Skip to main content

What Does the Red and Black Mean to You?


You give up sleep, food, and time with friends or family. You ditch classes, watch at work, or do other things you maybe shouldn’t. You watch even when you know we’re going to get slaughtered. You wear your jersey even when it puts your life in danger. You rejoice with every victory and lament every loss as if it’s personal. Even your neighbors question your sanity when it comes around to game time. You frequent a blog. Written by a girl. There are simply no lengths you will not go to worship your club. You are, of course, a Milan fan. But what does the red and black mean to you?

What is it that makes us bleed red and black?
(photoshop by Sposato al Nemico)

We all have our stories of how we got here. And we all have different ways in which we worship. But exactly what is it that keeps us here? Through the good and the bad and even the ugly? It’s easy to love that goal or that game or that trophy. But what is it that keeps you going through that red card, that defeat, that elimination? What keeps you here when management behaves badly? When you don’t like the manager or players or the transfer decisions? What makes you bleed red and black?

For me, it is almost innate. When I first started watching calcio, there was something about the red and black that stirred something inside of me, spoke to me on a level I hadn’t felt before. It was like an awakening, slow and sure, until one day I simply couldn’t deny it anymore: I was a Milanista.

The red and black personifies the legends who have worn its colors

But outwardly, it was the class of players like that number 3, and really pretty much all of them at that time. And even if this group of players is more like a band of misfits, they can’t help but be classy even still. Like walking off the pitch together at Busta Arsizio. Or standing behind an unpopular manager.

Then there is the sense of family. Wearing the red and black is like being permanently adopted into the family. Something that not even a wandering star like Ibrahimovic could deny. And the very colors of the jersey make a man out of even the most troubled players. Players who have struggled on and off the pitch come to Milan and thrive, become model players and bastions of discipline, even if it doesn’t necessarily improve their skill set.

Trophies are the expectation

For me, the red and black means passion. It means trophies are destiny and failure is just a stumbling block to success. It means that regardless of management, coaches, or players, and anything else off the pitch, the eleven red and black jerseys on the pitch will always represent, will always leave their heart out on the pitch, even if it gets trampled. It means standing tall in defeat, rising above controversy, and defending teammates against racism or any other biases.

Above all else, it means family. It means that every player carries the success of every previous generation in their hearts, and are inspired to avenge every past defeat, too. It means that win or lose, nothing can take away the relationships forged in the fires of defeat and strengthened in the euphoria of victory. There truly is something special about the red and black, something unique and everlasting. For me, it is forged in my heart, etched in my soul, and coursing through my veins. But what does the red and black mean to you?


This post inspired by the music of U2’s “War” album