You have chosen a life of pain, exhaustion, euphoria, pleasure and tension. We may all be searching for balance in our lives but there is one thing that will never bring us the equilibrium we crave. While the art of football makes sense with its tactics, skills and formations the feelings of a dedicated fan make no sense to anyone who doesn’t share in the passion we feel when watching our team. How do we become so incensed by decisions, enraged to the point of leaving a game early and why do we love it with a passion that we find near impossible to apply to other areas of our lives?
I am an Arsenal fan and have been since the age of seven. My dad was watching one of the most anticipated games of the season; the North London derby game between Arsenal and their rivals Tottenham Hotspur. I sat to watch Tottenham my dad’s team but something happened as the game progressed; I watched Arsenal. That was the day I became a Gooner and as I sat glued to the screen something rose up within me like a like a flower about to bloom. The attraction was instant; It was the first time I fell in love.
So what happens when we are all loved up with football? The hairs on the back of your neck stand up on end as the players run on the pitch for the first time, you see a bad tackle and your protective instinct is to catapult yourself on the pitch and sort out the perpetrator who dared to hurt one of the loves of your life, eventually they score a goal and in that moment you know you will never leave their side and would follow them where ever they go, the scorer bangs his chest and the team badge telling you fiercely that the feeling of love is mutual.
But it’s not all plain sailing and sometimes the roses in stadium garden can break our hearts. They don’t mean to and they are probably hurting more than we are but as frustrated as we feel, we never give up on them. It’s not an easy relationship but then what relationships are? Nothing in this sporting life is certain and when someone decides to leave you there is an overwhelming sense of abandonment and anger; how could they walk away and forget about all the good times we had together? We forget in that moment that someone new will come along to fill their boots… result!
I for one can’t imagine my life without it. The months before the season begins are the hardest for any supporter to take unless the World Cup or the Euros have come around to fill the summer void; and it’s a long summer. Crazy in football love we may be but we are a patient and philosophical bunch who will wait for the start of the new season and the Match of The Day theme tune… music to our ears; the only love song that matters.