Wednesday , January 23 2019
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The Not So Beautiful Game

Over many beers in our local hostelry of choice, The Pint and Fight, us locals all like to sit (or stand) around the bar chewing the fat and mulling over the events of the week. As usual for a basic boozer the discussions can be pretty varied and interesting…

…Well, when I say ‘can be’, I really mean ‘aren’t usually’ as is shown here by the latest selection of subjects up for discussion, which have covered the topics of:

Football – Particularly the local teams and their fairly dodgy results during the pre-season friendlies.

Football – David Beckham, his ankle injury, his god-awful wife (Oi! Posh! Please please please eat some food!) and his first appearance for LA Galaxy.

Football – How it’s much more interesting than the British Open golf championships,
Wimbledon or any cricket test match.

Football – How do you think the new season will go?

Football – blah blah blah… I’m sure you’re getting the picture by now…

I really enjoy a game of football myself but I am constantly baffled by the lengths that some people will go to to follow it. Whilst talking about football to the exclusion of everything else is obsessive behaviour of a kind, some folks go to even greater lengths – It seems to take over their lives completely. These obsessives cannot ever miss a match, they put stickers in their cars or house windows proclaiming their allegiance to the world, they buy every home and away football kit for themselves, their families and yes… even their dog, they paint their houses in team colours and some even change their names (I used to have a mate who changed his name to Kerry Dixon… who was a striker for Chelsea 20 years ago).

There was one guy I remember seeing on TV whose wife was totally exasperated with him… he supported

City with great passion and in his little pea-sized brain this equated with hating the team from the other side of the Irwell – Manchester United. Not only did he hate them (and I mean really hate them) but his values had become so warped that he absolutely refused to wear anything red or even to sit in a red chair.

Supporters need to keep a sense of perspective – it matters not one jot if players a and b have a fight on the pitch, off the pitch or in bed… or if your team is “Catholic” whilst another is “Protestant”. Just enjoy the football… surely that’s what it’s all about… the beautiful game and all that… not about a feud that’s made up from crap that happened between two bunches of imbeciles thirty (or even longer) years ago.

Some (so called) adults are indoctrinating their children with this irrational hatred of a group of people you would happily associate or work with should football not exist. But because they support Enemy United then you wouldn’t cross the road to pee on them if they were on fire. If this describes your behaviour then get a grip for heavens sake and stop being a moron.

As a point of balance it is important to realise that most football fans are decent people who are capable of normal social interaction with other supporters but there seems to be a significant minority who are neither decent nor normal – and these people really need to learn how to behave in public. The fact that you are on your way to a football match does not mean that you suddenly have an excuse to throw away all of your inhibitions and engage in rowdy behaviour at railway stations and in town centres whilst singing songs which tell the locals that you hate them. In my world the sniper on the church tower would get you with two rounds – one in the kneecap so you couldn’t walk to any more matches and one in the genitals so you couldn’t breed. In addition, hopefully this would have the same effect as neutering a dog and make you docile and a bit less testosterone fuelled.

Football is now so prevalent and it’s followers so passionate that I’m starting to think that I’m alone in being a bloke who watches a game of football and afterwards can talk objectively about the game with others. Of course I want my team to win but if we lose and it was a good match I can be gracious in defeat – even when some dork is telling me that we were S— and that my mother probably mated with a donkey (You were wrong X of Darlo… It was my father who mated with the donkey).

Remember – it’s just a game you know. It’s not personal. When your team loses no one is punishing you as an individual so don’t cry about it like a little kid… or decide to get violent like someone with learning difficulties would when they don’t get their own way… be an adult and accept it. If you can’t then you should seriously consider moving somewhere where your behaviour would be more acceptable – feel free to go and live on any of several beautiful coral atolls in the
South Pacific Ocean and be a git for as long as you want. You’ll get a great suntan and the radiation sickness will give you the slow, lingering, cancerous demise you deserve.

Here’s to a great season. C’mon The Pools!





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