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We all go down sometimes!

aekFor the last two years, I haven’t been an avid football fan. Yeah, weird confession for a sports writer, I know, but that’s the way it is. In Turkey, football has pretty much always been bundled with politics, corruption and any other kind of monkey business you could ever think of. However, with the match-fixing operation of 2011, which by the way was purely political and emptied the content of something desired (a clean football) like in many other cases (for example, the junta leaders of 1980 being put on trial) and turned into a massive political vendetta aggravating the ever and omni-present social trauma in our society. Now, nobody believes in a clean football environment, the last attempt was so nerve-wrecking, nobody wants anyone to try to mess with that shit ever again. Football is now in a love-it-or-leave it situation here. I decided to leave it. It’s not really worth it, even when you cover it professionally. As it’s always said here in Turkey, you can always sell lemons in the farmer’s market instead.

My disillusionment towards football, admittedly, cut some strong threads off between me and a relatively happy life. I can say very frankly that I was far happier when I was a football fan. However, shit happens and when it happens it does hit the fan. Therefore, I won’t be able to, or willing to comment on the recent nonsense going on around AEK; such as the Panthrakikos match incident, the feud with NOVA, EPO etc. We all know Greek football is more-or-less into the same shit with Turkish football, maybe with less state involvement and more businessmen meddling. Shit is shit though (I hope nobody’s counting how many ?shit?s have featured in this piece, I never promised you a rose garden anyway). I also don’t believe it’s a local phenomenon. Since the late 1970’s, fat cats are trying to milk football to the extent of extortion, and when Premier League was founded after a series of Thatcherite conspiracies, the first nail was rammed into the coffin of football we know. As Reagan and Thatcher fucked up the different parts of the world in diverse magnitudes with their neo-liberal shit, football was doomed as well. Since the 1990’s, what we are watching is a circus. At first, it appeared like classy stuff, Cirque du Soleil or something, now we can see the misery of Prozaced clowns and suicidal monkeys. It’s past the time to despise the circus owner.

Happily, AEK means much more than a football club to me, otherwise this article would be a whole page of aforementioned ?shit?s. Yes, I know it’s heart breaking to see the club in a miserable situation, it should be really hard to take all the mocking and bullshit in the chin. However, life’s life and it sometimes deals really bad hands to you. Who knows what would happen if this or that goal was scored in any given game and we could grab a title in process, like three-four years ago? Or some wise guy would see Alpha Digital going crazy years ago and block the broadcasting deal to save many asses all at once? Or we wouldn’t demolish the temple and we could still play our games in that old-fashioned, small but cozy field instead of overpriced, cold, Olympic carcass? In a scale of best and worst, AEK consistently picked the worst cards. It was bound to happen and it happened. You can’t really go ?I wish? about that. It has no use.

So instead of ?I wish?es, I will tell you another story. AEK is not a club of achieving (even though we had some really good times), it’s a club of survival. Cups and titles and expensive players can be the reason of existence of some clubs, say like Olympiakos. For AEK, it’s not that. AEK exists to inspire, to persevere and to survive. It’s a symbol of what human beings can hold out against, even in the worst conditions. It’s the rickety ferry traveling one coast of the Aegean to the other, for a new life with hardships and hopes. To be AEK is to be able to say ?life goes on.? It’s to build everything from scratch, if it comes to that point. You can’t and shouldn’t reduce that into a plain sports club, never.

AEK is an inspiration, it’s the Mandela of sports clubs. And you can never give up inspiring just because you’re down. Especially when your whole legacy tells you otherwise.

45 Comments

  1. nikos bou nikos bou 20/04/2013

    thanks from greece….really good article…..the pain is very strong but we are stronger!we can come back….and nothing will be same…..

  2. Lav Armaan Lav Armaan 20/04/2013

    Thank you my friend….AEK will be always AEK at least in our souls and in our mind because AEK is not just a team,it’s something above us,is an IDEA…

  3. Yorgos Yorgos 21/04/2013

    I think you should write in english more often from now on!
    Greetings from Athens

  4. Chris Zap Chris Zap 21/04/2013

    Excellent article, well said. If i wasnt an AEKtzi, i too would have given up football. But i am going to continue following AEK no matter where she is, which ever division she ends up in. If AEK disappears, football will be over for me. Unfortunately, betting is killing football and the money from the Champions League has turned every team into a whore.
    From an AEKtzi in Canada.

  5. Yellow Fever GR Yellow Fever GR 21/04/2013

    RESPECT!

  6. Matt Matt 21/04/2013

    Respect …Good article

  7. Antonis Antonis 21/04/2013

    Thank you…tears in my eyes for my loved team and your respect , is something it gives me power.My father was born and lived in Konstantinoypoli (Istanbul) and he gave me the love for AEK and his hometown…God bless you

  8. Chris Aristoklanis Chris Aristoklanis 21/04/2013

    Thanx a lot! Ideals know no borders. Only bigotry, greed and stupid politics. Your article stands proud over the recent behaviour of many prominent AEK “members” who turn their backs on the teams darkest hours.

  9. Stathis Kor Stathis Kor 21/04/2013

    With this article , you couldn’t express more , my opinion my beliefs for our beloved club , AEK ! Thank you my brother !
    PS I couldn’t feel prouder for being an AEK fan , than I feel the last few days !

  10. Angelos Angelos 21/04/2013

    well said! A happy surprise to read such a grounded and inspiring opinion.

