April 16th 2016
Today I went to watch my first live football match of the year, and my first local football match in 15 years.
It’s weird, considering how much I enjoy watching football that I haven’t previously gone to more games. I live in a town with a professional team (they’re pretty crap, mind) and tickets are like a tenner, so I should probably go more often.
Naturally, the team I was there to support (although I wouldn’t call myself a supporter) lost. In the last 4 football matches I’ve been to the team I was there to support lost. My last match was an away fixture in Zagreb, Croatia.
One thing I noticed today other than the significantly lesser standard of football was the differing members of the crowd. There were a fair amount of fathers and sons in front of me. There was a mother and son behind me. The mother gave a wonderful running commentary of the match. Of which my favourite line was: “GO ON BARRY! Is that Barry?” I don’t know any of the players, so I couldn’t tell you if it was Barry or not.
The Swindon ‘ultras’ we’re in force. A few people got kicked out for letting off flares. At a mid table clash against Bury. (Is that Bury?)
The people who go to games seem to take football far more seriously than I do. And they like to let you know it too. They all booed at the end, which is a kind of oxymoronic way of showing that you’re a supporter.
Me, I’m a quiet observer. I don’t participate in chants (mainly because I don’t know any chants) I don’t shout at the players (mainly because I don’t know their names) I just watch, and mutter irrelevant and superfluous advice under my breath.
However, it’s something that I can see the value of. I’m just not that kinda guy. I can see the value in going every week, just to feel part of something. And when you’re in the stadium you feel more part of it than when you’re on the sofa.
Until tomorrow, come on you team in red!