Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Football Is So Much More Than A Game.

Scott Parker tackling Juan Mata
To many, including myself, football is not 'just a game'. In those 90 minutes so much can happen, so much emotion can be felt - the joy of scoring a goal, the horror of conceding in the dying seconds, the relief of saving a penalty (obviously if you're a goalkeeper), the anxiety of defending that last minute corner when you're one goal up. It annoys me when people, who clearly do not enjoy the game, make ignorant comments like 'it's really easy', 'it's just 11 men kicking a ball back and forth'. By that point I just want to plonk them down in front of a TV and show them a competitive football match - Barcelona would be a good choice. Tactics are much more prevalent in the game nowadays that it's almost become like a chess game, you've always got to be one step ahead of your opponent - you either match them or better them. But when you hear the final whistle and you realise you've won the game (especially in important fixtures) no one can take away that feeling of euphoria and the slightly weird voice inside your head that's screaming 'OMG WE WON! DUDE, WE ACTUALLY WON! HOW CRAZY IS THIS!!' - (Just me?... just me). But hell, I don't care because every Sunday to me will always be 'game day' and the little butterflies in my stomach is just one of the feelings I experience every time that first whistle blows and I wouldn't have it any other way.


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  1. Thanks for adding me to your circle Carys and also for being interested in my blog, The Everyday Ramblings of a Lunatic Housewife.

    I always like to know who's adding me to their world and when I saw your note asking for readers, I couldn't help but smile.

    You have a great voice - keep posting it. You've earned a follower today in me; a bi-polar, middle-aged, wanna-be comedian from Colorado moonlighting as a housewife by day.

    Take care!

    1. I shall most definitely be checking out your blog, it look like a very good read :) and thank you for taking time out to come to mine and comment - much appreciated.

  2. May I provide a counter argument?

    I am in the category of those you refer to, of whom do not enjoy the 'beautiful' game. I am sorry to digress, but I find sport to be quite obviously a game. Football is a game. No more, no less.

    However I do agree that the sport that exists in practicality is no mere game. Oh no, it is far less glorified.

    This is needless to say that I believe sport to be a negative, despite my problem with the 'ghost' intelligence many claim to be embedded within. In fact, my problem with football and the such like is not directly with sport or the entailment, more the aggression and savage behaviour it creates and promotes.

    It would seem that nigh a match goes by that someone or a group of people, supporting either side, performs some form of deviant or criminal act aimed towards the opposition or their property. Now, please forgive me if I state that this is in no way justified by an under-qualified referee's verdict or the under performance of a player. There is no excuse for the conflict caused on / off the pitch.

    Perhaps you would deem it cruel to compare football to war, but they are compatible in practice.

    In war, a country let's call them Blackburn, are fighting another, Burnley. The two haven't had positive past relations. Let us assume Blackburn is superior to Burnley (Theoretical of course, as I you may have gathered, I don't follow sport), and they have the major battle, similar to the match in football. One side will win the other will lose, simple logic.

    But, after the battle, and the 'winner' has been declared. What of the men who are left waiting for extraction? Or those that go to celebrate in the nearby bars and pubs?

    It is not possible for some men to leave the troubles at the main battle I mentioned. Due to there either intense consideration of their win or loss, or fuelling through alcohol, what prevents the minor skirmishes breaking out? Threatening the locals, fighting the foreigners, damaging the war-zone.

    A war isn't said and done until each side is back to whence he came. Until each man and woman has been given ample time to consider ones future actions free from alien influence or passion of recent acts.

    It is the same for sport, and the topic which you have chosen; football. I mean no harm in saying it is SOME of the people who follow football that make it the utter liability it is. Just like war.

    Also like war, I think it is more than possible that the amount of stock people put in country, origin, home town, and other innate tendencies as race are also at fault. Such things are relished and even praised to be held in sport and the culture surrounding the wallowing. The chanting and the songs for example.

    People think that just because they are one in the crowd, they are exempt from dishonourable behaviour. People are wrong. I can understand that there are very few people, alike yourself who have never chanted some form of abuse directed at the opposition or the supporters. Is this not wrong? Or would you have the more enlightened of us believe this is banter?

