to excessive ticket prices and marketing in the MLS.
Worse still, this was Portland’s effort at the reverse fixture in July. You’ve effectively just chosen Rick Astley as your man in a Celebrity Death Match against Freddy Krueger.
Take this moment and relish it, Great Britain. Until Newcastle United fans revolt against Rafa, we are not the most embarrassing contributors to supporter art in the world.
It really won’t last.