Saturday, 12 November 2011

Giving men the red card

So, when I asked recently for ideas of what people would like to see from my blog, what was the overwhelming response from men? Football, of course.

Growing up with a Dad who wasn’t really all that fussed about football, I had always also managed to date men who weren’t too bothered about the sport either. A lucky escape I felt. However, on meeting my current boyfriend – and after six years of being together – I have had to face the experience of being with a football fanatic. A die hard Hammers fan since he was old enough to understand the game, my boyfriend had been to most of the team’s home games and a lot of away games too. He was a season ticket holder and has numerous kits and West Ham merchandise.

In fact, when we first met one another I decided to make a real effort and actually bought a West Ham shirt and went to a few games (some of which were even all the way in Manchester!) Since then and various circumstances changing, my boyfriend actually no longer has a season ticket (wait for all the hate mail from that one, I promise it wasn’t just down to me that he got rid of it).

I guess in that sense I have once again been lucky as I’m with someone who understands the importance of different aspects in life and isn’t so obsessed with football that he would refuse to give up his season ticket for instance. Of course though there are lot of men out there who are like that and often put the sport first.

What is it about this game that takes men in such a firm grasp and holds their attention for so long? You know what men are like if you try to get them to concentrate on plans you have, but yet if they are faced with anything featuring their favourite team they can concentrate for hours on end.

Opinions are another thing, talk to a man about something that happened at work or a story you read on your commute and you might get a few grunts in response. You find out a new player is being signed or a football match is on and the referee makes a questionable decision, well just sit back and watch what happens then. Oh how the opinions flow…If you come across the so-called ‘glory hunters’ then just watch the sparks fly – people in London who support teams like Liverpool, or Chelsea fans who have never actually been to a game, oh dear…

Admittedly when I went to some actual games I did get caught up in the spirit and enjoyed it, but watching a match on television bores me to death. What is this fascination with a few men kicking a ball around a field? After all realistically that’s what this is.

Don’t even get me started on how much they get paid; it infuriates me when you see people who do jobs that actually make a real difference to the world getting paid a pittance. Yet you see a well-dressed, over-gelled hairstyled young man who can kick a ball and likes to sleep around and that warrants a ridiculously high salary to keep them stocked up with sports cars, endless champagne and designer clobber.

If you’ve ever been to a game you’ll know the transformation men go through when watching their team play – even the most mild mannered non-swearer will turn into a foul mouthed angry yob-like individual. The words that come out of my boyfriend’s mouth when he’s at a match (and that’s just when I’m there) are disgusting. Now, I’m not a pure mouthed angel, don’t get me wrong, but some of the things people say – and often in front of young children – are awful.

I know of some men who want silence when they’re watching a game, or those that have to watch all the pre match and post match analysis and then do their own commentary as well. Not only do some of us ladies lose our man every Saturday to a game, we then have to deal with them switching on the TV later on in the evening to rewatch it all on Match of the Day!

So, sorry guys, but I just don’t get this obsession. Who knows maybe this is a gender thing and your football fantasy is the equivalent to our clothes purchasing pleasures. All I know is the most interesting football match I’ve ever seen was one back in my Uni days in the student union pub after many a glass of wine…well I had to get through it somehow!


  1. I think you are misunderstanding the importance of football to men. Irrespective of what you think of the sport and it's competitors it is probably the first thing they have in common with their dads, and their team will be sometimes the only thing they have in common as they grow older. I remember my teenage years spent in a room with what seemed like a stranger until the immortal question was raised, "How did the Hammers play yesterday".

    Your other half is not a smack head and uses this as a release, so I put it to you give his season ticket back, get him the new shirt and send him to Upton Park where he can leave the boredom of every day life behind. You in the meantime can sit down on a Saturday afternoon with a glass of wine, watching repeats of the only way is Essex without the slightest chance of Jeff Stelling taking up your afternoon.

    It is football, it's what we do and it makes us happy (sometimes). Just remember Men will always have their football team in their lives longer than their girlfriends, fiancee's and wives.

    Men and women are very different creatures and will never understand why you are so fascinated with handbags, nails, hair, shoes, shopping, soap operas and reality TV. Do we let it bother, we are too worried about getting 3 points from Coventry ;-)

  2. Well I'm sitting in a pub watching the England game with my man and I love it. I support arsenal and hum Liverpool and I love watching matches with him both at the pub and the ground. Love him screaming for his team and swearing at the ref and I love doing the same. I would rather watch the footie than go shopping!

  3. You cannot support two teams!!!!......this is the kind of comment that explains why women will never truely understand the beautiful game.

  4. Thanks for the comments guys n girls. Nice to see this has sparked a debate! I have to say I am not completely anti-football, just when men get a little too obsessive over it. In fact my man has been watching the match on TV today whilst I packed for my holiday and had a nice bubble bath.