Im an expat but when I did live at home I was truly engaged with the sport in general.
It was easy to do,,the papers are full of it and its common ground between workmates or even strangers over a pint . Then you had the wall to wall Sky Sports coverage going “ Rooney!!! “ all week to get you hyped up to nothing.
The package started an hour at least before the actual kick off by which time you had settled with cold beer and usually mates for a football feast to match the week of hype.
And it didnt did it. Jose set up for a draw or a narrow win and “ Rooney “ was only world class in the advertising industry . But still it was freezing outside and it was an excuse for a night out so you went along with it.
It took me to move away to break that cycle. Instead of a week of hype there was none or little that I encountered and then when you found time to watch the game you really werent impressed as it was dont lose for the most part. Slowly but surely I realised I had been suckered by the media hype and ad’s and once I realised that it was fairly easy to start to switch off.
A couple or even 3 games a week became 1 which has become the odd game . On some website or other, no more subscriptions or ads,,just watch the two halves one after the other to avoid the BS. Thats where I am right now,,pick and choose the odd “spectacle” game to watch.
But it had dawned on me that it was more habit and socialising than the spectacle we were being promised . My love of the game has just diminished a lot and it wasnt that hard at all to lose me.
Ironically my two closest friends who I shared those times with did not emigrate yet have gone down the same road .
One , a West Ham nut , told me last year that the team was dead. Words I never expected him to utter. He loved that team and wished for nothing more than a good cup run. The fans were gutted when certain managers played the kids in the cups and focused on survival. Betrayal my mate called it. Expected managers to really try at their only shot at glory ( a cup ) they did.
Can you believe that the owners actually thought they would get away with lying to the fans ? Did they think no one would go back and check to see if their promises were kept ?
You will be no further away from the pitch,,,and surprise surprise some enterprising chap measured it and shock horror he is further away.
Will help bridge the gap to the next level,,,yet it has brought in only 17 million more than they would have had. Lawsuits are still ongoing with the owners of their new home ground and the fans have just reason to grumble.
My friend assures me a lot of tickets are “ premier league tourists “ . People who just wanna watch the games without much allegiance to those in front of them. Some find it abhorrent. I say what do you expect of the modern day game. They chose there because its the cheapest ticket he tells me and they were available en masse in family size blocks.
The other is a long standing Real Madrid fan believe it or not and has watched them since the early 80s , in person . Now he tells me the league is the training ground for the “ Big “ cup and they couldnt care if they dont win it. The prestige that comes with those stars they are racking up enables them to sign more “ galacticos “ and tear away further in marketing , tv rights , and stars racked up . They are in effect a corporation who has a football team . He’s disgusted.
On the world stage the game might have did well out of Russia recently but that is a spark in what has been a dark chasm for the sport since FIFA started to implode . It has yet to be finalised just how a winter world cup will work, if it goes ahead and I myself would not lay money on that.
In Scotland its never been more farcical. Celtic themselves through circumstances that are beyond my comprehension have made a pigs ear of this transfer window and the fall out may well be fatal for someone’s career . I doubt we will ever know the full story and that’s another ugly facet of the beautiful game.
Rangers have signed an entire team despite certain Celtic facing bloggers telling us they are skint and due to go under and with their chairman they won’t get any dosh anywhere as he’s cold shouldered.
And on calling them Rangers,,I’m done with the sevco and the zombies lark.
A podcast I respect and listen to was telling us Rangers took a 1 nil home win away into Europe.
Tells me strangers and the sporting world at large recognise them as the same team.
The hype accompanying this Sundays hatefest will cement that, and I imagine many sitting down to watch it thinking it’s the Old Firm .
Now for all intensive purposes if you are playing in the same strip , badge , stadium and in front of the same fans while having the list of Rangers honours alongside your name then you are Rangers. I know they died. Some of them know they died. But that’s not the point here.
Nothing has changed. Nada. So I have faced up to the fact that what they did was cheating and unethical and I would disown my club if they done it , but they appear to have gotten away with it and are going for their 55th title so no matter what I think Rangers are alive. If a small pocket keep saying no they aren’t what difference does it make ? None whatsoever I am sorry to tell you.
The Celtic fans didn’t care when they snapped up every ticket going for the hatefest within an hour.
And try explaining to an outsider they are dead when they are all over the tv hyped up even more now. No . I’m over that. Its done as far as I am concerned.
I doubt future events will change that.
So this sport,,this “ beautiful game “,,, when your social life doesn’t revolve around it and when you can truly just take it or leave it , not need it , then its a lot easier to analyse it and see what youre really dealing with.
And truth is bhoys,,,aint beautiful at all. Infact she’s ugly , and shes seen better days.
Mahe the Madman
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