Anyone reading much of this website will know of my Hibernian FC affiliations. This does not necessarily reach out to the game of football as a whole, perhaps surprisingly. Indeed my favourite sport is hockey, the version played on ice that is.
I guess I come from a fairly rare perspective. I got absolutely tired out with football a long time ago due to too much of it. One might add here that of all the TV coverage on offer over the past few years it’s not compulsory to watch it all. At the same time football becomes almost unavoidable in the UK media at times. One cannot switch on the TV or radio or pick up a newspaper without being confronted with it. Even the news stands around the city I live in invariably have a football ‘headline’ on them during the afternoon and evening. ‘Forest pledge to play football’ or ‘Notts – we must do better’ type of non-news.
I came back to the game only with an interest in Hibs solely. That interest was re-ignited by one man – former French international, Franck Sauzee. I was on one of my numerous visits back to the Capital and popped down to Easter Road on a Saturday afternoon to be utterly amazed by the man’s brilliance. I was staggered at his imperious display playing as a sweeper for the Green Jerseys and the flame was ignited once more.
To the topic though. I just don’t care about watching English football or any other football much really. I just don’t ‘feel it’ and can easily ignore it. Maybe that’s something to do with my reservations about ‘hyped up’ things. I seem to have a natural anathema against people telling me how wonderful something is – I need to find out for myself. Personally for me I’d rather watch one live Hibs game than a whole season of other televised football – even the great names of the beautiful game. I don’t expect many others feel the same way though.
I find people’s attitudes a little strange on this sometimes (as I am sure they do mine too). On FA Cup Final day recently my partner and I called at a The Fox and Hounds in a Nottinghamshire village nearby. In an otherwise quiet pub with a few families in the yard and idyllic gardens, in the bar was much shouting and ‘yawping’ going on plus lots of bellowed ‘oohs’ and ‘aah’s” as giants Chelsea and Everton slugged it out on the small screen.
Even for a big-time game like that I can’t understand the rabid passion for something that has nothing to do with you. The guys, if anything would probably have been Forest/Mansfield supporters (maybe that’s the reason! Sorry Stags and Reds fans!)
When Hibs are playing I can get genuinely excited. I’m out there kicking the ball with them in my mind, probably like many others. I feel passionate about my club. I grew up with them and stayed with them through everything. The mean something to me. How can latching on to a behemoth like Chelsea compare with that true, honest and genuine feeling and passion for your own club? The truth is I don’t think it can…and I believe much of that stuff, that supposed ‘support’ is artificial.