My Football Saga

Sports have always been of interest to me and I’ve been known to also participate, quite vigorously I might add! Although nowadays the challenge to adhere to the regimen of mundane exercises and stick to it has become something of a challenge…I know there are many out there that experience this same dilemma.

Not to get sidetracked, I’ve always enjoyed sports and not just participation either but also the easier task of being a spectator and cheering on my team or favourite to win. On the other hand the most popular game on the planer doesn’t quite elicit the same level of appreciation, enthusiasm or support from me that it does from everyone else. Yes, the multi-billion dollar game of soccer doesn’t quite cause my eyes to light up! Interesting how more women are joining the wagon and supporting it, although I have my theories on that too but since this is not the post for it I’ll keep them for another time.

Anyway, despite my avoidance to watching the game (apart from the World Cup) earlier this year I ended up not just watching it from the comfort of the couch, with drinks and other creature comforts but I ended up at a string of LIVE football matches over a period of several weeks!

A football league had been organised in church and I wound up with a team to support. Knowing full well that I would probably end up not watching any match as I was inclined I decided to go the other way and go the full hog. So, I focused on supporting the team and its players, thus giving me something to do rather than dread the hours I’d have to face watching men chase the ball round a field. I became a cheerleader, but not the sort with pompoms, uniforms and chants, although we did come up with a chant and did our best to cheer the boys to victory.

During this period I got to experience the gamut of emotions from frustration to extreme happiness when that ball sailed into the net and earned a goal for the team. The irritation from an unjust call from a referee (sorry but I don’t think of the linesmen as assistant referees…no slight to FIFA on changing the nomenclature) or a linesman that was practically asleep when he made that call. Watching a skilled player make a great passes was pleasurable and I discovered a whole lot more than I expected.

I still don’t totally understand the offside saga, although it was explained and I eventually noticed a few. The rough nature of some tackles didn’t endear some players and the safe hands of some goalies also didn’t warm the cockles of my heart. The dust, heat and uncomfortable seats were par for the course too and I endured it all for that period. Some matches made it easier than others and of course some teams also made me think (fleetingly) of the myriad other ways I could have spent those minutes.

A modicum of understanding why men (and some women too) were entranced during a game became clearer. The frustration they felt when their side wasn’t doing too well was also quite clear and made me more lenient of the whole football craze.

Today I still won’t declare myself head over heels in love with soccer and I can’t believe I’ve been to a field to watch several live matches either. Would I do it again? Yes and come next season I’ll be there loudly cheering my team, having another out-of-body experience courtesy of the game of football!

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