I hope people reading this know about that feeling when it’s hard to wait until the first day of something, anything, like when at school (and you’re not bad at it), a new job (and you’re a great worker and the only way is up on the “career ladder”), or a sale at the favourite shopping chain (don’t lie, we all like shopping really) as I think that’s the level of understanding readers need to look at at those in their lives and for this blog post in particular at people with a passion for watching football. I don’t think it’s fair to say “I don’t understand your love football, it’s just a game”, yes it is “a game” but I think instead of people trying to understand the level of “football fever” try to think about what you as an individual love, what you see as a “main event”, there’s always one surely? I mean I suppose mine at the moment in a sporting way is American Football but my point is that I will never say “football is just a game” it’s like how people say “that’s just a bag”, “that’s just a film”, “that’s just a television series”. Just don’t try and think like that football fan because it’s not possible, as personally think of American Football when trying to relate as maybe the world’s problem is that people can’t either out of choice or circumstance to be able to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, people are just going about it all wrong.
At 25 years old I was once on the inside looking out when it comes to appreciating football so I know how “it” felt with a level of belonging and giving it a certain level of adoration as for at least a good 15 years I knew, that feel and marking down the dates of a calendar looking to “is it the first day of the season yet?” I don’t want to say that football was my life but it was a big part of said life and I made it a rule to watch ‘Match of the Day‘ with my dad and to talk about that days matches which is nice as it’s the staple of our “father-son time”. To be on that inside appreciation for football not to the level of chanting or rioting but to obtain that sense of belonging and to feel like it’s possible to believe in something, something that is a sort of need as people don’t have to believe in God but just to be able to believe in anything bigger than they are, something that is uncontrollable for it is out of our hands, people get that with football, because of this lack of control without it having anything to do with religion people see football like one.
But then all of a sudden roughly 3 or 4 years ago something changed in me as had I grown up, was it boredom, had I realised that there was more to life, who knew but for a fact there was that distinct change like a light switch had been flicked off. So I still share an interest with people about football but that level of interest has dropped off sharply to the point that if I saw the way football was an impact 3 or 4 years ago I would have mistaken myself for another person. Honestly put maybe it was the build up to a BBC post I read about the average matchday out or that since Sky Sports came onto the scene in 1991 it means the end for conventional sports watching, but still share a passion for sport on a journalism level (as we all know I care for all sports… Bar fishing, darts, and “horseys”). I’ll still listen and care when people talk about football for I do still tend to follow most stories, big money transfers, and the league tables, but to have the patience to sit down for 90 minutes (plus stoppages, but then again it could be extra-time and penalties) in order to watch a match, to seriously harbour that need I once had to watch a match and most importantly and the pinacle of my apathy for football in the 21st century for the longing I had for football in the summer has seriously gone now for if before 3 or 4 years ago it was labelled as “seeping levels” I can confirm that it has now categorically and officially gone now. No better example of this “lost faith” than when my dad called me down from upstairs for the Copa America this summer but I replied with “Nah my interest in football needs a summer off for come the new Premier League season I’ll be sick of it from Day 1”, in an act that really speaks volumes. And of course the fact that the U20 World Cup is on at the moment and only last Thursday the big draw to me personally was Nigeria vs. England, in a match that at senior level I’ve never liked for the reason that to choose one nation over another when holding dual nationality is never nice but to be able to make this one exception that at Under 20 level I was leaning towards supporting Nigeria for they simply seemed more hungry a team but then again that is only at ‘Under 20 level’ they just need to learn how to translate that hunger into the senior level. All I know is that I would be foolish to “disown” football as it’s like saying to someone “live a life on Coke, now stop”, just to admit that I still hold level of interest, just know that the level it was once upon a time simply isn’t there in me.
That ‘Mitchell & Webb‘ video just seems to sum up why I don’t share that level any more, but to say that I still have the Rugby World Cup to look forward in next month for how many football supporters recognise other sports, so there’s the silverlining to my apathy.