Wednesday, December 17, 2008

News From St. Pauli



I asked them some questions about a few things, along with a little on this article about, Ultra subculture being on the wane. St. Pauli is a good group to look at, they are against racism and welcome all people, unlike some European groups. Email below:

Hey Ryan! First of all I have to apologize for not answering your e-mails such a long time! Usually we try to answer e-mails as soon as possible, but the mails from you guys were put back again and again, passed from one person to the other and obviously no one pulled himself together and answered the mails. Bad style, sorry.

I really enjoyed your mails! To be honest, I know not too much about the fan scene in the United States. As you can imagine, if we look for information about American fans, we mainly focus on South-America. But I like the things you do in your stadium. It doesn’t look like what we expect if we imagine football fans in the US at all! Hahaha, I have to admit that we mostly think of people sitting in a plastic chair, singing the national anthem, eating popcorn und seeking for a happy afternoon. Stupid stereotypical thinking, isn’t it? Well, I was surprised when I realized your achievements.

I’m sure you will find cheaper materials for your flags and for the other material. Spending 240 Dollar for the thing you sent me seems to be very expensive for me. Have a look at what we did in one of our last home-games. All the necessary material did not exceed 200 Dollar I think. http://img518.imageshack.us/img518/5758/dsc0040dr6.jpg (it’s FCSP for Fussball Club Sankt Pauli). You have to be creative, try to find cheaper material, things you can make use of in the stadium, risk something, dare to experiment with things you can find, try to create as much as you can on your own. I’m sure you will find things and I’m sure you’ll have great ideas! By the way, we also make use of projectors. Not for banners with slogans on them, but for more complicated things like characters or something like that.

Regarding the article you sent me. As you know it was published in a quite established magazine about football culture in general. I don’t agree with most of it. The article has been discussed by lots of footballs fans both “normal” fans and fans who are more “active” in Germany because it deals with questions that are as old as the ultra-groups themselves. In my opinion the article is weak in journalistic issues. The intention might be interesting and indeed it deals with some debatable developments occurring over the last ten years, but in the end it’s not more than a quite superficial story. As I wrote before, I don’t agree with most of that the author says and concludes.

It’s very hard to describe the situation of ultra and other subcultures related to football like skinheads, hooligans, mods… in Europe. Every country has its one story, its one background. I don’t know what you know about all this things yet. About the situation in Italy (which definitely inspired ultra all over the world) and about the situation in Germany. I don’t think ultra is waning here, but I think most of the groups are not very good. (btw: I didn’t know the word “wane”, I like it!). Mostly it’s all the same boring stuff and every group copies the other. There are only a few groups who make the difference. I don’t want to judge my own group, but we get respect from most of the other groups. Lots of people say that Sankt Pauli is one of the leading scenes regarding ultra. Personally I guess I know very well about the situation and there are only a few groups I pay respect to.

The article deals with problems that occur between different styles of being a football fan, maybe also with problems different “generations” have with each other. It’s not better or worse, it’s just different. And it was written by a guy who is definitely on one side and who didn’t write his article very conciliatory. So I don’t think it reflects the situation adequately. I fell very flattered when I’m reading your opinions about my group, my tribune and my club. And I will answer all your questions. Ryan, would be interesting to stay in contact. I will also answer the other mail we got from on of your comrades. Take care! C.

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