Monday, 21 May 2012


Watching Test match cricket has thrown up a question.

As you all know i am not a middle class person or educated, but something is bugging me.

I am a massive fan of Test match cricket, i love watching the battle between bat and ball. I am also English and support England, However this does not stop me and other England fans applauding Shiv`s great batting at Lords this test match.

But, I am also a football fan and support West Ham as my team and my country England, Yet in football it seems you cant clap if a opposition player scores a "worldy" (as Paul Merson would say). In fact you can only value whatever your own team does, you must back your club 100% no matter what you personally think.

I will say that most fans of football love the game as well as their club, they can see when opposition score a beauty, does some great defending and rightly applaud it. This brings me on to Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC.

Luis Suarez as found guilty of a offence under the laws of the game and handed a 8 match ban, Liverpool didn't appeal but Kenny and players claimed his was innocent (Liverpool signed up to same rules as other clubs), Then their is Chelsea, John Terry caught on camera calling the brother of his England colleague a "Black cunt", Ok JT hasn't been found guilty and deserves a fair trail, but most have seen the tape. How can this be taken out of context?

Side note: John Terry has been picked for the Euros but Rio hasn't....

Anyway, back to my point, what is it that makes football a place of some of the most vile hatred in sport? is it to tribal? do you love your club more than whats right?

And we wonder why there are no openly gay footballers in top two divisions in England.


  1. Looking at your question from a detached viewpoint -- football doesn't interest me in the slightest -- I would say this. A football match has close-packed, ecstatic crowds on the terraces, sharing what is almost a religious experience. But the higher the level of emotion, and the more bonded the supporters feel, the higher the level of mob mentality, and the less room there is for rational thought, let alone tolerance for otherness of race or sexuality. Football makes its supporters behave primitively.

    So, of course, do a lot of other highly emotional bonding experiences, from religious rituals to Nuremberg rallies. The crowd becomes one, and that one is a beast.

    Cricket simply doesn't engage the emotions so much. It's slow, it's decorous, it's still possible for the spectators to think. But the faster pace of modern cricket matches is probably closing the emotional gap.

    1. To borrow from Clausewitz Football is war pursued by other means

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  3. Good points raised as usual Billy. What do they say about Rugby Union - a game played by thugs watched by gentlemen. I think Cricket is played by Gentlemen (in terms of behaviour not background) and watched by gentlemen (same definition). Football is .. well you can fill in the obvious gap here.

    I think clubs have played their part in creating this tribalism: it means that fans, once 'inducted into the tribe' will be much more likely to keep supporting, buy the tribe's uniform, go to away games and travel overseas if they're lucky enough that their club qualifies.

    I find it wholly depressing that a fan - or player - of one club is castigated by other of his club's fans for saying 'well done' to another team if they do well (obviously not if it's against his team, although I take your point about recognising quality within a match). I was criticised for saying 'well done' to Chelsea at the weekend, and 'commiserations to Spurs' who, I felt, deserved better for their efforts last season.

    It's a lack of generosity of spirit and a lack of respect that is not good for our society in my opinion. It leads to tribalism, which is a very close family friend of racism, homophobia and many of the ills that arise from this unsavoury trait amongst football fans, in my opinion.

    Keep up the good blogging work!

    1. Rugby= a ruffian game played by gentlemen;
      Football= a gentlemanly game played by ruffians.

      At least that's how I've heard it put; it had to do with the fact that football, while seemingly less "violent," was played by the working class, while rugby (union, anyway, a certainly more violent game) was played by upper-class schoolboys.

  4. Some Geezer wot always wondered why "West" Ham was in the East End23 May 2012 at 00:00

    Football engenders some of the most vile hatreds, Billy, because there are idiots out there who think THEY are the team. My father once told me that it's all a business, they don't let you into the stadium without paying, and if not you, someone else would buy that ticket, and that's what the owners think of you. A hundred years ago when all the players were local kids made good, it might have made sense for people to identify with their side. There's how many nationalities in the Premier League? English players for your side grew up everywhere in England? FFS, it's a bunch of lads put together by some Russian or Middle Easterner or American so that he can brag; they're here today and gone tomorrow, players, managers and ownership. Only if you think that by wearing an Aston Villa lookalike jersey they become you, and you become them, in some sort of "We're the East End and we can beat the world!" chest-thumping ritual display, will you turn into the sort of hating fan you're talking about. Most people fortunately don't. And I've always found it strange that it's always the other teams' non-English, primarily non-European, players "who's what's wrong with football"; never your own, of course, if they're playing well and contributing.