Thursday, April 28, 2011

The M-word Debate: Tin Hat Time

It's important (and the done thing, reading other blog posts) to preface this post by saying most certainly do not agree with or sing about Munich — especially the 'Runway' song, and I tend not to refer flippantly to the Rags by that particular term either. Of course, calling them Munichs is just about as geographically accurate as calling them Mancs...

But unlike many others, I don't see how the now-infamous song belted out on Monday night at Ewood Park has manage to cause an international incident.

There is a section City support who refer to fans of Manchester United as "Munichs". There are many City supporters who say they would never chant anything unpleasant or inflammatory about Munich but see no issue with using the word itself as shorthand for United and their supporters. On Monday night, there were several thousand of them. If the 1958 disaster is not being mocked, or directly referenced, then is the term in isolation offensive? Certainly distasteful, but no more so than racist/homophobic chants towards opposition players or fans?

Manchester United fans have sung about Hillsborough. They've mocked Marc Vivien Foe. They've mocked the Leeds fans who were stabbed in Turkey. It's not a valid argument to justify any form of offensive chanting, just because they're the ones wot done it too — but there is more than one guilty party in this equation.

Most curiously, I have witnessed (with my own eyes) United fans almost goading City fans into singing about the disaster, by themselves making aeroplane gestures — undoubtedly in the hope that they can claim pantomime outrage when a City fan returns the favour.

Perhaps when United cease using the disaster to their advantage, and City fans cease referring to a Bavarian beer-loving town in an unnecessary wind-up, the chants will stop. And then the perished can finally rest in peace.

Hopefully, that day will be soon. City fans who are against the references to Munich can do their bit and not sing about it. There will be some that do — but ultimately, that's their choice.

I'd prefer if we didn't though. We cop enough unnecessary and unsubstantiated flak in the media as it is — let's not give anyone anymore ammo. Be impeccable.

Manchester Remembers — brought to you by AIG.


  1. i remember when that poor bloke from leeds lost his life in turkey.the wonderfull reds held a banner up welcopme to manchester istanbul branch. never nmade to take it down hypocrits every last one of em.

  2. Firstly let me preface MY post by saying, football fans in general are a bunch of hypocritical, tribalistic, cry-babies - and I include myself in that. "The nasty Mister is singing a song about a dead people!" Christ... whatever happened to rising above it or at the very least keeping a smidgen of perspective. Nobody's dead, nobody's physically hurt, nobody's injured.

    As a Blue I certainly don't encourage the use of the term Munich, but not because I'm worried about the offence it causes (though I admit it does and that is a good enough reason to discourage it). No... I wish we didn't use that phrase for selfish purposes. It shifts focus from our team to something nothing to do with football.

    On Monday night City took a big step towards securing fourth spot and for the first twenty minutes at least the lads were excellent. Fair enough, we ended up grinding out a result but that's what tops teams sometimes have to do. We should have been lauded in the press firstly for showing glimpses of being a seriously tidy outfit but secondly for showing the grit and determination that seems to be what is needed to win things (see United). But instead the chatter was about THAT song because the United fans (through the multiple channels now available to them - Twitter, forums, blogs, Facebook, email, etc) made a lot of noise.

    Let's put the hypocrisy of United fans, with there 'You killed your own fans' anti-Liverpool chant, aside for just one second and concentrate on the timing of this new found outrage.

    Why now? Why has there outrage reached such unprecedented levels with this new Toure song? Don't get me wrong, the term Munich has always goaded United fans (probably why they sing it), but I've never witnessed such a backlash as this current one. 'Classless City' they cry... 'Absolute disgrace' the papers agree.

    It's wrong, absolutely, but then it was ten years ago, or five, or two. Why this reaction now?

    I'll like to take a guess, if I may. United have always laughed at us and with good reason. They apparently hated Liverpool, Leeds, etc. more than us because we were not in their league. They'd let us have our little Munich taunts, all the while smiling and pointing at the league table (if we were even in their division). And fair play to them for that, because that's the only thing that matters in football. But now... you'd better believe they can see us coming, hear us coming, even smell us coming we're so close. We're not a team to be pitied or laughed at anymore - we're contenders.

    Barring an absolute capitulation, despite what happens for the remainder of 2010/11, I think it will have been a very positive season for Manchester City. Nobody except the most blinkered Red can deny that the gap between us has closed dramatically.

    We're no joke anymore... we're coming. And they know it. And they'll use every little trick and every petty argument in the book to make us look bad along the way. And that's okay, because I only care about football and I can't wait for the day when we smile at them, pointing at the league table. And that day, my brothers and sisters, is coming... very soon.

    In the meantime, don't give them any ammo. Don't make things easy for them by chanting stupid nonsense that should've been left in the 80's. We're so very nearly there and when the success inevitably comes, I want to be able to hold my head high and enjoy it.

    35 years and we're still here!


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