Let me qualify what I am about to say by stating that I love football and its potential to thrill, excite, inspire and unite us. However, in recent times football has become harder to love.
You go to see your team play, and you have to sit there listening to the screaming swearing of thousands of depressed men using football as some form of therapeutic escapism. People become so angry about what they see on the field. Why do they feel the need to spend hundreds of pounds to become livid watching rich people playing a game? They call it passion; I call it swearing in front of families and children.
Outside of the stadium, these people are generally perfectly civilised. They are often mild-mannered and reasonable to talk to. Yet as soon as stands full of opposition fans are introduced into the equation, they immediately feel the need to vilify them. Has anybody else noticed that when their team scores, many ‘fans’ turn towards the other teams supporters and make hand gestures, obscene comments (usually along the lines of “f**k you!”), and generally make a twat out of themselves lording it over the losing teams fans? It’s embarrassing.
Another point to consider is this: why is football broadcast in the middle of the day? You can hear the crowd chanting “the referee’s a w****r” live on TV in the middle of the day. No other program could ever get away with it. It seems completely absurd.
Football is the quickest way to divide a room. You’re “one of us” if you support the same team; whilst the social outcast supports your teams rival.
The only conceivable way to rectify this shambles of a national sport is to remove the hate. The best way to do this? Remove the importance. If we begin to realise that football is ultimately just a game, and doesn’t mean much in relation to real world issues, maybe people would become less violent and less divisive in relation to the game we all love.