09/09/2014

A Reminder Of Why I Love Football

In recent months football has been inundated with questions of the morality of the game, stretching from the apparent tolerance of racism, sexism and homophobia, to discussions over the wealth involved and serious allegations of match fixing.

This has resulted in many of us forming and expressing our opinions on public platforms, for example, I have used this website to express my distaste at the way the Richard Scudamore situation was handled, I have argued extensively about the immorality involved on the pitch including racism and even violence, I have discussed the attempted monopolisation of the football pyramid by the Premier League through Greg Dyke's 'League 3' plans.
One true love

Through this justified scrutiny of the game, I feel that I have lost a part of the simple pleasure I so often took in football.

This website has been used as a platform for education, awareness and protest about the problems football keeps in the changing room, when it was initially started simply as a blog to talk about the football on the pitch.

I maintain that this website is one which explores the parameters of the game, and I don't wish to lose sight of this goal, however I do feel that it needs to remind itself why the owner fell in love with the game in the first place.

With this in mind, I decided that this blog post will be about some of the recent things that I have enjoyed about football.

Looking back over the summer, I truly did enjoy immersing myself in the spirit of the World Cup. While my Panini sticker album is sadly incomplete, I grew an expensive addiction to my collection and still to this day am trying to swap the rest of my doubles.


I enjoyed taking my best friend to the pub to watch the opening fixture between Brazil and Croatia and her saying she actually enjoyed watching it despite having previous little interest in the sport.

Even when England lost, I enjoyed watching them in my local surrounded with flags and booze and free burgers.

My season with Blackburn Rovers started later than others, as for various reasons we had been unable to get to Ewood Park for the opening two fixtures so the first Rovers game I attended was Wolves away.


I can't remember being that excited for a game for a long time, not only because I love Rovers, but my dad, brother and I have only been making the two and a half hour trip to Ewood for three years, and it's become a huge part of our family life.

Even the 3-1 result did not tarnish the irreplaceable feeling of being part of a crowd.

I liked joining a fantasy football league and creating my team, even if I haven't changed my squad since the opening game of the Premier League.

My mum, her boyfriend and I went to watch Birmingham v Ipswich a few weeks ago, and I enjoyed watching as a neutral. I enjoyed being at an evening match again, and I enjoyed being at Blues again because I appear to have grown fond of the club in the last year. I enjoyed seeing a goal in the last ten minutes.

I'm looking forward to going to Ewood for the first time this season on Saturday to take on Wigan. It's a game that makes me feel a variety of emotions, resentment towards Wigan because they relegated us, humour because I remember watching Ali Al-Habsi circling his goal to try and catch a chicken, regret because we could have taken three points off them last season but Grant Hanley got sent off, and promise because on the last day of the season we beat them 4-3 and we looked a completely different team to the first match I ever watched us play.

I'm happy that Coventry City are back at the Ricoh. I'm happy that my brother's football team won for the first time this season on Sunday. I'm happy that England beat Switzerland 2-0. I'm happy that Welbeck scored both of those goals. I'm also happy that he's transferred to Arsenal and I hope that he has a great season because I think with the right coaching he certainly can.

Sometimes it's really easy to focus on the negatives which pervade football, especially when you run a football website because it provides an outlet for your frustrations.

Football does need to work on things, and it does need to show a greater intolerance towards discrimination, and for the record I do think football should have wage caps. 

But football is still football, and I love it.

3 comments:

  1. You're right to remind us Anna that the game begins and ends at more than the hype, the negative publicity, the gloss-over. We are not all followers of the biggest clubs with the deepest pockets and the fullest trophy cabinets. It is in the little things that football thrives....the match day rituals for follower and player alike....the shared walk into the ground....the dark and wet winter midweek grinding out of a win....the glorious sunny shirtsleeves Saturday battle with a local rival....the communal down drop of the heart when the opposition score after being gifted a sitter.....the tumultuous cacophony of noise and jumping, hugging, punching the air abandon when your star players nets a classic goal...the communal laughter when a ref slips and falls.....the nail-biting tension when your team are under pressure in the dying seconds of the game....as ever the ridiculous nonsense like The Yak trying to catch the original Venkys chicken.....the young kid ecstatic because he has caught the ball out of play and thrown it back to his hero.....the ten man victory against the odds........the half time pie....the best mate you never knew you had till you met in the same cause....the all inclusive family of fellow fans of your team.

    Football is just so much more than Sky or the money men will ever appreciate and I am glad .......because it is and always will be what true supporters have always known......... it is our game.

    Stand_and_stare

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  2. You're right to remind us Anna that the game begins and ends at more than the hype, the negative publicity, the gloss-over. We are not all followers of the biggest clubs with the deepest pockets and the fullest trophy cabinets. It is in the little things that football thrives....the match day rituals for follower and player alike....the shared walk into the ground....the dark and wet winter midweek grinding out of a win....the glorious sunny shirtsleeves Saturday battle with a local rival....the communal down drop of the heart when the opposition score after being gifted a sitter.....the tumultuous cacophony of noise and jumping, hugging, punching the air abandon when your star players nets a classic goal...the communal laughter when a ref slips and falls.....the nail-biting tension when your team are under pressure in the dying seconds of the game....as ever the ridiculous nonsense like The Yak trying to catch the original Venkys chicken.....the young kid ecstatic because he has caught the ball out of play and thrown it back to his hero.....the ten man victory against the odds........the half time pie....the best mate you never knew you had till you met in the same cause....the all inclusive family of fellow fans of your team.

    ReplyDelete
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