Weekly football conversation since 2009, with Graham Sibley, Jan Bilton and Terry Duffelen. Listen on Apple, Google, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn or your podcatcher of choice.

The Hollywoodification of English Football Fan Culture

Interesting to note Carlsberg’s new Euro 2012 Fan Academy campaign, doing the rounds on the Blogosphere is designed to extol the virtues of England fandom: The pride, passion, futility etc. The advert has the usual impressive smattering of megastars from the football cultural landscape, is suitably well polished and not unamusing. 

What I find interesting is the choice of music, A suitably rousing march, reminiscent of the theme to the film, The Great Escape, which as anyone who follows the English national team will tell you, is the unofficial anthem of the supporters and played by that band who are allowed to enter the matches despite being in possession of deeply offensive weapons.
The music in this advert is from the movie Police Academy. I have no doubt that the tune was carefully chosen as not only is it cheerfully rousing, it’s also very familiar to the target demographic. After all, who hasn’t seen that film?

What I find ironic about both pieces of music is that they are composed by Americans. Elmer Bernstein composed the Great Escape and Robert Folk, Police Academy. This leads me to wonder if American cultural imperialism is more than just a concept conceived by leftist under graduates trying to score on a Friday night. The Great Escape theme, ii particular, is layered which contradictions in that the film is, in part, a celebration of British heroism but projected through through a Hollywood prism. England fans adoption of the theme could be construed as them embracing a foreign concept of their own national identity, a concept which Carlsberg (among many others) are all too happy to commodify.

The Hollywoodification of English Football Fan Culture. Now there’s a topic for the close season.

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