The Muppet Show

muppet

What’s green and smells of pork?
Kermit’s middle finger

Jim Henson really has a lot to answer for. I don’t know what he was doing in the Children’s Television Workshop in NY when he created a talking frog, an over-sexed pig with all the dress sense of Barbara Cartland and a giant yellow bird that looked just a little too happy, but I guess that Terry Phelan made one hell of a lot of money in NY that day.

OK, I confess, I used to watch Sesame Street, if only because of the theme tune, and the fact that those kids were the only people ever to walk through Central Park without getting violated in one form or another. Then again, working with Jim Henson probably did make you a bit suspicious of people, especially those who got their kicks from building frogs to put their hands up.

Of course, despite their rather virite appearance, the Muppets weren’t actually real (cue silencing thud within certain households……..), and since their heyday of the 70s and 80s they seemed to have declined a little bit. None the less, there is a certain place where cloth-eared relics of humanity take on the appearance of being real, cute and almost lovable. To go there, you have to go on a long, long, journey, through many bad places, walk through many bad people, some who will try and take you away to their homes, and do horrible things to you (that’s if you go via Tottenham High Street BTW). Eventually, after you negotiate the South Circular, you get to a Wimbledon match-day at Selhurst Park

Now, so-called “home” matches at the Concrete Landfill site (if only) are never much fun at the best of times, the fact there are too many away fans around doesn’t exactly help matters, but there seems to be a sizable amount who claim to support the mighty Drillo and his magical blue-with-yellow-piping army and yet don’t really seem to be Wimbledon supporters. And as you can imagine, it can get very very depressing (so much so you almost want to get a giant nailbomb and set it off in the direction of said people, I know I do).

So, who are these people, why take the piss out of them? Most “genuine” WFC fans know who these people are, and they are generically termed “muppets”, because of their remarked behavioural patterns to those of Jim Henson’s pieces of cloth. See, unless they’re being told what to do/think/say, they don’t actually do a lot. There’s no fire in their collective bellies, they’re pretty much the apathetic army, ready to not follow the team wherever they may play. A little bit annoying, granted, but unfortunately at Wimbledon there’s a fucking load of them, and that’s why they deserve ridicule and maltreation

The most worrying thing about the muppets at WFC is that they have a helluva load of influence at WFC, except that most of them are too dense to actually notice. Basically, when it’s not catering for away fans, WFC is falling over hand over fist for them, because they are the sort of people they want at WFC. The muppets first came into force during the Dublin saga, about a year after SH did a mass free ticket giveaway to cover up the fact that Selhurst had flopped massively.

Although it got bums on seats, it also got a load of bum chocolate in the brain department as well. Whilst many people were actively – via WISA, mainly – campaigning against the effective MURDER of our club (against a generally disinterested or irresponsible media), the muppets were having nothing to do with it. They weren’t interested in saving the club they claimed they supported, in fact whilst some were telling the campaigners to “shut up and support the team” the rest were actively planning in their minds where the best places for them to stay in Dublin, how they could get to the stadium from the airport, and how quick could they get back to London for closing time. Such people were what the pro-Dublinners wanted to hear of course, because they were being passed off as the “true” supporter, whereas anyone with an IQ in the double figures knew that was camel bollocks.

Of course, save for the tiny minds of a few journos and big gob away fans, Dublin is dead, but the muppets influence is just as damaging even now. A lot of it came to fruition last year, when “We Will Rock You” blasted over the tannoy at corners. Most normal people hated it, but who stood and clapped along? The muppets. “Ooh, I like this, I can clap to it”. No sense of shame, but what do you expect? That’s what WFC means to the muppets – a pastime, something to do. It’s clearly not in their blood, because if it was they certainly wouldn’t demean themselves and the club they (purport to) support.

But the biggest proof yet of muppet power comes with the departure of Joe Kinnear and the arrival of Egil Olsen. The muppets are probably still comatosing, but those who are out of their shock are now doing the biggest version of blub-festing seen this side of the Princess Diana funeral. To them, Joe Kinnear was the be-all and end-all of Wimbledon FC. He was the only ever manager that Wimbledon ever had (to many non-muppet WFC fans, JK was the only manager they’d ever known, although they knew about people like Harry, Dario and of course Bobby Gould and take the Joe Is God line with a little pinch of salt).

They felt that it was Joe, and only Joe, who kept us up against the massively powered big clubs. To them, JK was the epitomy of “buying at Woolworths and selling at Harrods”, and that it was his nurturing of the “Crazy Gang” spirit that stopped Wimbledon from going down year after year. Needless to say, they clinged to that old media chestnut of “plucky” Wimbledon, which was actually a load of bollocks, but as they were muppets, they believed it. A few home truths for them. One, the “Crazy Gang” was a name coined by Tony Stenston of the Daily Mirror rag in 1981, to describe our group of players who were, well, a little bit on the mad side. Two, the “Crazy Gang” as an entity died in 1987, although some say that it died when Vinny left us finally in 1997.

Thirdly, Joe Kinnear had his two best seasons when he had the direct assistance of Terry Burton, who many thought was the real key behind our success. Since the two rowed (and JK always thought he was right), and TB went elsewhere, the team has fucked badly. Q.E.D. (and I won’t mention about our supposed battles with relegation which were 99% avoidable anyway). All this won’t wash with the muppets, who see “their” man going, and are now totally incapable of accepting that the club is better off changing.

Sadly, muppetting is spreading a little to the players, most notably Robbie Earle. He’s said that this “spirit” is worth at least 10 points and Drillo ought not to change too much. Actually, Robbie Earle is gearing up for a media career, so this sort of talk should only be expected. To ever be accepted as a meedja starlet, he ought to forget he ever played for Wimbledon, and suck the arse of foreign footballers (conveniently ignoring their crippling wage demands). The muppets will read and accept, because they’re too dumb to do anything else.

It is no joke that WFC is being threatened by the onslaught of the muppets, their narrow outlook on life is threatening much needed change within the club. There is hope, however, because when football attendances start going down, ours will too, and the 18,000 (yeah right) which we get at the moment will slide to about half that, as the away fans stop going and half our so-called fans find other things to do. But for now, true WFC fans must stand up and be counted. If we find ourselves getting a new ground, and a muppet complains that he doesn’t want to leave SP because “he’s got a nice seat”, tell him to fuck off (the nastier the better). No true WFC fan would ever accept Selhurst Park as our home, those who differ aren’t real fans. We have to cull the vermin. We must stand up and fight. It’s time to pull the curtain on the muppet show tonight.

(just realised, you can sing the last three sentences to the Muppet Show song, doubt Jim Henson would approve though)