My return to Budapest to take in Az Klasszikusz (aka MTK – Fradi) led me to thinking about whether it is possible to support more than one club at a time. As somebody who wants to be a tradionalist and an inherent romantic at heart (muahahahah), my initial thoughts were that it was absolutely impossible to support two teams at the same time and the life of a fan and a football team is as closely bound as a pair of swans. But then I realized this stinks of hypocrisy. I am a person who has flitted between clubs like there is no tomorrow. From my Zenit phase from 2003 to 2006 to MTK and now to Frem with an underlying love for Spurs and a few other dalliances along the way. In fact my football supporting career has been fairly promiscuous thereby going against my otherwise swanlike nature.
I am a Spurs fan first and foremost. Meaning that wherever I go, Spurs will always be my go to team when it comes to checking scores. But watching a team on TV distances you from that team. You lose the passion. I will never lose the love, but the passion dims. If Spurs ever win something, I will still yelp like a girl and, possibly, shed a tear, but not having the same passion that going to the stadium week in week out creates. A feeling of connectedness with the players, with the club and with the fellow supporters is impossible to recreate when you are watching pictures bounced off a satellite dish.
But I love football and I love watching it live. Live football engenders a much bigger appreciation for the game itself and also I love the matchday experience. The travel to the ground, the fans, the beer, the songs, the hope, the despair. I no longer criticize a referee for making a close call after watching three slow-mo replays from different angles that seems to be so common these days. They get a split second from one angle. They do their best. I am going off at a tangent here. But appreciation of the game and the matchday experience is one thing. I love being emotionally tied to a game and the people around me and this can only come from choosing a team. Anyone who read the Matrix of Truth series, will know that this was not a particularly easy process. I do not really think there is love at first sight with a football team. You need to work at that relationship. I’d say it takes at least five games to spark that fire.
Beer helps many relationships. Is this a selfie?
But that fire goes. This time about 13 months ago, I was standing in the same place shaking with trepidation. This had been my first trip as an away fan to the new Ulloi Uti stadion for an Az Klasszikusz. Potentially, an MTK win could have kept them in a shout of a title. I was drunk. It was one of those edge of the cliff moments where a win will feel like taking flight under your own steam (I was a bird in a previous life) or crashing to the bottom of a chasm (a suicidal bird). Now I come again. I want MTK to win. Badly. But the team has changed and the manager has changed. This is no longer the MTK 2014/15 model. She has changed and I did not. She wanted to hang out with her friends and see other people (cråp, dragging up some memories). I want Horvath Zsolt, Poloskei and Vuki. Now I have Grgics, Nikacs and Gera. Sure, I could love them. But I don’t yet. So I have moved on. I’ll always look out for you MTK. And maybe one day (sooner than you might think) I will be back and we can fall in love again on those long walks next to the Danube that we always planned together.
For now MTK 14/15, you join Zenit 2004-06 as a team that I will hold fondly in my heart. Unless you move to Arsenal (Andrushka), in which case I will put your cat in the freezer.
Just reread the question I posed myself. I did not answer it. In short, no. There is only so much love I can give. Don’t give that love through a TV screen either folks.
I wrote all the above before the game. I know what a cheat! And now I want to change my opinion, once I was in the stadium I wanted MTK this game. In the immortal words of Fedde Le Grand (or at least the words of the sampled that he used), I’ve got so much love to give. In fact, just do what makes you happy. I am not going to judge you.
Wish they had let me into the Florian Albert that one time. Turned out I met the first ever fan card on its first ever game.
Security guards pleasant and outnumbering MTK as always.
These guys do not like tickles.
Fradi wrapped the league up some time in 2015 (when they had some money thrown at them for whatever political reason)/a couple of weeks ago (when it became mathematically impossible for them to be caught). MTK sit in second five points clear of Debrecen with four games to go. All in all a pretty good season, which has seen some youngsters make their breakthrough as the MTK Academy continues to churn out players good enough to perform in this league. Pre-game, MTK would be happy to take anything off Fradi (although they did beat them earlier in the season to end an implausible 13 year (I cannot be bothered to check the facts, it is called journalism) winning streak.
A picture I took.
MTK came into the match on a three home game streak (at their fifth home of Dunaujvaros in three years) winning two and drawing one without conceding. I came into the game on the back of four pints in an hour. I was buzzing. Only to be disappointed for the empty swathes of seats. Hungary’s Top 2 in a Budapest derby and I would be surprised if there were 3k in attendance. Pretty weak.
A picture says a thousand words. This one has four words, three letters and three numbers.
Kanta scored a free kick after 25 minutes to send me into raptures. MTK deserved the lead at half-time having had most of the game. I was pretty happy as I decided to double beer at half time. This involves buying two beers. Fradi scored two goals in four minutes not long into the second half. It made me sad. (I am going stacatto here). Then, Torghelle scored. Pushing team mate Thiam out of the way, to send a soaring header into the onion bag in the goal beneath us. This calls for a double fist shake – the most precious and meaningful of all celebrations. I even made it onto Hungarian TV. Fradi held on and we celebrated a draw long into the night. I wore my MTK scare proudly (and stupidly) on my walk back through the IX District.
Famous. And happy….
So MTK keep hold of second spot and are looking pretty good to qualify for Europe again. I had a great day all on my own (Gy was at parent’s) and the Torghelle goal topped it off. Sanyi, Sanyi… Who says you cannot love more than one club? Me. Yes, I did. I was wrong.
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