Religion of the deluded?
With thanks to Spanish Spur for bringing this article to my attention over at the Guardian. Martin Kettle, the author of said article, cites Liverpool's current financial plight as a means to place football into perspective. No sympathy in fact for something birthed from the 90s in terms of this explosion of football we have practically drowned in during the past couple of decades. He's critical of the monster that has grown in our quaint English garden and shrugs at one of it's falling limbs.
Read it, worth a look. Found this paragraph of interest, and just taking it out of the context of the actual article itself, wonder what you might think of it's sentiments.
Football is a game. Football is entertainment. Yes, it's a really good game. Yes, it's exciting entertainment. Yes, it is hugely enjoyable – or can be – to follow your own team through thick and thin. But that's all. Football is not more than that. It's not the reason we exist. It's not a way of life. It's not even a religion, except inasmuch as it is a comforting delusion. Football doesn't prove anything at all about anything. It certainly does not validate the worth of the disturbingly large number of people, still almost all male, who appear to think that it does. Great footballers are nothing more than great footballers.
He states that you follow your team through thick and and thin - but that's all you do. There is nothing more to it. Just how do you quantify this in terms of emotional attachment? Okay so let's say someone in your family is ill or you have a newborn baby, it's going to take priority. In comparison, there is no comparison. But surely life is made up of building blocks, each as important as the next when handled separately. Why would you compare each block? You well do if say you have to choose between two things, but usually it's just a compromise (I guess this is very subjective).
I have felt physically sick to the depths of my gut when we've lost certain games. I've felt equally sick (if I look back to my teenage years) and one or two girlfriend related heart-breaks. Both incomparable, both with equal measures of impact on my life. Although I got over the females and moved on, but some football results will never be forgotten.
Football not a religion? In this world we (I) live in, you spend most of it filling it up with stuff to get you through one day to the next. TV, music, sex, travel, work (sadly) and hundreds of other activities - some of a necessity others of interest.
It's not the reason I exist, but it's f**king good way to spend some part of my life obsessing over. It doesn't need me to tag it with philosophical reasoning about it's tribal elements or any other form of justification. It's not a way of life, but it's part of our way of life. But it's a huge part of my life, and it runs in the blood, so perhaps there is part of me holding back, not admitting that it's far more important than I wish to believe.
So yeah, just a musing or two here. Agree, disagree? Are we (all of us no matter the club of our choice) just deluding ourselves with one hell of an epic waste of time?
Discuss it amongst yourselves if you want.