  11. Cartel Cartel 21/04/2013

    Aferin kardeş

  12. hottestkiss hottestkiss 21/04/2013

    AEK is the big team of the most beautiful Polis of the world. AEK is the team for all people with no country. AEK means pride.
    Thank you for this article, you have really touched our soul

  13. yiorgis Aek yiorgis Aek 21/04/2013

    I don’t know if I have to thank you or if I have to cry. You are more Aek than we are, you get to the point. Aek is an idea and we are proud to have such an inspiring person as a member in our club. Special thanks from Peristeri-suburb of Athens (where the last battle of Aek takes place). A “thanks” is to little for all your support.

  14. ?? ?? 21/04/2013

    Respect! You’re a live proof why AEK is not just a football club. AEK is inspiring, AEK is uniting. Thank you.

  15. MinO TaVros MinO TaVros 21/04/2013

    Tully respect !

  16. Sotiris Sotos Sotiris Sotos 21/04/2013

    Thank you!!!!!!!!!!

    You are our Brother!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Stavros Stavros 21/04/2013

    Çok teşekkürler kardeşim. Tam noktasıni yakaladın. Işte neden biz , AEK taraftarları , diğerlerinden farklıyiz.

  18. ioanna21 ioanna21 21/04/2013

    Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!For a moment, I believe that aek is not alone!!!!!!!!!!In Greece, we have nothing but enemies!Please, could you write for aek again? Could you express our voice?We will never forget you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. lefteris lefteris 21/04/2013

    Congratulations for your article.

  20. Nick Aggelopoulos Nick Aggelopoulos 21/04/2013

    Thanks brother for your atricle….

  21. Michail KK Michail KK 21/04/2013

    With tears in my eyes I read this article… The way you write, how you refer to “Nikos Goumas” as “The Temple” (? ????) makes me feel like a true brother of mine spoke to my heart… Don’t cry my brothers, AEK is an idea… AND IDEAS NEVER F***ING DIE

  22. Thomas Thomas 21/04/2013

    As i wrote to my f/b page it is very strange feeling to read the best article about what is happening to AEK from an non Greek. Your article gave me the sivers and brought tears in my eyes. Congratulations….

  23. john john 21/04/2013

    excellent article!
    thank you very much
    aek – greece

  24. AndreasT AndreasT 21/04/2013

    You are brother
    It is different to be AEK
    Thank you

  25. Dimitrios Lardas Dimitrios Lardas 21/04/2013

    1.Nothing must stop us from what we love?
    When i waked up this morning i had an idea about our world. i was thinking why the people in countries of the ”third world” don?t have something simple ”water”. The answer is easy. because we don’t want to give to or to give them our help with our tech to they have. So I have another question on my mind, why exists terrorism..
    2.And if everything goes fuck. We still alive and we have things that we must fight for that. I?m Greek and I?m from Chios you know what is it between us ..i hope and this story find end and to have life only as history .because from your words for a greek team i realized that all these that i thinking of all my life about politics was and ll be games of the politics against to the humans.
    I still believe to the people and I think that sometime in the future could be stand our mind in head.. i realized how important is to have good relations with our mate , friend and the others that we never know .
    3.the olympic games had created by the greeks and for the winners had wreath of olive branches. it was not for money, it was for pride, respect…
    And me i’m FUN of AEK so I thank you for yours good words and your support! I hope for us to find peace in our mind and in our hart..
    AEK is a dream is an old dream. Now is ideals values and the respect..
    as you said AEK IS AN IDEA..

  26. mitsos mitsos 21/04/2013

    i have no words to express my feelings. i cry inside. i will try to read your article.
    thank you….

  27. mitsos mitsos 21/04/2013

    you respect aek more than some of aek funs do.

  28. AKIS AKIS 21/04/2013

    THANK YOU MY FRIEND

  29. Ana Olivetti Ana Olivetti 21/04/2013

    Yet, it is over now… And I feel the few drops of hope run through my hands that cannot hold or be held anymore…And this life spent so aimlessly indeed,is losing energy, and one after the other the lights go off… And then, reading your article,I gave it its fair share of tears…Thank you brother….I hope that we shall meet one day…Somewhere better… Good night beloved team… What will become of you…. : (

  30. Manos Morfiadakis Manos Morfiadakis 22/04/2013

    As someone else wrote before me, this is probably the one article that best expresses my feelings as an AEK supporter this moment and,most noticeably,is written by a non-greek. I just wish that today will be a new beginning for the club. Thank you.

  31. silot silot 22/04/2013

    Thank you from Greece…Things like this article make Greeks come closer with Tourks and Tourks with Greeks…AEK IS AN IDEA,AND IDEAS DO NOT DIE…

  32. Stavros Stavros 22/04/2013

    AEK is an idea.
    Great article and greetings from Athens.

  33. Chrysta N. Chrysta N. 22/04/2013

    Few times had any Greek described so well the spirit of AEK. Tessekur ederim, arkadas!

  34. Apollon Apollon 23/04/2013

    All Is not lost though for the Anatolian Greeks. Apollon Smyrnis is back to the first league next year. And there is always Paok and Panionios.

  35. Guest Guest 23/04/2013

    thank you from this awesoma article!Aek will return stronger than ever!

  36. Richard Williamson Richard Williamson 25/04/2013

    Thanks very much! the only way…up ? i bloody hope so !

  37. […] dem Abstieg in die zweite Liga gibt es viele Reaktionen. Das hier ist eine: Artikel: We all go down sometimes! ?For AEK, it?s not that. AEK exists to inspire, to persevere and to survive. It?s a symbol […]

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