I know it’s a game of two halves, but there really is more to football than that. It’s not just 90 minutes of play and that’s it. For the players or the fans alike.
Obviously the players spend a shed load of time on training and fitness to even be considered to appear in that 90 minutes. But that’s not what I mean. For fans there is just as much beyond the first and final whistles. We’ve all dissected a game in the pub at full time. Or sunk a few pints before the match in a pub full of nobody but fans of your team. That’s a big part of football.
There’s even more to it than that of course. If you are into betting there is a whole world of football betting you can get lost in. It’s a bit more complicated than horses because you’ve only got 2 possible winners in a match. I know that sounds confused but because one team is often much more likely to win, bookies don’t make it that easy on you (or they’d lose their shirts). So if you don’t know, there are lots of good guides online that explain it. It’s not hard when you get the basics, it’s just a bit different. It does add a whole extra layer of excitement to being a football fan though.
You also get to travel to matches sometimes for the Premiere League or if you’re lucky the big competitions too like the World Cup, and that travel aspect adds yet more to being a fan. There’s a lot of camaraderie with groups of fans overseas – and I don’t mean in the negative sense often depicted on TV – I mean real happy comradeship amongst a group of like-minded people. It’s great being part of that crowd.
Even at school many of us ‘lived’ football 24-7. We collected stickers or cards (Panini anyone?) of teams. We played football at lunchtime, we played it again in sports lessons and again on the way home after school. When we weren’t playing it were arguing about which team was the best, or which player or who would make up our ultimate fantasy team. Then we stopped at the shop on the way home to pick up the latest football magazine, and pulled out the poster to add to the collection on our wall.
Football has always been so much more than just a 90 minute game, it really is a way of life for many fans just like the professionals.