There are far more pluses than minuses to Norwegian football in that people in Bergen are sometimes a bit more critical of themselves.
The world has never been more like Bergen than in the capital on May 20, 2023. A fresh completion of the Resurrection under Erik Hornland has left the King’s Cup wrapped in the mountains. The next day, of course, the celebration after homecoming was as delicious/bloated (crossing out what didn’t fit) as celebrations can be in festival city.
After relegation and promotion, nachspielskandale, boiling and brawling, it was the maximum compensation for success in prime time. A fully deserved final victory against Lillestrøm does not go completely unnoticed in the city with a Norwegian record to underline its supremacy.
It was great to follow the countless messages on social media before, during and after the cup final.
Whoever you stand on and what you may consider the charm of self-ostentation, every fan of Norwegian football should appreciate that we have a player like Brann, with all that comes with shapes, colors and emotions.
This is not to say that everything Supporters bring to the table is always equally elegant.
It is not uncommon for Bergen’s self-praise to balance on a narrow line, between the wonderful and the disturbing.
During a cycling restroom, for example, we saw a guy from Bergen make a great tyre, while it was a bit surprising that the focus seemed more on how well the crowd was partying than on what was achieved along the way.
If we are to be realistic and analytical, the criticism leveled at the Brann fans who drowned out the national anthem with “Nystemten” on the day the Norwegian Championship was to be decided was deserved.
It’s a time of celebration and tradition around the playing of the national anthem – which unites Norway as one – and at that time, one’s song might have been expected to wait a bit.
But this is Bergen. It’s fire. It is patriotism that is the DNA of the rainy city.
It is not really surprising, then, that for many Ollivall’s Westerns, Bergen’s Song trumps Bjornsson’s and Nordrak’s.
And although it is difficult to defend with objective arguments, this is again the case with quite a few Bergen residents.
If we look at what they have brought up the mountain in terms of pressure and atmosphere, it is likely to be held strictly that they did not give the National Anthem the respect it deserved on this particular occasion.
It’s of course not the same as empty permission for all sorts of behavior, but it wasn’t the biggest scandal in the world we’ve seen either.
It will now be interesting to see what the “Hornland Project” can do for us in the future, after the relatively short period of OBOS ball being on the field. During a long season, the 2023 edition may not be strong enough to be able to fight for gold, but something very exciting is clearly going on in the second largest city in the country.
Norwegian football needs a big fire there, and it’s gratifying to see how the Reds have turned self-destruction into unity and the joy of victory.
Then the rest of us might have a little extra tolerance for certain stereotyped personalities who flinch a bit in the name of self-praise.
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