Saturday, January 29, 2022

Just why is football so important?

Graham Fisher in Editorial, General Soccer News 23 Aug 2008

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Football means different things to different people. For some people it is their living. For some people it is a passion. For some people it is almost a religion. Some love it, some like it and some find it quite enjoyable. Of course, many people think it is a waste of time and many others actually dislike it with an intense hatred.

So what is it about the game that can bring about such different extreme reactions in people?

It isn’t like art or music or a film or TV Programme. People can be passionate about these things but it is rare for someone to hate them in the way that some people hate football. Even those who are passionate about these subjects are unlikely to spend a majority of their salary on them, have the name of who or what they like tattooed on their bodies and spend their entire lives talking, reading or thinking about it.

As a footy fan, you may have a club that you love and display most of your passion about, but you can also get quite excited by your national team and even by watching other teams playing the same game about whom you really don’t care. (I accept that as an England fan the comment about getting excited by the national team is somewhat exaggerated.)

So there we are, we are part of a worldwide club of millions but we are also part of a group of people regarded as being very sad individuals indeed by millions of others.

Twenty-two men chasing a ball around a field. All they need to do is kick a ball into a great big net to score a point. Sometimes they can’t even do that! They run around for over an hour and a half and the game finishes exactly as it started, with no score. (I think I have just summed up the general American public’s view of the game!)

Only once in my life have I tried to justify and explain my love of the game. I was asked by someone at a party why on earth I got so excited about such a silly pastime. Unfortunately I had enjoyed the party rather too much by that point and what came out of my mouth in response sounded pathetic even to me. In fact, the non-sensical ramblings of this sad, middle aged drunk probably reinforced the questioner’s views on football fans! I’m sorry, I fear I may have let the members of our club down.

When I sobered up the next day I thought about the question I had been asked. I also thought about what I had done to that pot plant in the corner of the hosts lounge, but that is another story!

When I tried to think about why I love football so much and why it has such a disproportionate importance in my life I couldn’t do it. I could not come up with one sensible, convincing reason to explain its prominent position in my priorities.

When people say it’s only a game, they are absolutely right. Of course it is more than that for people who earn their living within the game but for the rest of us that is all it is.

I love Watford Football Club but did their failure in last season’s championship play-offs really have much of an effect on my life? I love England, but in the big scheme of things, did their failure to qualify for Euro 2008 really change my life for the worse?

Sadly, the answer to both of those questions is yes. I can’t explain why, but the answer is very definitely yes. My life is less happy and less fulfilled if my football team is doing badly. I laugh at train spotters and stamp collectors and people with perfectly normal and healthy hobbies and fail to see that I am obsessed with something of such little global importance.

I honestly believe that if nuclear war was a distinct possibility, my biggest worry would be if the next weekend’s matches would be affected.

So what I need is help. I either need psychological or psychiatric help with my footy obsession or I need help from you to understand what it is about our game that makes it what it is.

By the simple fact that you are reading this site you must be, whether you like it or not, ‘one of us’. So help me. Explain why it is so important.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Graham Fisher


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dimas rangga
dimas rangga
13 years ago

Yeah well, for me football is the only thing left in this world that hasn’t been infected by politic, religion, etc… YET!!

Football is the only thing when we can see courage really does matter, and not every big thing comes from big thing. We can see how the majestic Chelsea failed to make a point out of their great ambition of summoning great players.

Football is only GOOD THING left in this world….

footballMANIAC
footballMANIAC
13 years ago

It’s pointless to think about why millions are obsessed with the game. It’s just the way it is. An instinctive function to place yourself in a group (in this case, football club) which you are forever faithful to.

Marvin
Marvin
13 years ago

i have tried to explain this to my friends many times and i found myself stummbling on my own words. people art my school always say o football is gay i think this is part of the fact of how the american public has affected this game in america even so it is constantly growing

liked your article
thanks

Matty
Matty
13 years ago

i have tried to explain this to my friends many times and i found myself stummbling on my own words. people art my school always say o football is gay i think this is part of the fact of how the american public has affected this game in america even so it is constantly growing

thanks

Jason
Jason
13 years ago

The 2 biggest things I have to explain to people is the liking of the sport and the club I support. I live in the US and support Man Utd. Glory Scum I know…I’ve heard it all. Explaining that part is somewhat easy. My mom’s, cousin’s husband is from Manchester. He went to the Academy there and even play for United. of course it was their school games and a handful of reserve matches, but none the less, at 12 years old that was the team I liked. I had a family member play for them. I’ve supported the club… Read more »

cha henney
13 years ago

i do loves football and and i do think it is part of my life. i have been watching it for years and still i want to watch it ..

,aroses
,aroses
13 years ago

I’m 17 and I’ve been watching football for 6 years. I’m a great United fun and I’ve supported the club in good times and bad times as well. I find it very difficult to explain what I feel for football. It’s more than passion: whenever I’m sad or having a very severe migraine, it’s either because Man Utd has been scored or a ManUtd player is injured. I love Brazilian soccer as well: THE RIVALDO’s era was the best. My favourite players are Kaka and Ryan Giggs because they never disappoint, they play with great passion and determination. In school,… Read more »

Cu-Hullan
Cu-Hullan
13 years ago

To start, great article. I am relieved to hear that I am not the only one that has difficulty in pin-pointing my passion for the game. What exactly was the trigger that reeled us in? How did we evolve from that of a simple fan and admirer to a full fledged fanatic? I belive that in one way or another, this beautiful game has touched us deeply and left a mark in our heart on a very personal level. As for myself, football has always been there for me through the ups and downs of this journey we call life.… Read more »

charlie
13 years ago

i support portsmouth and they ere the best team in the world

FOOTBALLISLIFE
FOOTBALLISLIFE
4 years ago
Reply to  charlie

u got that wrong man u are the BEST in the world

shane
12 years ago

west brom goin 2 go bk up

FOOTBALLISLIFE
FOOTBALLISLIFE
4 years ago
Reply to  shane

no there not

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