When thinking of inspiration for something to write about I look for two things that can make life easier. One of those is a topic that I know intimately, which means I can write off the top of my head with no prior ‘revision’. The second is that it’s something I feel passionately about. Because then I can rant. And when I rant, I just go and go and go…
Sports fanaticism is just such a topic. I’ve never liked sports, in fact I hate them so much, that when the World Cup is on I actually prey that England will go out as soon as possible if it means everyone will stop yammering about it and leaving me out of conversations as a result.
Well actually it’s not all sports I loathe. I actually like boxing, I like athletics and I like martial arts and bodybuilding (which some people argue aren’t sports incidentally). Why do I like these? Because they mean something. As in, these are actual abilities that might benefit someone in the real world – running, throwing, lifting, jumping… They’re measures of human performance that demonstrate to us what the human body is capable of. Football, rugby, cricket… those are just exercises in beaurocracy and pettiness. So you can kick a ball around someone else in a team of 11 people into a goal without using your hands, or hurting the other players, or breaking the bizarre off-side rule… Great.
I also don’t mind playing sports – the aforementioned athletics, boxing, martial arts and bodybuilding but I even don’t mind the odd kick around and I quite like badminton. Sports are sociable, a good way to get some exercise and a good way to develop other skills.
What I don’t like is people talking about sports for hours. About statistics, and names and then getting angry and then mocking me for not joining in. What? I hate that they think you have to like sports to be a ‘real’ man. What they don’t get is that it’s only a certain type of guy who thinks like that. Probably someone who’s insecure in their role as ‘one of the guys’. I have loads of friends who have no interest in sports at all and they all agree with me that it’s completely bizarre to get so emotional about a game that has no importance in the real world. I don’t judge them for that (except in this article) and I don’t expect to be judged back… it’s just lame.
Seriously if they were that obsessive about anything else they would be the weirdoes. It’s only because it’s become so ingrained in our culture that it’s what ‘guys do’ that they think we have to like it. I mean really it’s a bunch of people running after a ball on some grass with some weird ass rules… it’s not even glamorous it’s dirty and tiring and they’re mostly as charismatic and intelligent as a rock.
As a team sport, victory is all down to how much money your team has – the players come and go. So what is this cult-like allegiance actually to? Is it just so that you can belong to something? So you can act like a hooligan for 90 minutes every week? Why do so many people want to be followers when they could be individuals, or better yet, leaders? I think global warming is melting people’s brains.
So next time you feel out of place or weird because everyone’s talking about football, just think about the droves of guys that think they’re weird and are man enough to admit it.