The Unique Football Fans

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People can be categorised into diverse categories. This ranges from their taste of meals and eating habits, clothing or sports preferences to luxury-lovers and these who are workaholics. There exists general attributes of sports fans such as moodiness and occasional hyperactivity. However, Giulianotti observes that opposite to lovers of other sports, soccer fans depict special characteristics. These variety of tendencies only observed in soccer fans range from ‘the most emotional’, gambling, fans who by no means maintain their support for one team (‘the trans-planter’), these who live for football and the ‘road takers’ who ignore visitors rules on a match event day.
The Most Emotional
One of the games categorized as most emotional of all time was the soccer match between Chelsea and Liverpool in September 2008. 5 years prior to the tie, the Blues (Chelsea) had faced the Reds (Liverpool) 24 times. Most matches had ended up having very defensive stalemates. Liverpool was desperate for a 3-goal win in order to advance to the next stage. Fabio Aurelio, then a popular Liverpool forward, stunned Chelsea’s guard Cech by scoring a free kick from 35 yards. Liverpool scored again on the 28th minute. Suddenly after the half-time break, Chelsea scored two times within 6 minutes, followed by yet another 2 goals from Liverpool who now dreamt of proceeding through. Lampard crushed Liverpool’s dreams with a brace that led to a 7-5 win for Chelsea.

I Fell Victim

I witnessed and heard of many events that occurred before, during and after the Chelsea-Liverpool game. Many fights took place in bars, many friendships broke and definitely, people destroyed their own property in a ‘reactionary move’. I would categorize myself too under this unique group of football fans. As a supporter of Liverpool, I became very agitated about how the game ended. For the first time, I did not feel like eating or talking to anyone. I had always heard of similar stories from friends but did not imagine one day I would fall victim. A friend of mine, a staunch supporter of Liverpool and an introvert, suddenly became an extrovert and began making numerous calls to me. It was as if he had suddenly become talkative after his team won. Later on, gloomy and stressed, I switched off my phone and took some sleeping pills to ‘cure’ the pain.

The Gambler

Keith Gillespie, Manchester United’s former winger, warned about gambling, citing the aspect that the habit is becoming worse with time ("Former Newcastle Winger Gillespie - Who Once Lost £62,000 In Two Days"). Now a football fan, the former soccer player consented to having lost £ 62,000 within 2 days while on a gambling spree. According to the BBC, football has overtaken horse-racing to become the leading industry in terms of betting ("Football Betting - The Global Gambling Industry worth Billions"). Gambling occurs in many sports but is not as unique, aggressive and frequent as portrayed by soccer fans. Fans spend fortunes on a single game’s bet and become broke afterwards. As much have some soccer fans have lost in a big way to gambling, others have won. One client of William Hill netted £ 112,500 ("The Man Who 'Lost' £100,000 And The Best & Worst Bets On Leicester City's Shock Title Win - Goal.Com"). Such victories motivate football fans who continue to expand their gambling trials every day.

The Trans-planter

This is the type of football fan who shifts support from one team to another every season. At one time they will be supporters of Arsenal while the same people would be seen inclining towards Manchester United on a rough Arsenal season. The Trans-planter moves from cheering one club to another based on victory. They go along with the team that wins. A sub-category of trans-planters ‘change teams’ geographically or by jersey color. They are not diehard football fans and are intrigued by any factor in a team. For example, they can support a team simply because they like a player, due to the attractive color of the jersey or because they have moved to a new region and are showing loyalty to their home team.

Football is Life

Unlike other sports, there are soccer fans that breathe and live football. Woe unto the spouses of these kinds of fanatics. Anyone associated with this type of fan would have to ‘support’ their favorite team and follow football history to blend with them. Moreover, they always try to drag their relations and friends into their ‘love’ so as to find company thus creating ‘football families’ or ‘football friends’. For such people, addiction can make them fat because they are always seated and streaming football online. They dedicate their whole day to the sport.

The Missionary

Only found in football, these type of fans always try to recruit people into liking soccer. Mostly, they always know all the advantages of watching football and disadvantages of supporting any other sport one would mention. They are ready with statistics as to why football will someday become the only sport in the world and go as far as citing health merits of a football fan.

The Road Takers

It is common to see several people taking over the road while going to watch a premier league match. When football supporters are within a mile from the stadium, their instinct overrules and roads no longer exist. Adults, together with their children, en masse, completely occupy tarmac roads while headed to stadiums where their expected match is to take place. ‘Unaware’ of oncoming cars, supporters sometimes escape death by a small margin while displaying their preferred team banners for every road user to see.

Works Cited

"Football Betting - The Global Gambling Industry Worth Billions." BBC Sport. N.p., 2017. Web. 23 Aug. 2017.

"Former Newcastle Winger Gillespie - Who Once Lost £62,000 In Two Days." Mail Online. N.p., 2017. Web. 23 Aug. 2017.

Giulianotti, Richard. Football. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 2012: 68-71.

September 11, 2021

Sociology Sports

Subject area:

Soccer People Football

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