The Unique Football Fans

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Freshman (College 1st year) ・English ・MLA ・3 Sources

Moodiness and mild hyperactivity are common characteristics of sports fans (Giulianotti 71). Giulianotti, on the other hand, observes that, unlike fans of other sports, soccer fans exhibit peculiar features that are special to the sport (71). These variety of tendencies only found in soccer fans include ‘the most emotional’ (people who would violently destroy their own television if their team lost), gambling (fans who would spend all their money on betting), those who never maintain their support for one team (‘the team-hoppers’), those who live for football (these people would not eat if their team lost a match) and the ‘road takers’ (these fans would stand in front of traffic on a match event day).

The Most Emotional

One of the games categorized as the most emotional of all time was the soccer match between Brazil and Germany in the world cup of 2014. Prior to the match, Brazilian fans, including me, had boasted publicly about their team’s great football record and that they would crash their opponents to the ground. In honesty, Brazil only relied majorly on two of their players to score most of the goals in order to proceed to the level of semi-finals. Germany depicted very little mercy towards their hosts on this eventful day. Only 30 minutes into the game, they had scored 5-0 against Brazil. As Brazilian supporters, this tragedy depressed me and broke the heart of many other supporters of the South American team.

I Fell Victim

I witnessed and heard of many events that occurred before, during and after the Brazil-Germany 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 Brazil, 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 Germany 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, a former soccer player, 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 athlete 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 Team-hoppers

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 France while the same people would be seen moving support to U.S.A on a rough season for France. The team-hopper moves from cheering one club to another based on victory. They go along with the team that wins. A sub-category of team-hoppers ‘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 types 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.

Conclusion

With its supporters ranging from ‘road-takers’, staunch gamblers to the dangerously emotional ones, football exhibits a form of addiction only unique to it as a sport. Despite the warnings by a concerned few, people are likely to spend more money in gambling, successfully influence others as well as live for and preach football. The game’s fan base is widening every year, and the characteristics of its lovers only continue to distinguishably grow with time.

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.

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