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Stoke programme notes
August 29th, 2008
A common criticism of all Premiership grounds is the lack of atmosphere.
In the past, the terraces were the places to sing. It was relatively easy for like minded individuals to gather together and sing without feeling isolated: alone: or foolish. There were fewer distractions from the football. That raw tribal instinct and passion has been lessened as the modern fan has been introduced to the comforts of the Premiership.
The terraces have gone, it is now almost impossible to gather and organise. Fans are getting to their seats later and later, the atmosphere no longer has time to grow.
There is little doubt that when the fans are in full voice there is no better place to be than inside the Riverside.
Anyone at the Spurs game who failed to be impressed by volume and passion of the Wheater chant needs to make an appointment with their GP and get him to check for a pulse!
Unfortunately, we don't do it often enough. The constraints of modern football make the generation and ability to maintain a good atmosphere increasingly difficult.
Liverpool use the singing of "You'll never walk alone" as the teams come out. It serves to set the tone and reminds everyone what they are there for.
We have our own anthem, "We Shall Overcome", we seldom use it, and indeed many younger fans may never have heard it! Nevertheless, it is unique to us as a club, perhaps it is time to reintroduce it before kick off?
Many of our songs and chants are short sharp bursts, over and done with before other sections of the ground can latch on. Longer more sustainable songs could be the answer. Song sheets can be produced, and websites have been set up where new songs can be posted and seen by anyone who has an interest in learning or doesn't know the words.
Most importantly, don't feel inhibited. Join in. Singing is infectious; people will soon start joining in around you once the silence is broken.
We ARE the atmosphere. It's not something Steve Gibson can buy. We must generate it ourselves. It must come from us
Spurs programme notes - Rise to the challenge
August 22nd, 2008
After two seasons of transition it is understandable that the team are expected to make progress on the pitch this season. It should be an exciting season off the pitch as well.
The Club have been rightly congratulated for introducing £95 junior season tickets and the atmosphere at The Riverside should benefit from the increase in enthusiastic young supporters.
Hopefully The Riverside crowd will also take up the challenge thrown down by the larger contingents of away fans in the South Stand. Many of the big teams and northern clubs with large followings will sell their full allocation and it will be up to us, the home support, to respond passionately and positively.
At the next home game against Stoke City on August 30th, The Twe12th Man will unveil three new banners. The Boro Legends banner is almost complete and looks fantastic. This banner will be displayed along the back of the East stand.
Over the summer we also invited Boro fans to vote on slogans for two banners that will be displayed in the north and south west corners. Many good suggestions were made and the two winning slogans were 'Spirit Of '86' and 'Our Club, Our Town, Our Teesside'. All three banners will add to the colour and character of our stadium.Improving the vocal support from the crowd is our long term aim.The Twe12th Man will distribute 'song sheets' containing ideas for new chants at early away games this season. In days gone by it is true that fans on the terraces didn't need any form of organisation and the traditional atmosphere in British grounds was very much spontaneous. Unfortunately this is no longer the case.The Twe12th Man is prepared to trial any method which may have a positive impact on the atmosphere at The Riverside and on the road. Let us hope that as fans we can be as committed to the cause as we expect the players to be in 2008/09.We Shall Overcome.
The next Twe12th Man meeting will be held at The Ironopolis Club, Bright Street, Middlesbrough on Thursday 11th September at 19:30.