Sydney Clasico: Fans go back to back in the Poznan
It pains me to say it as a Sydney FC fan but as neutral football writer RBB’s Poznan has become an iconic visual feast. And just in case you wish to pour scorn at the scene thousands of Western Sydney Wanders fans and the back of their heads they will respond to any ridicule by enlightening you with his active fan titbit:
“Did you know only five football clubs around the world do the Poznan? It’s historic man!”
Well did you know that only one football club around the world does an ironic Poznan? It’s Sydney FC man! [Actually, ummm, there are quite a few others... Ed]
Ohhhh the ironic humanity! Irony and sports - they go together perfectly. Like wine and cheese, like Tony Abbott wearing a size too small Speedo for a shameless photo op.
We are all familiar with ironic cheers and boos in sports but the ironic Poznan is a football first. For Australian football anyway, I’m sure you Euro snobs will know many other occurrences.
But who cares about euro football anymore, the Sydney Clasico is its own unique showcase. Sure the onfield action may not always rival the tactical and technical purity of some of world football’s bigger league derbies but off field we more than match them.
It’s Australiana on display. It’s where the banter of well-educated football multiculturalistas and ancestral convicts, pissed-three-sheets-to-the-wind, unite.
It’s where loyal Sydney FC fans who come from Western Sydney that didn’t jump ship when the Wanderers came into being sing along with the Sydney FC chant: “Fark Off Western Sydney Scum Ole, Ole” without any hint of irony (there it is again) and not a care that it’s very offensive and slightly geo-fascist.
Something about those two “Oles” at the end of that chant just cracks me up.
Sure at times Sydney FC’s the Cove can’t rival the RBB’s childlike manic enthusiasm.
But the Cove doesn’t need to, they’ve been around since the beginning, they don’t need to prove anything to these Western Sydney upstarts.
The Cove is in its tenth season. They don’t need to actively support for 90mins. They choose their moments. They leave room for spontaneous pitch invasions and booing Mark Bridge.
There would be no RBB without the Cove.
Some fan footage of the two active supporter groups engaging in a battle of the Poznan made the rounds on social media...
It’s a great showcase of the Sydney Derby featuring an amazing sequence of events that go from the sublime to the ridiculous to the ironic.
The footage starts around the 78th minute of play with a packed Cove in full flight, then pans back to the on field action. The ball is spread across Sydney’s midfield where there is more space to pass and move after the Wanderers’ L'enfant terrible, Vitor Saba was sent off, which has got to be my second favourite moment in the history of the A-League.
The midfield sends the ball to 17-year-old left back Alex Gersbach (who should have been studying for his HSC). He cross/chips to Corey Gameiro in the box, who in turn cross/chips to Brosque and then – the move ending crescendo – the Sky Blue captain shot/chipping the ball into the net.
Cue delirium and what the media calls a pitch invasion, but I call a casual stroll on the green which leads to a group sprint and group hug.
One of the alleged pitch invaders breaks from the group and starts to sprint to the halfway line like a fully clothed streaker, he reaches Sydney FC midfielder Terry Antonis and man hugs him, Antonis repays the hug with a hug and a pat on the back.
The fully clothed streakers then streaks his way to the stand and jumps into the crowd. A punter in the front row congratulates him for his fine effort but then security comically mistakes the punter in the front row for the streaker and the fully clothed streaker steals away from the authorities to make the second great escape of the evening after Sydney FC made the first one by coming back from two goals down.
The punter who was privy to an unfortunate case of mistaken identity then remonstrates with security to highlight that he didn’t like the rough-man handling of the keystone stewards.
The camera then zooms to the Western Sydney Wanderers fans and the RBB is in full Poznan mode - “it’s the 80th minute time for us to show the world the back of our heads!” yells the RBB Capo.
The camera then zooms to the Cove end and there is my favourite moment in the history of the A-League: The Cove mocking the RBB with their own spontaneous version of the Poznan, a perfect visual definition of football fan irony.
Almost as good as late comedian George Carlin’s definition of it:
Football fan irony is "a state of affairs that is the reverse of what was to be expected; a result opposite to and in mockery of the appropriate result.”
No matter which team you support, to sum up the Sydney Clasico in modern day parlance:
It was amazeballs!
Con Stamocostas is a football writer. Check you afootballstory.blogspot.com.au