Every four years (so I am told) football hits the TV screens across the nation, as the World Cup takes place. I should say it hits TVs across the world, however this is far from true, as unlike many of my fellow man (and woman) kind this particular sport does not get squatting rights on my television set at all.
It’s not because I dislike sport, on the contrary, I enjoy Wimbledon, the Olympics and will be watching the Commonwealth Games later this year, I just detest football.
Why do I have such a hatred of this so called ‘beautiful game’, well for several reasons.
One: In my opinion, it’s no longer a beautiful game. Many years ago, footballers could be described as men of honour, and were people who you would be happy for your children to follow as remodels, and aspire to be. Today you have footballers swearing at each other (and the referee), making racial remarks at each other (and at the referee) and fighting with each other (and, you guessed it, also with the referee). Off the pitch players are even less restrained, getting into drunken brawls, committing adultery as well as other unsightly misdemeanours’ that do not befit anyone, let alone someone who is in the public eye. Hardly the character you would want a loved one to turn out like.
Two: The supporters. In times gone by it was tradition that father and son, or other members of the family went to view the game, either before or after a pub lunch. Football was seen as a form of family entertainment, and as such the players, and indeed other supporters ensured that their behaviour (and language) was suitable for people of all ages. Alas this is no more. Supporters turn to up the game at various different stages of sobriety, and as if following the lead from the team they support, swear at each other and instigate fights. After the game is over they spill out on to the streets, causing more havoc and distress to other members of the public who are minding their own business, before falling over themselves, chocking on their own vomit, passing out, and adding to an ever increasing strain on the NHS, preventing people with genuine emergencies from accessing care. A far cry from the ‘family image’ portrayed.
Three: Footballers pay. Yes it could be debated that they entertain people (however as to how is still a mystery to me), and pay 40%+ in tax that benefits us all, however I am still at a loss as to how someone who can barely string together a sentence of six syllables plus, earn that number of figures in a salary each week! Back in the day, to earn serious money, you had to work hard, study hard, or win the lottery. Today you merely have to be able to kick a ball around for 90 minutes to be paid the sums of money in a week that a nurse who works 13/14 hour shifts can dream of earning each decade.
Four: People allow it to take over their lives. For something such as football to take over people’s lives, it only demonstrates how much empty space they had in the first place, and the desperation for them to fill it with something, anything. How do ‘die hard fans’ have the money, and ability to take time off work to fly off to countries to follow England just bamboozles me. We then have the stay at home fans who spend the gross domestic product of some small countries on widescreen TV’s, St Georges Flag bunting and alcohol, presumably to assault their vision further as the game takes place. This is not to mention the ‘driving fans’ who want to attach said flags to their cars, just in case the England /football music blasting out of the stereo left passers-by in any doubt as to which team they support or what time of year it was.
Five: Anyone who doesn’t support football is made to feel like a ‘kill joy’. Yes I have probably proved that point by writing the above several paragraphs however why should the whole world stop just because a game is taking place? Why should public money go to such an elitist sport to pay for stadium? Why should every programme be kicked off the air to make way for a football match? Why should all other news take a back seat to football results? I can understand that some people enjoy the game, but I wish you could enjoy it in your own time, and not insist that I enjoy it with you!
Whilst I could be looking at football with perspective of a pessimist I do believe that I am not alone in my points of view. Whereas if the supporters and players were similar to that of 30/40 years ago, my vies and opinions would be very much different.
P.S, a little sketch on how I view football.