The Perks of Being a Football Fan

I am a supporter of Liverpool Football Club.

As you might be aware, this has made the past few days a much more unpleasant experience than they might otherwise have been.

Losing to a lower league club is not uncommon, and in a difficult environment on a small, poor quality pitch with a weakened side it is understandable, if embarrassing. But conceding 3 goals against a League One side struggling against relegation and producing a performance as startlingly inept as Sebastian Coates’s facial hair is horribly ill advised, is simply unforgivable. Just like blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

Wait. Is it blasphemy to say that? I’m not sure.

Last night’s draw against Arsenal, although significantly less unpleasant than the loss to Oldham, was nonetheless exasperating. In fact, it was a microcosm of most of the past 23 years of Liverpool Football Club. Stretches of brilliance promising so much but ultimately failing to deliver in the end.

So why do we do it to ourselves? Why would I, a reasonably intelligent, rational, educated individual (stop sniggering) choose to rest a significant portion of my happiness on any given weekend on the performance of 11 rich strangers kicking a leather ball?

It doesn’t make any sense! It is completely illogical. Utterly moronic.

And yes, you may tell me to get some perspective. Supporting one of the richest, most successful clubs in world football must be real difficult right? But that’s not the point.

What right-minded football fan would react to a loss like the one to Oldham by cheerfully brushing it off because we’re the 9th richest club in the world? Or by saying, ‘it’s fine, because we’ve won the Champions League 5 times’? Where’s the fun in that?

No, you go and have a good sulk. And possibly complain about it on Twitter.

Maybe that’s the reason we do it. We’re British and we just love to moan. We complain therefore we are.

Or perhaps we have become so comfortable, so desensitised to real highs and lows, that we use things like football to give us an adrenaline rush. Whether it’s the euphoric high of Steven Gerrard scoring a pile driver in the final minute (he must have a foot like a traction engine), or the crushing disappointment of seeing your club relegated in the last match of the season, we just want to feel something. We need to care about something.

Actually, that’s probably slightly too far. But we really do love to moan. And Sebastian Coates’s beard really is terrible.

Of course, none of this applies if you’re a Manchester United fan. I imagine you guys just sit round in your giant red castles, sipping on glasses of liquid smugness, conversing with Gary Neville, bathing in the tears of Arsenal fans in everlasting injury time, only ever interrupted three times a day to spend half an hour in reverence to Sir Alex Ferguson.

I assume.

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