Why Football is the Greatest Sport on the Planet

This article is a submission for the Soccerlens Football Writing Competition; to participate, please read the details here.

Written by Søren Jakobsen.

When I started watching football many many years ago, I got hooked on the fan-culture surrounding these games. I remember I screamed out to one of my classmates who was supporting the other team:” You bastards smell like pigs”. When we got back to school on monday I noticed that he didn’t smell at all, and that he was quite popular with the girls. Ofcourse I got him back later when I got my first football-tatoo, which the girls were very impressed with.. But my daddy??? He sure wasn’t pleased.. He banned me from 3 home games that season, for me, that was worse than having a threesome with Sir Alex Ferguson and Pierluigi Collina.

Some people don’t like football. They say it’s filled with beer, and only seen by fat couchsittingbeerbellyexperts who talk about 3-4-3 and fast wingbacks and worst of all, IT’S BORING!!!. They just can’t see the spectacular thing in 22 boys running around kicking eachother.

Football might be dominated by men, but I sure know a lot of women who enjoy this sport as well. Football has grown to be one of the biggest sports for females around the world. And the clubs cast their profiles like it was Desperate Housewifes. Further the players hug eachother like it was a study in metrosexuality. The players take off their shirts so many times in the game that I now and then wonder if I’m watching swimming or football. Name one woman in the world who doesn’t know David Beckham`s current haircut???

Enough with the women, why do we men like this simple sport??? In football anything can happen. Just ask Bayern Munich in 1999 or Milan in 2005.

Big teams can lead in the 90`th minute and still be defeated by small clubs. Big stars like Gerrard, Kaka or Ronaldinho can be out of the game in 80 minutes and suddenly they score that great goal or make that superb pass to change the game to their benefit. And we can just sit back and wonder, where did that come from??? Then we realize that it’s the result of hard training day after day after day…

To me, football is like a magic circle.. It’s the place where you forget about the 1500£ dentist-bill you received last week or that your wife won’t give you enough quality time while watching sportsnews. What’s wrong with these women?? Once the game started you are totally focused on the game and in the magic circle. When the game changes with disruptions, injury, throw ins etc., the flow isn’t present anymore and you leave the circle and come back to reality. Then you are not lead by the magic.

We can talk for hours about tactics, and why Gerrard should play centermidfield or why Robbie Savage should have joined Hulk Hogan in wrestling a long time ago with Roy Keane as manager. We get so emotional when we hear that Djibril Cisse broke his leg for the seventh time or that Zidane is retiring. We worship magazines like Marca and Goal, and don’t understand why the centerfold picture of Thierry Henry can’t hang next to our grandparents in the livingroom.

When football is at its best, we are all together in hating eachother. It’s a disliking that is build up because of our passion for the sport. I’m not talking about hooliganism here, I’m talking about a rivalry, that is so big that it beats Franz Beckenbauers ego.

I mentioned hooliganism before. Some supporters worship a club that in many occasions have several coloured players in the team, and then they still sing racial songs with a blood alcohol level that is bigger than Gazza`s when he was in his prime. It Just doesn’t make any sence.

When FC Barcelona and Real Madrid clash, it’s not just two teams against eachother it’s also Nike against Adidas. In football you don’t talk about globalization, you practice it. Football is what cultures and civilizations should be: Controlled by rules, but filled with celebration and creativity. Hooliganism is the complete opposite. That’s why football is fair play and hooliganism no play at all. Football builds civilizations, hooliganism destroys them.

Football can be played by anyone: Chubby, short, rich, poor, from Iceland and even people from England. All you need is a ball and a couple of squaremeters.

I had some of my best times while watching football. Once my friend and I went to see our favourite team. Then a guy comes and sits down next to my friend. My friend had some candy in a bag in front of him, and suddenly the guy next to him starts eating it. My friend was so angry, but didn’t mention his frustration to him. Then after a while the bag was empty, the guy had eaten it all. He didn’t say anything, but I could tell that my friend was about to explode. Then after 89 min of the game, the guy next to my friend finds a delicious sandwich in his bag. He’s about to take a bite of it, when my friend takes it out of his hands and takes several BIG bites of it. Then he throws it back in his face with the comment: There you go Mr. stealer of candy. The guy was really frightened, and looked as if he had just seen a ghost. Then the game ends and we walk out of the stadium. Then my friend’s phone started ringing in his bag. And guess what was right next to his phone??? The candy!!! My stupid friend thought it was his candy the guy ate, when they accidently had bought the same candybag.. My friend was lucky to find the guy again and send him his apologies. Of course, now we’re older and wiser and drink beer instead of eating candy.

I will finish off my little tribute to the game with this little quote: Football is for intellectual people, they just wont admit it.

This article is a submission for the Soccerlens Football Writing Competition; to participate, please read the details here.

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