No more Bull

From the Rage Online newsdesk


NO MORE BULL


Issue 1 of Raging Bull first hit the streets in August 1988. It cost 50p and sold 250 copies. The need for an Oxford fanzine was obvious by issue 3 as 1,500 copies were printed. But issue 5 was apparently the worst selling ever. Whether this had anything to do with the ‘Kevin’ flexi disc in issue 4 or the first appearance of an article by a certain Mark Gunther, is still a mystery.


The editorial comment in #1 was entitled ‘Why, Raging Bull?’ It stated that the fanzine was a medium for ‘real’ supporters to put their views across, and went on to say:- ‘We are producing this magazine because we care about football and Oxford United in particular. We aim to provide a voice for football fans in Oxfordshire, and put the fun back into football.’ We are now on issue 45 and the reasons why the fanzine is still being published have not changed since then.


But what the editorial comment did not say was ‘Why Raging Bull?’ It wasn’t a film. boxing or Robert de Niro fanzine. The nickname of the mighty yellows is ‘The Us’ and the club badge features an ox’s head. I have never heard reference to a male bovine being made in any chants or seen it used in any media form. Even the beast that galloped and snorted its way across the covers of RB seems to resemble more of a cross between a horse and a goat.


Issue 45 will be the last Raging Bull. We think it’s time for a change. Only two people who were part of the production of the first RB are still involved. We are very grateful for all the work that our ‘in-house’ designer has done and hope he will still assist us with the covers and headings in the future. His work is excellent. Though please don’t take offence Ian if the ‘cover bull’ was of your making


One of the founder members is now club manager. Again the passion and commitment that Ian Davies put into RB are unquestionable and much appreciated. But how is the fanzine expected to lay down constructive criticism of the club when it is still using the name originated by the very person who is being criticised?


And the editors have changed too. Ed Horton after 7 years of involvement has not been part of the editorial team for nearly a year. His articles, help in selling and other areas of support have been invaluable and we hope that they will continue. But we actually receive cheques for subscriptions and back copies made payable to Ed Horton, not Raging Bull. The Oxford United fanzine should not become associated with just one person, or even a group of people. It is the fans’ forum to air their views.


We have been asked if a name change means a change in stance. The answer to this is a vehement NO! We still wish to remain the ‘voice of football fans in Oxfordshire’. That is our stance. We are not going to become another club programme or a terrace ‘Class War’. We are here to continue to represent the supporters’ views. We are still raging and we are still talking bull. And our ‘stance’ on racist, sexist and homophobic material will always remain. What is going to change is the front cover. No more ‘Buffalo Stance!’ Try to think of it as cosmetic surgery. What is on the outside is different but it’s still the same old rubbish! A topical analogy is this election business which is reaching its ‘climax’ as I type this up. If the polls are anything to go by then the majority of people will be voting for a change. But it’s only the name of the party in power that will change, the government behind the name will be no different.


Another objection to the name change has been ‘why change a winning formula?’ Now I’m no expert on commercialism, but I don’t seem to have noticed a marked change in the sales of Marathon, Mr Dog or Treets since they’ve become Snickers, Cesar and M & Ms (or summat like that). And do us crazy fans refuse to buy our club’s new kits every season (note I’ve put every season not every month, as although I am in no doubt that the Man U hordes are crazy, I am still not convinced that they are all fans).


And finally we’ve been asked why not wait ’til after issue 50. Another reason for the name change was to coincide with the move to a new stadium. However this now seems highly unlikely, in fact verging on the impossible. Though maybe by the time we get to issue 50…. No Manor? No Bull!


‘An Independent Voice of Oxford United Supporters’ is not dying, this is just the rebirth. Long Live RAGE ON.