Being a football fan… Who would want it? Dependent on who you speak to being a football fan can consist of two things, sheer happiness or utter, utter despair. An everyday person tends not to get the passion and emotion that is put into the game as a fan, especially with emotions on such opposite ends of the spectrum. I was speaking to my good friend and fellow football fan Abhishek Gattani about this recently and felt like I needed to go into a little more depth.
Stage One : Waking Up
The alarm is blaring; sun is creeping through your half drawn curtains and you’re feeling a little hazy from last night’s antics. It is Saturday so after dealing with the initial shock of an alarm, you have a small period of time to collect yourself and prepare because today is match day! If you are anything like me before you can even say bacon sandwich, your phone is out and you are already scouting team news and having a browse in your betting account. I like to give myself plenty of time; match day isn’t just the typical 90 minutes of football. Match day is a day commitment, so get yourself ready!
Stage Two : The Commute
My team is Newcastle United so as you can imagine the commute is busy. St James’ Park is bang in the middle of Newcastle city Centre. You can fall into one of three brackets for what type of match day commuter you are. You can be:
- The early leaver for a decent parking space, not the most exciting but understandable.
- Last minute Larry, you know who you are. The classic ‘If I leave later I will miss all the traffic’… not my favourite.
- The earlier leaver tends to not be as sensible as the early leaver. The earlier leaver commutes for a very different reason and it usually involves sampling a few beverages.
Whichever category you fall into, make sure you do the routine check of tickets every 5 minutes. It is human nature right?
Stage Three : The 90 Minutes
Ok so this is it, you have smashed your routine steak pie and finished your plastic bottle of lager. There has been a whole weekend preparation for this hour and a half and trust me this is going to determine how the rest of your Saturday goes. I wish you all the luck in the world, a win or loss sets the basis of how the rest of your day is going to go. A win or draw leads to a celebratory beer, possible bite to eat and the countdown to watching the highlights on Match of the Day (Every football fan does this, you have literally just seen the entire outcome of the game before your own eyes but a second viewing is a must to ‘See how it looks on the tele’). I don’t even want to talk about what happens after a loss… It upsets me.
Stage 4 : In Hindsight
After having the same conversation with about fifty odd people about why the manager didn’t make a substitution earlier or how much a player impressed you, it is time for the wind down. It has been an emotional day for you. You are either happy or disappointed. Whatever it is, you take it on the chin and repeat the same process again and again. Why? Because we love it, football may just be a game to some people and that is fine. To us however, football is a massive factor of our lives, it’s not just about paying your hard earned cash to watch well paid athletes chase a ball around for 90 minutes, it’s about the passion and it is how much your heart bleeds for your club.