Saturday, 21 June 2014

Football: Why I Hate The Game I Love

  England are out of the world cup and I don't even care.

  I used to care.  There was a time when I enjoyed watching international football and supporting my home team.  Not anymore.

  I suppose I'm a strange football fan.  I'm a Liverpool fan and I love my team, but, unlike so many other football fans, I am still able to view the goings-on on the pitch (and off the pitch) in a "real world" capacity.
  In fact, one of the main problems I have with football is that I insist on being rational when discussing it, which pretty much prevents me from being able to discuss it with anybody else.
  During the 90 minutes my team is playing a game, I'm as passionate (and sweary) as the next fan.  (I never swear more than when I am watching Liverpool play).  But then, when the final whistle blows and the adrenaline flushes itself from my body, I return to real-life.
  Real-life is a place where, that defender was probably a bit of a dick for throwing out a scything leg at our top striker but, you know, I really don't think he should be crucified.
  Real-life is a place where football players might do a bit of diving to win penalties, or where they might do any number of things on the pitch to try and get an unfair advantage in the game but, you know, they're playing a game.  I've never seen a person cheat at a game and decided they deserve to die, but these are the kinds of things that morons scream from the rooftops every single day.
  I have aquaintences whom I know not to engage in conversation regarding football because I simply cannot have a rational conversation with them without hearing the most ridiculous bile imaginable being hurled at men who spend their days playing the game we love so that we can enjoy watching it.

  Tribalism is massive in football and, for me, it is one of the biggest problems.  I have, however, seen many fans opine that they hate any absence of tribalism in the sport, if ever their team happens to be amicable toward a rival.
  Being a Liverpool fan I see it from Everton fans, Manchester United fans, and basically fans of any team south of Milton Keynes.  I also see it from fans of Liverpool itself.

  Songs and chants mocking the Hillsborough disaster are so commonplace that every Liverpool fan has heard them being sung at them.  No matter how many times I hear them, they never disgust me any less.
  I've also heard songs about the Munich air disaster being sung by Liverpool fans at Manchester United.  Equally disgusting.
  I just don't have the capacity to understand the depth of the division between rival football fans that they would mock tragedy in some pathetic attempt to get one-up over their opponent.

  Fundamentalist tribalism makes me hate football.

  That brings me to why I can't bear to watch the English national team anymore.
  Every two years we are subjected to a ridiculous media frenzy in the build up to one of the two major international tournaments.  We, as a country, are supposed to now revere those English players, the ones who play for rival teams, whom we have spent all year being urged to hate.
  It's a false sense of forced togetherness that we are expected to suddenly feel.  Apparently, this has some bearing on patriotism, though I fail to see how.
  Then, when the wheels inevitably come off, it's back to the bickering and the tribalism.  Blaming players who play for rival club sides for the failure of the national side.

  There are many people out there like me, I'm sure.  There are lots of people I could have an enjoyable discussion with, but if I have to wade through the idiots to find them, I'd rather not bother.
  For every rational, sensible football fan out there, there are fifty others who will shout that all scousers are thieving, murdering rats; that you aren't a real fan if you do not attend every home game; that you can't choose which team you want to support but, instead, must support the team closest to the place where you live or be branded a "glory-hunter".
  What I'm trying to say is that there are a hell of a lot of people out there who try to ruin the game.  People who aren't happy unless everyone else is miserable.
  This is football!  This isn't politics.  There's nothing riding on this.  Just enjoy it!

  This is why I watch football alone, at home.
  This is why I avoid Facebook/Twitter etc. after a big game.
  This is why I avoid discussing the game I'm passionate about.
  This is why I hate the game I love.

Thursday, 28 March 2013


  My name is Bill and I have always jotted down my thoughts.
  I have an idea that, one day, something that comes out of my head might be worth remembering.
  So far all I have is a roomful of scraps of paper that nobody but me will ever read...unless I die unexpectedly and somebody has to clear out my stuff...In which case, I'd much rather they didn't read my scraps.  Out of context, a lot of my scrawlings may seem like the work of a lunatic, and, with my current organisational system, out of context is the only way they can be read.

  So, anyway...I've been introduced to this exciting new world of online blogging and I'm giving it a whirl.

  Hopefully, the thing that I write that may one day be worth remembering will happen on here now, where it may stand a chance of one day being read by another human person who isn't just wading through a dead guy's scrap paper while trying to find valuables and/or pharmaceuticals.