Wildly excessive or irrational devotion, dedication, or enthusiasm

It’s not the ball itself that I have a problem with you understand; or the foot for that matter. The ball is I think we can all agree a wonderful invention and used every day by most of us in some way; as is the foot.  The very planet we inhabit is globular at least in our conscience mind, although we know it to really be more of an oblate spheroid; it’s a ball to all intent and purpose. The ball is used in manufacturing, engineering and a host of other industries throughout the known world and very likely beyond! The humble ball has aided in our collective evolution, has helped us win wars, beat fascism (the allies had a lot of balls whereas Hitler only had the one) and conquer space!  It’s true however when most people think about balls they associate them with a sporting activity of some sort or another.

Far be it for me to hurl scorn upon ball sports in general, after all they have been around since time began and will be here long after it ends. Nothing wrong with a bit of rough and tumble on the pitch, it’s all good healthy stuff, gets the blood pumping and the heart working, nothing wrong with that at all. As long as it’s you that’s doing the running around, standing around watching others work up a sweat while shouting advice from the side lines is just plain rude.

Football in particular attracts fervent fanatics from all over the world; it’s a global sport that rakes in billions of pounds in sponsorships, merchandise and advertising. An unstoppable juggernaut of dodgy haircuts and low IQ’s and there is nothing anyone can do to avoid it let alone stop it.  Like religions before it, football is dished up with a healthy dose of indoctrination. From the cradle children are spoon fed football, taught to kneel at the altar with their peers and worship the hallowed ground of one team or another. Choosing a team can be a difficult decision I’m sure but once you’ve chosen ‘man united’ as most do, despite living in Bodmin, Bombay or Buenos Aires there’s little else required of you. Supporting a team as opposed to ‘the sport’ introduces and values rivalry, scorn, pride, gloating, hatred and disappointment, but most importantly tribal allegiance and victory in battle.

 Now here’s the bit I don’t understand, you have done nothing personally to contribute towards a team’s victory.  You weren’t on the pitch (in fact you haven’t even been to Manchester in your life) you didn’t become involved with the training, the exercise, the diets, or whatever else is required to guarantee success in a game. Yet you feel a degree of personal pride when someone you’ve never met puts a ball in the back of a net!!

Ok maybe I’m taking this too far? Maybe to some football is just one of many interests in a colourful and active life? Perhaps it is. But there are, I know, plenty out there who forsake all other experiences and possible interests for football, it is quite simply the reason they breathe. It will from time to time offer them a sense of great satisfaction but also of failure. This is not living your life, this is living someone else’s life and it’s very, very sad indeed.

 How can you as a bystander claim any kind of personal victory for another man’s work? Think about it, if you had a successful day in the office how odd would it be if someone you’ve never met wept with joy at your achievement, then celebrated by getting drunk and ending the night asleep, draped naked on nelsons column? So very bizarre I don’t understand the passion or religiosity of it all, it’s just a bloody game, something others do for fun and recreation surely? Then if having it rammed down my throat all the time isn’t enough I have to endure all the celebrity nonsense that now surrounds its players and their wives. Bland, uninteresting, one dimensional over paid people that have nothing to contribute outside of a football pitch. 

But of course there’s nothing to do about it, I’m in a minority I understand that, all I ask really is please when I say ‘sorry I don’t like football, it holds no interest to me at all’ don’t look at me like I’m the one who’s insane. Please don’t assume everyone likes football as much as you and don’t look so frightened at the prospect of entering into a new topic of conversation. Most of all don’t, once I’ve registered my feelings on the matter, CONTINUE boring me with your f—-ng opinion on the last match you saw. I COULDN’T CARE LESS, YOU GLORIFIED TRAIN SPOTTER!!!

If only science and research were revered in the same way, think what would be possible if the sort of money involved in football was pumped into curing cancer, space exploration, greener fuels or relieving poverty? The people who achieve such feats of social, medical and scientific endeavor should be the people we admire and aim to emulate. Not mullet haired, wife beating adulterers with a penchant for tacky jewelry and barely legal call girls.

I have nothing against sport, nothing against kicking a ball about; I’ve spent many a glorious afternoon doing just that with Mini Me but really it’s just a game. It’s what busy productive people do with their children for fun, it’s not real or important or worth crying over; surely?


About CageWriter

Englishman Living in France with my French wife and bilingual son. I'm a struggling writer as in I struggle to write even though I feel it's my calling. I get easily side tracked, this blog being a case in point!
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3 Responses to Football

  1. Kevski says:

    Here here!
    Here. Bloody. Here…

  2. Sean Couper-Harris says:

    All very good points – but this dosn’y apply to Rugby right,,, right …I mean that is important.

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