Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The 12th Man

Great piece in the New York Times today about fan chants and their role in the outcome of soccer games: "...For their passion, a team’s most ardent fans are often called its 12th man — as important to the outcome of a match as the 11 players. They wave banners, paint their bodies and scream until the last whistle sounds. Their chants can create and sustain momentum, help build a rally for a goal, overwhelm an opponent or distract a referee."

In particular, the article features the work of Michael Dennis, one of the founders of the website Fan Chants, a repository of football chants and soccer songs from around the world. It's a pretty extraordinary fieldwork and archival project; if Alan Lomax had turned to sports rather than music, this might have been the result. In fact, Fan Chants might turn out to be a parallel Global Jukebox for future students of sports, audiences, and fandom.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Daniel,

    Thanks for writing about us! It's great to think that an expert on 'fandom', such as yourself, appreciates the archive! I don't know if you have a smart phone, but we have free Android and iPhone apps with all chants included and if you select your favourite team we send you alerts when new chants are in.

    If you want to talk to us about support in different countries across the world or anything else, do contact me - we would be happy to share our experiences with you.


    Android app: http://fanchants.com/blog/fanchants-android-app-now-live/

    iPhone app: http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/fanchants-football-songs-soccer/id375910081?mt=8