Why I Hate Football (despite my mate Simon's best efforts)

This post is dedicated to my footie-mad pal Simon who pulled me up when I said on Facebook "you name it, I'll write about it." He named football. I bloody hate football and he knows it.

children playing football

We met studying journalism back when football fans had a terrible reputation for violence and thuggery. None of my family at that point were followers of the so-called beautiful game and Simon was the first person I'd met who had genuine passion for the sport without any of the desire to maim the other side's supporters.

As I headed towards the newsroom and a life of court reporting, feature writing and general news writing he took his place on a sports desk.

While the rest of our cohort moved one by one away from the dying trade of print journalism he remained true to the industry for decades. He even wrote a book with the slightly unwieldy title "Gus Honeybun...Your Boys Took One Hell of a Beating: A Love Affair in the Lower Leagues." I am reliably informed you can still buy it on Amazon and from the dusty shelves of mediocre book stores on the south coast.

I digress.

He failed to pass his passion for teams of blokes kicking around a pigs bladder on to me and to this day I have no idea what the offside rule entails.

When I met my darling husband he told me he wasn't bothered about football. That was a big plus in his favour. After our whirlwind courtship and when I had the gold band firmly on my finger it turned out he supported Arsenal. Passionately. Honestly. The lies men will tell to get past first base!

So here I am - 25 years married to a Gooner. He loves the game and I hate it.

Largely it bores me but I am irritated by the ridiculous wages, the violence in the name of footie and the ridiculous territorialism. How can people supporting a team from one side of a big city hate people supporting a team from the other side during what I believe is laughably termed a local derby when almost none of the players are even from the same continent as the residents generally?

I hate the sound of the crowd on the TV, that animalistic rumbling roar. I'm not a fan of mocking chants and I simply can't get over those pay-packets for thick-thighed chaps who are good at running, aiming a ball and falling over with style utilising acting skills worthy of an Oscar.

Why should men get paid more than women for the same sport? I know the excuse is given that the men draw the crowds and the sponsorship etc. But it's the same game. Outrageous!

This has brought me to a good point Simon. I actually HAVE written about football before when my daughter met England footballer Kelly Smith at Wembley Stadium. That was one of the few times I have enjoyed watching football, when my daughter took to the pitch for a training session.

Footballer Kelly Smith

It seemed so unfair to me that the women who are as dedicated to the sport as men do not get the same opportunities or recognition.

My daughter was enthused for about 48 hours after her visit to Wembley. It was a short lived thing and she's back to sketching instead of shooting for the goal. I can't say I'm sorry.





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