I don’t wish to gloat but…Norwich 4 Scum 1

Today was a fantastic day to be a Norwich City fan. It saw Norwich host local rivals Ipswich Town (affectionately referred to as “the scum” by Norwich fans) in the East Anglian derby (daftly referred to as the “Old Farm” by outsiders). The BBC were generous enough to show it, which was great news for me, seeing as I’m stuck in Liverpool.

The match revolved around Grant Holt, who managed to start a little scrimmage soon after kick off, and gave Norwich the lead soon after. However, Ipswich managed a header equalizer from Damien Delaney shortly after that. Norwich played some lovely passing football, with débutante Henri Lansbury controlling the game from midfield, and putting Holt through for a second goal. The turning point of the match saw Ipswich goalscorer Delaney being sent off for a professional foul on Holt, after he was caught dithering on the ball. After that Norwich were in control, another flowing move seeing Holt get a hat trick in the second half. Sub Wes Hoolahan finished things off a couple of minutes later with a close finish following excellent work from Chris Martin and Holt. There was time for a little more drama when substitute striker Simeon Jackson went down in the box, but the ref booked Jackson for diving instead of awarding a penalty.

The final whistle saw much jubilation in the Skeptic Canary living room, and ensures bragging rights for NCFC, at least until the return match at Ipswich in April. On the ball, City!

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  1. I know it’s a fairly common term for rival teams, but “scum”? Really? Can we not?

    I enjoy a good football match 40% as much as the next man, but I don’t get why it has to be such a big fucking deal the whole time. Why can’t you just have a nice, friendly rivalry like adults, without petty name-calling? It’s one thing to deliberately underplay your rivals’ footballing prowess, but calling them “scum” is just vicious — especially in victory.

    Nothing of any meaning has happened on a football pitch since 1914, and you’re calling people scum simply for living in Ipswich. How is that not bigotry? Okay, so you’re joking, but other people have killed each other over football. Would it be okay to call black people “niggers” if you did so affectionately?

    I don’t know, it just seems needlessly nasty to me. Is the game really that dull when you’re civil about it?

  2. Tom

    Hi Andrew,

    This is about banter and local bragging rights. We call them scum, they call us scum, and we have done for decades. We gloat when we win, they gloat when they win, everyone knows the score, and at the end of the day if anyone really takes it seriously that’s their loss.

    Football is about escapism, and local rivalries are part of it. If you want to be completely literal about it, you could say that football is just a bunch of people chasing a ball about a pitch, and why would you care when there are wars in the world?

    I know plenty of Ipswich fans in real life and we are perfectly civil to each other, apart from when they get me blind drunk and pour cider down my arse, but thats another story.

  3. Tom

    Yeah, slight difference there. “Scum” isn’t a racial slur, it’s a general derogatory term. When people from Ipswich visit Norwich, they aren’t denied the vote or made to ride at the back of buses. It’s football banter, and if any Ipswich fans are offended by it, they are more than capable of sticking up for themselves here (they have computers in Suffolk you know). If you don’t like it, you’ve got nothing to do with it so you don’t have to get involved.

  4. Please don’t patronise me. I know what football banter is. There are plenty of brilliantly clever football chants that I would class as “banter”, but “we all hate Ipswich scum” doesn’t cut it. Banter is when civilised people exchange cutting witticisms. What you are doing is calling people quite horrid names for being from the wrong place. That’s not banter, it’s just being unpleasant.

    And I think actually I’ve plenty to do with it. I don’t care for your East Anglia derby, but it’s nationwide. My parents support rival teams, and I should like to enjoy a day at the derby without my dad’s mates chanting that they hate the scum he married and vice versa. I’m sorry if you think that’s prissy, but aside from anything else I would hope they had the wit to come up with something cleverer than that.

    And even if I didn’t, would it be so wrong to be offended on behalf of a third party?

    • Tom

      “And even if I didn’t, would it be so wrong to be offended on behalf of a third party?”

      Interesting question. I think it’s OK to be offended on behalf of a a third party as long as 1) The third party can’t stand up for themselves 2) You know that the third party are offended. In this case, you’ve admitted to not caring for the East Anglian derby, so you don’t know the rivalry between Norwich and Ipswich fans. Also, Ipswich fans are more than capable of standing up for themselves. If they’ve got a problem with me referring to them as “scum” (and I know a couple of Ipswich fans who read this blog) then they can say so.

      If you want to stop local footballing rivalries (or any other local rivalries for that matter) then you end up in a censorship debate. Shall we stop people from Newcastle referring to people from Sunderland as “Mackems”, or people in Yorkshire saying “hate the red rose!”? Local rivalries have been around for a long time, and as long as they aren’t taken seriously then there I see no problem. If some people take it too far, then shame on them.

  5. Okay, now you’re just being ridiculous.

    First you tell me when it is and isn’t “OK” to be offended. That’s insane, and anyway I don’t see it as “standing up for” Ispwich fans, I see it as attacking a rather ugly and, frankly, downright nasty aspect of football fandom.

    And then you yet again repeat this absurd idea that I am against all rivalries, which you could have dispelled by reading as many as three sentences of my first comment. I’m not. I just think you can have a rivalry without chanting abuse at each other.

    You don’t get this shit at the cricket. That’s what I’m saying.

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