Archive for the ‘About Fairweather Footy Fan’ Category

Welcome to Fairweather Footy Fan

5 April 2008

I love a bit of football. Every two years, I really enjoy getting into the Euro or World cup (whenever England happen to qualify). But I like to watch non-England matches too. In fact, if England get knocked out, I have a mental “next favourite” team to win. In fact, in 2002 I was rooting for Italy as well as England all the way through.

The only problem is, this kind of talk is poisonous to ‘proper’ footy fans, who steer their entire life by their team. I’m left emotionally unscathed by football. It’s fun, but it’s easy to shrug off the losses, disappointing as it is for a few minutes. Similarly, a lovely communal bond develops between strangers when England are on a (rare) winning streak. But again, it wears off pretty quickly.

I know there are thousands like me, so why is it that league football demands such hardcore commitment? Why can’t I just enjoy it as it comes? What’s with the self-torture, the ridiculous empathy with a bunch of permanently injured multi-millionaires, the cod-camaradarie on the terraces, the vicarious living through what is essentially an abstracted war, the wasted Saturdays … it’s for all this that I could never invest time or energy (let alone money) in following league football. That and I wouldn’t know who to support. Seriously, what are the rules, if you’re new to this?

So how about I pick a team, and support that team until it loses? Seems to make a lot of sense to me. A team’s success will earn my unswerving support until they mess up and then I’ll support the victor. Kind of like conkers. Or France in WWII.

My brother, a long-term Ipswich supporter, is sickened by this idea. I think it’s the best idea I’ve ever had.

“When does the season end?”, I ask him.

“Around May” he scathingly replied.

Perfect, I’m not doing much for the next few weekends, although I will miss the odd game, but there’s always the internet to catch up.

Now all I have to do is pick a team …