I wanted to write something for the blog in response to my five years having supported the greatest football team in Turkey. As a foreigner in Turkey, it’s quite easy to make friends in such an accepting culture. I have to say though that football makes this all the more enjoyable.
So my first thoughts as Judy and I depart go to the many friends we’ve made as a direct result of supporting this glorious team. The Kanka bond is permanent. It’s hard to remember a time when I’ve ever met such a great group of people. There were those that I worked with like Martyn and Damon and more recent friends, and there are those whose brotherhood is entirely related to the game; Harun, Jim, Chris, Tansu. Your quirks are many and you will be greatly missed. Thank you all for your friendship.
Who can forget …THE STADIUM? On Dokuz Mayiz has been a place these past five years of moments of bitter frustration and rapturous joy. Too many to count but among my favorites;
- Gucu beating Fener four years ago to deny them the league championship (which they won the following week the bastards)
- Watching a frustrated fan throw his gold watch onto the pitch, which was shortly followed by someone’s shoe.
- That fat bastard who used to do a shirtless dance every time we took the lead.
- FFFC---Fights, Flares, and Flying Chairs!
- My final match at On Dokuz Mayiz last weekend where AnkaraGucu saved themselves from relegation by playing like the champions I know they always have been.
The away matches draw some remembrance as well. I will never forget my first away match in Konya. My hatred of that place had already started but was solidified there when a trucker who had gotten mixed in with our police-escorted supporter convoy made some derogatory comments, had his truck summarily attacked and responded by emerging from his vehicle with a giant wooden hammer! This was, of course met with kebab knife threats. Not sure how that one ever ended up, but …damn it was crazy!
Away matches in other places like Kayseri and Yenikent (the stadium from hell) have taught me that Gucu supporters make the greatest, most loyal friends but can be the worst enemies you will ever face should you cross them. I would rather face some nations’ armies than go head to head with Gecekondu.
I am proud of this team and proud of myself for having stuck by them for these past five years. They will always have a place in my heart. I will always try to contribute to their renown in any way I can. My stupid flag antics shall continue. (check them out here, here and here) There are mountains to climb for this team and I will climb them. The team embodies so many characteristics that I find to be important; a struggle against adversity, determinedness, and perhaps above all, loyalty.
For anyone who may come across this blog posting, my final appeal would be for you to always support your home team. It doesn’t matter if they don’t win a single match. You should support them. Without them, you are nothing. Following a team just because they always win a lot of games may be fun in the short term, but it is certainly not admirable. Sticking with a team through thick and thin translates to so many other areas of life.
Ankara is a great city. It has a higher population than many of the great “football” cities of the UK, Spain, or Italy. Why shouldn’t there be a team from Ankara that can compete every year for the championship? With the people of Ankara’s help, this can be possible. People of Ankara, stop standing in the shadow of Istanbul!!! Support Ankara Gucu!!! They need you, and whether you know it or not, you need them.
Gururumuz AnkaraGucu always
Mountaineering Kanka Robbie