Edit – Blog Updated: Now with added Normalisation!
Who among us hasn’t tried to invent ever more ingenius ways of doing ANYTHING other than what we’re actually paid to do during the daily grind? Who among us hasn’t spent time fulfilling amazing feats of procastination and trying to work out how much money we’ve been paid during the time we’ve spent not working while at work? Who among us hasn’t spent time looking up statistics to find out who the Football League’s most tiresome fans are? Well, I’m probably the only one who’s done the latter.
Inspired by a tweet from Bournemouth fan Narrow The Angle (author of the excellent blog of the same name) I decided to investigate who the Football League’s most devestatingly dull fans were. The premise, as inspired by NarrowTheAngle, was that fans of clubs who come onto your team’s message board with the following post are incredibly dull:
Hi, <insert generic team> fan in peace … <Insert generic usually patronising statement/question about your club>.
It’s the “…fan in peace” bit which is irrationally irritating. Mostly because it’s quite clear you’re “in peace”, you tool. When you’re not in peace your post begins:
Hahaha your team is shit loool!!!1!!11!! <My team> ftw. My team pwned your team. You is loserz lol.
These posts mostly appear in the school holidays; funny that. Besides, we invariably know that our team is shit. We have to watch that dross every week. We don’t need some armchair-supporting, FIFA 11-playing, X-Box Live-subscribing wazzock telling us what we already know about our teams!
So, I enlisted the help of the Google to help me find out the most boring fans in the Football League based on the number of times a fan of that club had said “…fan in peace”. The experiment was quite simple: Google the exact phrase (using quotation marks) searching for different fans by club name and nickname. E.g. searching for “Crystal Palace fan in peace”, “Palace fan in peace”, “Eagles fan in peace” and “CPFC fan in peace”. The results were ‘normalised’ by dividing the number of Google Results by the average attendance of the club, and multiplying by 10,000 (to get a whole number). This way, big clubs won’t artificially be top. If you’re bored of this blog already, stop reading now. It doesn’t get anymore interesting than this.
This highly scientific method yielded took about eight hours of work time and yielded some interesting results. We’ll look at it by league:
Championship: By far and away the most boring fans were Leeds fans, having said “Leeds fan here in peace (or derivatives thereof) nearly 18,000 times and with a score of nearly 7000 on the boring scale. The next most dull were Forest fans, with nearly 8,000 utterances of the deadly dull phrase and a score of 3,500. The least dull fans were Burnley and Millwall, who only mentioned the phrase 10 times, though with Millwall not exactly renouned for turning up “in peace”, that might explain it. Given the number of fans they have, Pompey only turning up “in peace” 19 times on the Interweb was surprising.
League One: Again, there’s a runaway leader, and with nearly 9,000 uses, Sheffield Wednesday fans are the most likely to come onto your message board in peace. Even accounting for their large fan base (and therefore normalisation), they’re still top. Thank god there’s no Sheffield Wednesday Band smiley on message boards, otherwise I’d have to pemanantly log off. Honorable mentions to Brighton (who, despite their small attendance, feature highly due to the normalisation process), Southampton and Posh. Carlisle and Colchester United (8) are the most likely to stick to their own message forums and not turn up in “peace” asking how your manager is doing. Mostly because, in Colchester’s case, they’re too busy losing their own managers to care.
League Two: Oxford United take the accolade of most tedious fans in League Two. 430 times we’ve had “Oxford fan in peace” on message fora. Bradford, Torquay and Gillingham were up there with most tiresome fans. In Gillingham’s case, it’s most probably because of our fans’ reputation of being a bunch of moody-gold wearing pikeys (I just sold my soverign ring to webuyyourgold.com) so we need to disarm opposing fans before lurching into banal football chat. Honorable mentions to Accrington Stanley (who are they?) and Macclesfield Town with no utterances of the soporiphic phrase anywhere on the Internet. My guess is that they haven’t yet discovered
fire the Internet in these cosmopolitan towns of the North.
Summary: The most tedious and patronising fans of the football league are fans of Leeds (who knew?), Forest, Sheffield Wednesday, Southampton and Oxford, whilst Gillingham fans are pikeys, Accrington Stanley is still in the 1970s and Millwall fans are not peace-loving hippies.
Of course, with teams with larger fan bases featuring prominantly, it renders these surveys moot. But then, this was more a blog about my procastinatin than a serious look at the most dull football fans anyway (we all know that Charlton fans win that accolade anyway, right?).
Boring fans, a boring blog post. It’s Friday and I’m unmotivated.
PS – if anyone would like a copy of the spreadsheet I compiled this data on, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, follow me on Twitter: @halftimewhistle.