I had a little bit of a paddy on Twitter yesterday after a slew of people were moaning about “the football”. “The football” in this instance being a fairly easily avoidable pre-World Cup friendly (the pubs would not have been packed, it was isolated on ITV). I just didn’t see how it was worthy of the disapprobation poured on it.

You wouldn’t dismiss all of ‘art’ or ‘science’ (or at least not easily or seriously), but the cultural, historical and social elements of the most popular sport in the World (and its global celebration) are okay to be sniffy about it seems. It’s disrupting your television viewing, or making your surrogate living room a little too busy for your liking, and that’s reason enough.

But, dismisser of “the football” is that the root cause? Because you seem to associate the sport with the event, the event with the supporting, and the supporters with a conflation people you don’t much care for.

Because not all football supporters are racist, boorish, loud, suntanned, drunk or even English.

And not everyone will be “supporting”.

Some will be watching, sharing, discussing and enjoying the best players in the World — playing for once without too much financial imperative and on a fairly level playing field (no transfers, no buying success). It can be beautiful.

Football exists not only as a sport, but as a metaphor and conduit for society. Ignore if you will, but don’t dismiss. It’s not clever.

5 thoughts on “World Cup Willies

  1. indeed; i'm not desperately interested in they fitbah, but i acknowledge that other people are. it's the same as when twitter (or whatever) is overrun with discussion about the apprentice, doctor who, politics, the x-factor, the archers, whatever. it's all about cultural snobbery – 'my favourite leisure activity is high / noble / whatever, yours is silly / populist / base / whatever'. what depresses me is the propensity of people to post dozens of messages about the thing they're into whilst it's taking place, & then moan about other people posting dozens of messages about the thing they have no interest in. there you go – People Are Hypocrites(tm) ¬

  2. Don't have a problem with people enjoying watching football. Have been known to enjoy it myself.

    Do have a problem with the assumption that everyone in the country is sharing a moment though. The current Sky and Kit-Kat billboards are particularly irksome.

    Not just football. Same applies to X-Factor, dead princesses, etc. “Nation united” is damn annoying when you know damn well it isn't.

  3. It’s just advertisers playing the percentage game. They’ve never been rnable to get a handle on the passion or the art of fandom, nor pitch to rnthe people they’ve indentified. Sky and ITV are particularily bad at rnthis where football is concerned, witness continued harking to “that rnnight in Barcelona” when a vast majority have no interest in now rnNewton Heath perform.

  4. It’s just advertisers playing the percentage game. They’ve never been rnable to get a handle on the passion or the art of fandom, nor pitch to rnthe people they’ve indentified. Sky and ITV are particularily bad at rnthis where football is concerned, witness continued harking to “that rnnight in Barcelona” when a vast majority have no interest in now rnNewton Heath perform.

  5. It's just advertisers playing the percentage game. They've never been
    able to get a handle on the passion or the art of fandom, nor pitch to
    the people they've indentified. Sky and ITV are particularily bad at
    this where football is concerned, witness continued harking to “that
    night in Barcelona” when a vast majority have no interest in now
    Newton Heath perform.

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