Tuesday, 31 January 2012

The 'F' Word

I was asked recently if I'd like to play football or soccer if you happen to be from The Colonies.  This question was said at me by someone you might - mistakenly - believe to be a reasonably intelligent, free-thinking adult.  He did it with his mouth.

Now at this point you might be sighing and rolling your eyes at the thought of another anti-football rant, irrespective of whether you actually like the sport or not.  Well hold your horses there Captain Presumptuous of the good ship H.M.S. Imperious 'cause here's the thing:- More than my dislike of football I.  Just.  Don't.  Bloody.  Get.  It.

People from all walks of life seem to get interminably upset if 'their team' fails to place a ball in the back of a net during a fixed, measured period of time at a predetermined location.

From what I can gather a team is yours if you were born somewhere in the vicinity of its grounds.  This may not be true of all supporters but is a good rule of thumb.  In other words, a supporters loyalties are rigidly preordained by the GPS co-ordinates his/her mother happened to be located at approximately nine months after his/her fathers' twitching penis spat forcefully into his/her mothers upper vaginal cavity, across the length of her uterus and onward onto his/her mothers' ovum.

Apologies to any football fans that are starting to feel a little bit silly now at this point but these are facts.

Anyway, there is a season that is supposed to have a start and end but I cannot determine when these things happen because football is never actually off the television, nor does is ever stop so I have to assume this is a running gag and football one and only attempt at irony.

Sometimes a team will play at home and sometimes away.  For some reason the latter is seen as some sort of disadvantage but unless the opposing team are allowed to play at the top of a field angles at 45 degrees or plant and memorize the location of mines on the own pitches, I am unsure as to how playing on a steadfastly regulated, standardized that happens to be somewhere else would make a jot of difference to a squad's performance.

The next area of sheer bafflement from my standpoint:-  Why football?

The game itself - to my eye at least - showcases no skills I would consider of any value or worth whatsoever.  Swimming is a useful skill.  Hearing a new athlete has run faster than anyone else ever has is of at least passing interest.  That's because these are relatable practices.  Motions that have been carried out by most individuals and it can be worthwhile knowing your abilities and limits in these fields.  To the best of this authors knowledge, nobody ever saved their own or anybody else's life by tapping an artificial bladder surrounded by thermally-bonded plastic about.

Ultimately though I find myself confused by the double standards and sheer tribal blindness that football seems to nurture.  On the one hand there are the feckless masses who complain unceasingly about rising ticket costs and underwhelming players and their undeserved salaries whilst handing theirs over to shout over their pie-filled bellies at paid sportsmen how to do their jobs and on the other?  Well here you have the multi-millionaire players who wouldn't dream of wearing their team shirt off the pitch and will happily move to and play for the highest bidder displaying all the morality and loyalty of Fred West in a brothel above a D.I.Y. store.
 In the interests of fairness I have, on occasions where the subject has been brought up, endeavoured to find out why certain associates of mine avow to 'enjoy' football.  It only seems right given that most reasonable human beings and many unreasonable ones can happily discuss their proclivities and the reasoning behind them.  Alas, thus far and after many years of trying, I have yet to receive more than a shrug of the shoulders and a primate sounding grunt.

The conclusion?  Football supporters:- If you don't know why you like it, don't deride non-subscribers for showing no interest in what should really be a niche pass-time at best.