10 reasons why we keep going back
DAVID HENNINGHAM explains why, despite the cost, it’s impossible to kick the football habit...
HOW much????? I’m not paying that! That’s the last time I buy a season ticket! They get paid too much!’ How many times have we heard this over the years? As ticket prices and the cost of going to watch your team continues to do damage to your wallet, we still continue to cough up and head off to watch our team doing battle.
Why do we continue to do it? Granted, there are supporters true to their word, stick to their guns, and never return to the seats of the various stadiums they once loved visiting, but many keep on going. Here are 10 reasons why we like to head back for more:
1. The Drama
We may not admit it but deep down we are ‘Drama Kings and Queens’. We love the drama that unfolds between the teams on the turf. Drama is Aguero striking in stoppage time, Terry hitting the woodwork with that penalty, Liverpool players rising from the dead in the 2005 Champions League final and Beckham’s late strike against Greece in 2001. It may feel like we are having a cardiac arrest as we watch… hoping, praying, cursing… but we love it and we want more!
2. The Controversy
Where would our beautiful game be without the big ‘C’ word? It makes steam jet out of our ears and makes the most mild-mannered turn into the green-eyed monster. The big ‘C’ does wonders to somebody’s character… you may think you know someone well, but they will seem like a stranger when it comes to controversy. So whilst we now have goal-line technology to reduce the big ‘C’, we still have the divers, officials who have moments of blindness, and defenders giving bear hugs to the opposition during a set-piece. Long live the big ‘C’!
3. We love a good moan
Many of us are like some people in those soaps on TV.We like to have a good moan about the slack performances of individuals on our team, the manager or the officials.We can have a moan before, during and after the game, it’s not time specific. Even when our teams are doing well, and I mean really well, we search hard and find something to moan about.We may not admit it, but we love it!
4. The Atmosphere
Sit down, stand up, listen to the chanting, listen to the roars, listen to the disappointment of silence, sense that your team will make a breakthrough, look at the shaking of heads when another chance goes down the drain, curse the officials when they get it wrong, hold your breath as the ref reaches for a card…… will it be yellow or the dreaded red? They all add to the atmosphere and we have no idea when it will change.
5. We are imaginary football managers
‘Shoooooot! Hit it! Cross it! What’s he doing there? Tackle him! Grab him! My Gran would have saved that! Why has he played that formation? How much did we pay for that donkey?’
It’s funny how a simple guy like myself turns into a professional manager once the ref blows his whistle. The interesting thing is that the
thousands of supporters present also turn into managers… and rightly so! I mean, what do those real managers know? We know good football and we have all the know-how to get our beloved team to the summit and keep them there.
6. It's in our blood
‘I remember the first match my Grandad David took me to. It was amazing! Even though it was freezing and the ball looked like it was made of wood, I will never forget it. I knew from that day I would always support Brampton FC’.
How many times have we heard this? We go to a match wearing sized 3 shoes, our blood gets contaminated, then we head to matches for the rest of lives.We are hooked! We are addicts! The fact is it’s in our blood and we are trapped. No matter how loud we scream, beg or cry, we are hooked for life. Accept the fact that we are addicts… don’t fight it!
7. Tension release
My thoughts drift back to a time about three years ago. Our admin assistant got a ticket to come to a football match with us on a Wednesday evening. Now I have to explain that this lady is calm, happy, always willing to help and professional. When she got hold of her ticket, her words were along the lines of ‘I can’t wait for this match, I really need a good shout to calm myself down’.
I dismissed her comment and thought she was being a tad over the top. Well, during the match, to my amazement, she did not stop! The ref, the manager and all the players received the wrath of her tongue. After the match she was hardly able to speak but I heard her mutter in a croaky tone ‘I needed that!’
8. We are creatures of habit
We like routine. If our routine changes, it throws us. Think about when we go into the supermarket looking for our usual Indian takeaway. We walk in on autopilot until we reach the spot where we’ve been collecting our spicy meal for the last 18 months.
We look down, but instead of seeing what we came in for, we see a selection of pizzas! We stand there for a sec and ask ourselves what’s going on. It throws us into a state of shock and panic before we regain composure and notice the huge sign hanging up saying ‘Ready meals’ further down the aisle.
9. We can't live without it
We say we can, and we like to think we can, but we can’t. Just look at the expression on our faces during the end of season break. The sudden urge to burst into tears, sudden twitching and fits of rage aimed at anyone are some of the symptoms of the break. Maybe it triggers off a hormone imbalance.
10. We love the game
It makes us happy, it makes us smile, it makes us put all our problems to the bottom of the pile. It makes us angry, it makes us cry, but we will still keep going until we die. The bottom line is that we are in love with the beautiful game.We are bonded in marriage for the rest of our lives. No matter what happened on the pitch the other day, we will be reaching inside our wallets again!