Archive for the ‘FC Nantes’ Tag

Sad day

I know this is a hockey blog, but I won’t talk about hockey today, because I don’t really care right now. Today, it’s all about football. The first sport I was interested in as a child. The first sport I seriously watched on tv. The first sport I attended in person in a stadium with my dad. Of course, with football immediately came the first team I became a fan of.  The FC Nantes. The first team I witnessed winning championships and cups. The first team that regularly broke my heart too.

nantes1995FC Nantes 1994-95. The team that made me love football forever.

Hockey won me over a few years ago, and I now often find myself a little more interested in the nhl than in football. Especially since the FCN has betrayed its fans and its history for the last 8 seasons. But I just can’t feel completely indifferent to this club. Yesterday, it lost yet another crucial game, and the team is now certain to be relegated, for the second time in 3 seasons (after having spent 44 consecutive seasons without being relegated, a record in France). This hurts badly. Relegation is a pain that has no equivalent in the nhl.

In the nhl, when your team sucks, at least you know it will get good draft picks, and you know it could get really exciting in a few years. Of course, there’s always the lingering fear that the team could move, if the owners are really really awful. But this is pretty impossible for the historical franchises. No one can seriously imagine the Leafs, the Habs or the Bruins will disappear, even if they suck for a few seasons in a row. In football, if your team really sucks, it can totally disappear from the elite scene for a decade. With relegation comes huge budget cuts. All your best players are immediately traded, because you can’t afford them anymore. The big sponsors leave. The tv revenues drop. A demotion also often means turmoil with an alienated fanbase, and the most passionate fans calling for change in the ownership or at least the direction of the team. And when I say calling for, I mean in a public and very vocal way. Like hostile chants and signs at every game (home and away), demonstrations, campaigns in the local media to discourage people to renew their seasons tickets,  and unfortunately sometimes, violent actions too. That’s a lot of uncertainty, in a competitive environment like football. Under those circumstances, it’s pretty tough to get promoted again.

This is a really sad day for the FC Nantes. And the saddest thing is that the club deserves it. The owner, Waldemar Kita, has made terrible decisions since he took over two seasons ago. He seems largely more preoccupied by his ego than by the well being of the club. His policy of systematically erasing references to the traditions and the identity of the club have sickened the fanbase. This policy also deepened an identity crisis that had begun a few seasons before. The 8 last seasons have been awful for the fans of this once proud club. And with this new relegation, it certainly doesn’t look like we’re headed in right direction.

To me, the worst part is that I don’t recognize my team anymore. I don’t care for most of the players, I hate the owner, I don’t particularly like the coach, and I hate the way they play. This is probably what hurts the most. This club was once famous for its exciting offensive and fast-paced style of play, nicknamed “le jeu à la nantaise”. Those days are long gone. Had I not followed them for so long, this team would be dead to me.

man_weeps

I declare 3 days of mourning on this blog.

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Posted May 24, 2009 by Grrrreg in Uncategorized

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Montreal lost. I don’t care.

Montreal lost in OT yesterday. I only watched the two last periods, and it wasn’t great. Especially in the third. 11 shots for the devils, 4 for the habs. At the end of regulation, I was actually relieved they managed to get a point out of this.

But anyway, I’m not gonna let this game depress me. There are things clearly more important than this loss:

200812050120_w350Miss France 2009

Miss France 2009 was elected last night, and I had a blast following it on tv. Of course, I know it’s a totally ridiculous show, but with some friends, pizza and alcohol, it always turns into an amazing night… So every year, we organize a little contest with some of my friends about this. We try to guess which one will fall in the stairs (Yesterday’s winner: Miss Guadeloupe). And of course, we try to guess the final rankings.

As always, one of the worst candidates somehow makes her way to the final 5. And as always, one of the highlights of the night is the guy who tries to motivate the viewers to vote, and appears before each advertising break. He’s a small bald guy with big glasses, he’s supposed to be in charge of the call center, and he’s invariably sweaty, very agitated, and amazed by the “historic” number of votes, and how tight the race is this year. I’m considering to launch a fan club on facebook.

presentateur-miss-franceBest TV guy in the world

So as usual, we weren’t disappointed last night. It was a solid show, with a great performance by the vote guy.

~~~

Another reason to feel good today: my soccer team, le FC Nantes, beat Lyon yesterday night. To  those of you who don’t care or know much about soccer (let alone french soccer), let me just say that I truly despise Lyon. They’ve won 7 championships in a row now, and I just can’t stand them. It’s the richest club in the league, and they win year after year, it’s an abomination.

As opposed to Lyon, Nantes is the loveliest club you could find. They’ve got a rich history, they have bright and unusual colors (yellow and green), a cute nickname (the canaries), and the tradition of the club was to play a fast paced, offensive and creative game, with lots of youngsters.

This is Nantes

But for the last few years, Nantes has been awful. They forgot everything that made them special. They were demoted two seasons ago. They climbed back to the first league last season, but they’re really struggling this year.

So when they win a game versus Lyon, nothing could depress me, really.

:)

Posted December 7, 2008 by Grrrreg in Uncategorized

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