I belong to a Yahoo! group called ‘Planeteels’ and on this group are a whole bunch of like-minded Parramatta Eels fans.
The last couple of years have been a frustrating time to be an Eels supporter, and with the team 1-2 at the start of this season, calls are already starting for the coach, Brian Smith, to be axed.
It happens every year, as soon as we lose 2 in a row. But as soon as we win a couple in a row, it all goes quiet.
I wrote up a few categories of what I thought Parra fans could be grouped into….
Parra Fan Version 1 – The Die-Hard Parra Fan ‘NO MATTER WHAT’
This is the fan that follows the Eels and everything that comes with them, from the coach, to the person behind the counter at the Leagues Club. This person will back Smithy all the way, but will also back any coach that comes in, simply because they are coaching THEIR TEAM.
They would wear Asics, use Pirtek, and visit Mounties.
These fans will post whether we win, or lose, but will be positive to the hilt.
Parra Fan Version 2 – The Die-Hard Parra Fan that is disillusioned.
This is the person that has followed the Eels ‘forever’, but is becoming upset, frustrated and disapppointed at our performances in recent years. They are probably thinking it’s time for a change, but are not necessarily certain that a new coach would be the answer. They will still turn up to games, and watch every week with un-waivering support, but come Monday, they are either elated or angry for the days until the next game.
These fans will rarely post, but when they do, they make sense.
Parra Fan Version 3 – The Parra Fan that wants results NOW.
This fan has been calling for Brian Smith’s head every since the 2001 Grand Final. They want change, and they want it yesterday. From the CEO, to the ball-boys, they think that unless we start from scratch, our team won’t be winning a premiership any time soon.
These fans post often when we are losing and can spark reactions from ‘Fan version 1’
Parra Fan Version 4 – The Parra Fan that can’t stand Brian Smith.
I know a Parramatta fan, who loves our team, and has followed them for decades, but just can’t stand Brian Smith as a coach. These people are getting to the point where they just don’t want to watch Parra play any more, because they know it’ll be the same ‘story’ every week. They will not be happy until Smithy is gone, and someone else (anyone else) is at the helm.
These fans will post like mad after a loss or two with ‘Anti-Smithisms’ and calls for JT to coach First Grade now.
Parra Fan Version 5 – The Parra Fan that ‘never forgets’
These are the fans that continually bring up past Parra mistakes, players we’ve let go, coaching decisions that have been made, player recruitment and player brain-snaps. They remember the Paul Carige screw-up in the Semi. They remember Witt’s ‘backwards’ drop-out, and now they can remember Morrison’s ‘quick tap’. They are always looking for the next screw-up to bring it up and blame someone.
These fans are usually very quiet when we are playing well.