It’s only football but I like it

In the last couple of days, for various reasons, I have been involved in a couple of feisty social media “discussions” about football.  That they are feisty doesn’t bother me.  Sometimes feisty is good.  It shows passion, perhaps misdirected but passion all the same and it is good to find out how other people feel about the various things happening within the sport that hundreds of thousands of us love.

Yes, I love football.  It’s a sport that both irritates yet exhilarates me.  It’s a sport that, even though my team is playing so badly, I can sit in my seat at a home game and still feel a calm.  What brings that calm? I don’t know.  The way we are playing at the moment means that all around me there are people booing the team, shouting at players and there’s generally not a lot of love going around for the team, the players, the manager, the board and on it goes.  However, there is something about being there that I need.

During both the feisty conversations I was involved in regarding football at least one person popped up in both threads and uttered a phrase along the lines of “football, boring” or “it’s just football, forget about it” or “who cares about football?” and other such phrases.

I care about football.

What I don’t understand is the inability to accept that some people like football and they like to talk about it.

If you say that football, as a sport, is a form of entertainment then isn’t it true that it falls into the same category as soap operas, dramas and reality TV shows? And if that is the case then shouldn’t I then comment on every thread and post on social media that it’s just a singing competition, forget about it? Or who cares about that talent competition? Who cares that two fictional characters are having an affair? Or that one has murdered another.

I don’t comment on every thread because I actually respect the fact the people watch whatever form of entertainment they want to even if I don’t understand it.  I don’t get why people have let Simon Cowell ruin the coveted Christmas Number 1.  Something that used to be eagerly fought out by the biggest stars of whichever generation and to be announced as the Christmas Number 1 the weekend before Christmas was a massive achievement.  Now, unless there is a massive social media campaign, the Christmas Number 1 is usually a one hit wonder who’ll soon be reduced to snipping the ribbon to open new supermarkets.

Yet, across social media, whenever there is one of these reality programmes on I can’t move for posts about it.  If it’s a cake bake off or a sing song, Twitter and Facebook will be awash.  Like it or lump it.  Or unfollow and defriend.

I know football can come across as boring, 22 men (or women) running around kicking a ball.  Equally, reality TV shows are as boring for me.  Do I care about a bunch of Z-listers sharing a house for a few weeks, pretending to have sex and falling out with each other? Not really.  Lots of people do, or are titivated by it anyway.

Do I care about my teams fortunes week in and week out? Do I watch other football matches because I actually enjoy the sport? Yes.  All I ask is that, while I respect other people in their choice of entertainment, they respect mine.