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The Worthington Cup Final: Birmingham City vs. Liverpool, Cardiff Arms Park,

From: Matey Matey Mate
Category: Other stuff
Date: 08 March 2001


Why do educated young men such as myself go to football games? Why do we pay huge amounts of money (in this case my Father paid 250 for just two tickets) to get freezing cold, be surrounded by drunken, generally ugly young men and feel like cattle in a pen, when we could see how our teams are actually playing much better on television and in the warm comfort of our sitting room?

Those of us who are not football supporters may have difficulty in comprehending this kind of behaviour. The best analogy I can think of is to consider football games as tribal events, where one is suddenly and completely (as long as one is standing with one's own supporters) transported to a different realm, a realm where one's identity is intensely tied up with complete strangers standing near and far and where one is happy to shout obscenities, wave flags, and sing songs along with the tribe for an hour and a half. It is a rare occasion when one feels completely comfortable to be focused on a collective outcome, in this case Liverpool winning the game, and the fact that this outcome in no objective way stands to advantage me does not in the least detract from that feeling of being part of something bigger than me, my family, my friends, my work, my culture. And when I sang, 'You'll Never Walk Alone' with 40,000 fellow fans waving the red and white flags, it still brought tears to my eyes.

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