    Nevertheless I will fall silent now and allow you to consider what I have said. Keep up the ranting. Good show.

    - The Reluctor.

    1. The Reluctor

      If you were commenting on this blog in the 1970s (if we had the internet in the 1970s..) then I would have to wholeheartedly agree with you. I don't doubt that you're aware of the hooliganism and organised firms back in those days and the damage caused to footballing towns and innocent victims were enough to put off any sane person from going to watch it.

      However in November 2012, football-related arrests - according to the Home Office - were down 24% - which is a all-time record low and 74% of football matches at a competitive level resulted a total of 0 arrests. Now in saying this, the argument that fans will go to the local pubs get drunk and cause havoc simply isn't backed up by statistics.

      On the other hand I cannot disagree, being a season ticket holder for Blackburn, with the fact that strong language and chanting is present in the game. I do not like the word 'banter' as I believe in many cases it has been used as an excuse for bullying or abusive behaviour. However in my experience, around 70% of the chanting is aimed towards the team's own players - either supportive or criticism. In that 30%, chants towards opposing fans was usually only along the lines of'your team's s**t'. Banter or not, I wouldn't say it was completely offensive. Only in the East Lancashire derby (Blackburn V Burnley)was strong abusive language used, but I must stress it was from both sets of supporters. Whilst this is still unacceptable and not exactly a friendly environment to be in, it probably happens in most fierce derbys and that is why I cannot argue against your point.

      My only comment is that the post itself was explaining the point of view of a player. Watching football is a hobby of mine but playing is a different story - the emotions are different because when playing, you're the one that could score, you're the one that could make a difference to the game. You just don't experience that stood in a stand and that's the part of the sport that I adore the most.

      Football can be very aggressive and not a massive attraction for families and the vulnerable alike, but the days of ripping seats out and smashing them round the heads of stewards or terrorising local towns are, arguably, behind us and I am thankful for that.

      But there are so much more positives! I've seen and played with people who come from broken, terrible backgrounds and football is the only thing that keeps them out of trouble. Cliche, the team is like a family to them and to get into trouble would be letting them down. Seeing someone finally have a sense of belonging is a truly remarkable thing so I don't think these positives should be cast into the shadows because of a small minority who can't behave in a civilised manner (speaking of minorities - see my most recent blog).

      With light comes darkness, but it's the question of which is more dominant and I truly believe it is the first.


  3. I agree entirely with what you just said. My only digression is the way in which so many believe wallowing within football is a means to thrive socially. I believe this to be a common misconception. As I stated before, a few people in football need to be subtracted for it to be, in my mind, a beautiful thing.

    "I shall give to him that is athirst for the waters of life, freely"

    - The Reluctor

  4. Fair view.

    In regards to lighting however, I think it's all a matter of perspective. To use your example of someone who would otherwise be in trouble if not for football, is it not false to shy them away from who they are with a game? If the only thing that holds them back from being in trouble is football, which is to say not embedded within the real world, then in a way you are stating it to be a deterrent from the truth.

    I know it's common in the media for some to lose themselves to a virtual world either through videogames or some other virtual social medium, but comparatively football or any sort of sport is similar. It isn't real, there are different rules and it is in a false setting. In it's most archaic terms, football is virtual; a construction of the mind within a reality.

    To go back to the individual who would otherwise be in trouble, is he living in the real world if he is consumed by a game? Just because a wall is placed between Scotland and England it does not extinguish the existence of either. The person would surely be able to find a sense of belonging elsewhere, football is no more a lifestyle choice than work is a necessity.

    As to one of your word choices, "vulnerable" in reference to families, I assume you are using it as a synonym for the likes of; intelligent, pre-cautious and fore-thinking. I don't think we can say the days are behind us at all - look at the destruction committed in the Ewood toilets, or the violence committed at the Wembley game yesterday. It's sickening to think of such petty violence surrounding something so many feel is fun, but yet again how many of these so many really care?

    - The Reluctor