Date: 24th February 2009 at 9:19am
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The Boo Taboo – by Adam Boxer

Vital QPR`s latest blog entry takes a look at booing and some past instances in relation to this weekend`s display against Ipswich.

The Boo Taboo

I like many Rangers supporters was shocked and appalled to hear a section of supporters turn on their own side in the wake of a disappointing result against Ipswich infront of the viewing masses on Saturday.

There had been a bitter disappointment simmering under the surface of some Rangers supporters for quite some time. Irrespective of the fixture some people are just hacked off at the club in general and what we saw on Saturday was the culmination of emotions that the club has arguably driven a section of supporters to.

Some choose to stand up and walk off, some choose to sit in silence while other perhaps more verbally active supporters began to vent their frustration in the only way they know how. By verbally haranguing everything around them and only something innocuous such as a stray pass was going to tip these people over the edge.

Two substitutes had come and gone with visible frustration from those leaving the field with Samuel Di Carmine shaking his head and Damien Delaney a tad more vocal throwing his jacket down on the bench in anger. When the third substitute came along nobody expected what was to become a defining moment in the fixture.

Angelo Balanta appeared on the touchline to the delight of most Rangers fans who see him as a wave of the future and an example of the excellent job being/that has been performed by Steve Brown and his coaching staff in the youth set-up. Mahon was already loosening his captains armband in preparation for what was to come – however when number 18 appeared on the board some supporters like myself sensed the early reactions of the crowd – those in the know were not best pleased.

When the rest of the crowd were enlightened as to who sported the number 18 they were driven into delirium, it was the smallest most insignificant thing that sent some ‘supporters` over the edge. Chants of ‘you don`t know what you`re doing` started emanating from a minority of areas in and around the Loftus Road end while others sat silent unable to contemplate what they were hearing.

Gavin Mahon, who hadn`t had a good game by his standards, was then subjected to a barrage of boos and abuse from fans who claimed to be ‘supporting` their side – now there`s an oxymoron for you. Some people spend a lot of money to get to the ground so can their behaviour be justified merely by the ticket they hold?

Does paying the entrance fee give a supporter carte blanche to say whatever they feel and express their opinion – within the normal realm of accepted speech in society – at will? On Saturday we witnessed a verbal assault on one of our own, and other supporters leapt to the defence of Mahon cheering and supporting his every move. Unfortunately this was also hi-jacked by the boo boys who used it as an ironic tool of oppression for the former Watford man.

Sadly enough this isn`t the first time even in recent years where the fans have turned on the players. Georges Santos is a name that conjures up conflicting images in the minds of supporters – while to some people like myself who saw him as a fantastic servant to the club in periods of difficulty, others would say he was the worst player who ever put on a Rangers shirt in our entire 127 year history.

A slight exaggeration I apologise, but one would forgive me for that assertion having seen the treatment he received in games prior to his departure or when manager Holloway decided to throw him forward as an extra striker. Hardly his fault and in fact it showed his ability to adapt and want to play for the club, for the shirt and henceforth and most importantly of all, for the supporters.

I can understand a lot of the frustration that surrounds people that want to boo the player – I at times get these urges to speak out against the players but there is a switch that says they are trying for the shirt, and as long as they do that I will never give them abuse.

During our demise over the turn of the Millennium, players who shall remain unnamed were smiling as ball after ball hit the back of our net at various grounds across the country without so much of a care as to how much the supporters had paid and how loyal they were to the club.

Barnsley, Sheffield Wednesday, Wimbledon and Preston North End are grounds that long stick in the memory as grounds where players and managers took some serious abuse from the supporters for not just incompetence but lack of effort.

This latest tirade on a player like Gavin Mahon shouldn`t affect him a jot, but on Saturday it sent a signal to Ipswich fans and players alike – this one was in the bag.

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