Football: Why I’m not a fan

First of all, I don’t dislike football.

I understand that it can be entertaining. Many people have their identity tied to their team. Many people get self-worth from watching other people kicking a ball.

If you were to press me, I’d say that the closest I came to being a sports fan was during the run-up to Donald Trump’s election. I remember how the surrounding events affected my emotional state.

I got depressed when the Access Hollywood tapes came out. Then there was the relief of the debate that happened that night. After that weekend, I had to take a step back from the election.

Having my mood linked to events outside my control was not a good idea.

I like to have the maximum amount of control over myself. I don’t always have that control, but striving to be master over yourself is preferable to someone else having that power.

You think that I don’t understand the appeal of having the choice taken away from you. I do, it can make life a whole lot easier but I don’t like that.

It’s part of the reason why I’ve never loved football.

I’ve thought about it and here are some of the other reasons I’ve never connected with the beautiful game.

What’s in it for me?

What’s in it for you? When the team win what do you get? When the team lose what do you get? Some momentary satisfaction or heartbreak. Then it starts all over again. I guess that’s cool, but I can’t get anything from that.

I love film but what I get from it is an emotional release or the promise of release. Is that what football fans look for from a match?

Watching football and watching films falls into the category of hobby. I understand that many of our hobbies and pursuits are a waste of time and energy.

Taking an active part in your hobby, like playing football or making a film you’re improving yourself. I like films, but I want to make more movies than the one I’ve made so far.

Watching movies is a way of learning what works and what doesn’t work. Refining my own tastes in the hope of making the best film possible for myself. Is football like that, if you watch football but don’t play are you wasting your time?

Football is a nerdy pursuit in the same way that playing video games is nerdy.

You could tell me every team that a footballer played for, it’s the equivalence of telling me all of Charmander’s attacks. Watching football is closest to playing video games.

Watching football is a form of consumption.

Football is boring, and the chance of a good game is minimal

The few times that I have watched football it hasn’t interested me.

On a primal level yes, I see the appeal. When there is a chance at the goal, you feel your body tense up ever so slightly, but this is a physiological reaction.

Aside from those occasional moments, football for me is dull.

If there is to be something extraordinary, then there has to be a lot of factors that come into play.

Take for example one of the greatest matches in football history.

That was when Manchester United went up against Bayern Munich to win the treble. It wasn’t that the game itself was good it was all the outside factors. There was the chance at the treble. The drama comes from the last minute reversal. That United produced goals from two corner opportunities which is a statistical improbability. Consider that George Best, an avatar of the club, the ghost of United’s glory, walked out on them. Everyone gave up hope, it made for one of the greatest comebacks in history.

Football at it’s best is good drama but it takes many external factors to result in great drama.

The likelihood of these moments coming around is rare.

Whereas the theatre experience is trying to create that feeling every time.

Football is unending

I don’t watch football for the same reason that I don’t watch soap operas, read comic books or follow wrestling; they never end.

What I like about films is that they are self-contained I can watch as few or as many as I want. You could argue that certain movies need to be viewed in sequence but again you can watch a film and you’re under no obligation to watch anymore.

You’ll say that you are under no obligation to watch football. You and I understand that, but there is more to it than that.

Football seems like such a time investment as well as emotional.

It’s just that most people we know will watch whatever match is on. It never ends. I like my entertainment to have finality. I can rewatch classic films but do you watch old games? Yesterday’s good games are forgotten, what have the team done for you lately?

Football is a conversation starter for basic bitches

You could walk up to a fella and say “Hey there big guy, see the match?” and nine times out of ten he’ll say “You betcha lil’ dude” that’s fair enough.

Now if you encounter me, that one in ten. I have no interest or general knowledge when it comes to football

I’m able to pick up on some names and teams because most lads talk about football all the time. Whether that is among work colleagues or, my main point of intake, a Whatsapp group.

Now you’ve probably heard a repeated phrase throughout your life, mine is “You’re tall” or some variant. Now if it’s your first time meeting me, this feels like an appropriate comment to make. I disagree, put it like this if it’s acceptable to comment on my height do I not have a right to comment on your width? How about when you see a beautiful girl, you say “Wow you’re a hottie.” she says thank you because people love it when you comment on qualities beyond their control.

“Did you see the match?”, is a close runner-up to overheard phrases. When I roll my eyes, sigh and offer a curt “No” it’s not because I’m repulsed by seeing matches. It’s just that this is the 1000th time I’ve heard this question. You’re speaking about a specific game whereas to me all events are the same. This boils down to two irreconcilable views on reality. I’m just going to have to make peace with this. All I can do is keep saying that I haven’t, nor will I. Sometimes I enjoy lying, say that I have and see how long I can go before getting caught out. Watching someone get invested in a conversation and watching their eyes narrow when you pull the rug from under them.

Football is something that I should like

You may think that I am bashing football with this but I’m not. It comes from a place of frustration that I don’t like it, a massive section of conversational options are cut off from me by default, you feel like you’re on the outside looking in on some conversations. Football is also a social glue for many men in Europe and there’s a whole section again cut off from me. Football is a lubricant for many lads that helps them slide into a friendship. Not me, I have to raw dog it every time.

What’s worse is that technically football is something I should like. Men being men, competition, no talking, results are dictated by action taken. Yet when I look at it, I feel nothing.

Enjoy football, some of us would like to be so lucky.

One thing that I would like to ask is what the hell is the point of TV football commentary? Someone literally telling you what is happening as it happens. “Ehh but blind people, some people can’t see” Have people not heard of the radio?

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2 thoughts on “Football: Why I’m not a fan

  1. Still, to this day, the greatest goal I’ve ever seen scored live was by Kieran Majury. Somehow managing to scoop a ball 30ft into the air to lob the keeper from 6 yards out, despite wearing Dr. Martin school shoes, would have produced some fantastic TV commentary!

    1. Haha, everyone gave up on that goal, myself included. My Rosario career has gone down hill ever since.

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