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Beat around the Bush

PUBLISHED: 19:54 22 August 2010 | UPDATED: 16:42 20 September 2010

By Steve Hoad THERE is a question that s been on my mind on and off during the closed season. Ok, so you ve supported QPR for 25 years, and sat in the same seat most of that time, but what do you actually support? Yes, I know QPR, but what is the essence

By Steve Hoad

THERE is a question that's been on my mind on and off during the closed season.

Ok, so you've supported QPR for 25 years, and sat in the same seat most of that time, but what do you actually support?

Yes, I know QPR, but what is the essence of QPR that makes your heart race and well up with pride? What is the root of your passion and long lasting fidelity? What sets it apart? What exactly makes you pay the huge sacrifice in terms of money and time over the years?

You must have seen many changes, so what is that essence that remains constant throughout?

The club? What's that? What are the qualities of "the club" that are so appealing? The name - Queens Park Rangers - is very distinctive, but is that what you support, the name?

The manager changes every 6 months, so it's not him. Managers come and go, but you remain, faithful. The owners then? They change almost as often as managers! And you weren't immediately keen on the current lot were you? Have you changed your views?

The Hoops? Distinctive, but their style changes every year, and if QPR played in solid colours, are you saying you would cease supporting them? No, I thought not.

It can't be the crest, that was changed the other year and you're still here, grumbled a bit at the time perhaps, didn't you?

The players change season on season, and could you really have allegiance to a one-month emergency loanee?

How many different players have you seen over your time? As one team gradually metamorphoses into another, none of the original players remain in the side you continue to support.

And this is a constant process, whilst you might support a particular collection of players at one time, your allegiance transfers to a totally different group later, but they still form this mysterious QPR you hold so dear.

The one constant over the last 25 years has been the ground and the stadium, but is that what you worship? The ground? If so, have ever considered an allotment?

What is it then? What is the essence that has had you sitting in the same seat every other winter Saturday for the last 25 years, plus a smattering of midweek and away games? Proximity? Locality? Isn't there an alternative closer to where you live?

There's something there, a pride, an allegiance, a hope, a conviction. But in tangible terms, what is it you support?

Beats me, but I'll be there on Saturday.

You coming?


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