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    I guess the title of this article pretty much says it all right? What is it about football that makes an individual abandon common sense and all of a sudden become irrational? Why does a human being all of a sudden lose perspective when it comes to matters of the footballing kind? Before we get started I will admit that I have also fallen into this trap many times in the past, I think it is a part of our humanity that makes us susceptible to these kind of “swings”, but as I get older and slightly wiser I have come to look at things in a more pragmatic way, not just in football but in all areas of life.

    So let’s get down to our love for football (or all sports for that matter) and why we seem not to be able to think clearly. I could bore you with a bunch of scientific mumbo jumbo regarding neurotransmitters, biochemical processes, dopamine and adrenaline but this is not my way. I would rather break it down in Layman’s terms referring to simple examples in everyday life to make us understand. Being in love with a sports team is exactly the same as being in love with another human being, its like a marriage. There are ups and downs, good moments and bad ones. Your “partner” has the ability to take you to the highest peaks of ecstasy as well as drag you down to the lowest pits of emotional hell.

    Love is a crazy thing, it can lead us to do and say crazy things, things we would normally never do or say. You can easily lose your grip on reality and well become for lack of better words, hormonally imbalanced.

    Let’s look at an every day example in which maybe you can associate:

    Its Saturday, you have had a long week of work and you are looking forward to recharging those batteries with a day of doing fuck all. You’re on the couch, feet up watching all the weekend sporting activities. Then it starts. You know, the bitching. You have promised you would put up that shelf for the past month, and today your partner ain’t gonna take no for an answer. After about 30 minutes of trying to deflect and get out of it, your blood pressure has reached a point where you can feel that stress behind your eyeballs, their ready to pop out, your chest gets heavy, you start to feel hot all of a sudden and a layer of sticky sweat starts to form on your brow and then it happens.. BOOOOOM. You stand up, shout some nasty shit such as, “I work my nuts of all fucking week, i finally get a chance to relax and all you can think about is your fucking shelf”. Ultimately like the good doggy you are, and out of a general sense of self preservation, you head for your toolbox, huffing and puffing you throw up that new shelf all the while continuing to swear under your breath at a level which hopefully won’t be heard. Task completed you head back to your partner to apologize, they are still a little pissed off but the shelf is up so they get over it, and you head back to the couch waiting nervously for the next interruption.

    Now lets translate that into footballing terms where its a little more complex. Same scenario, its a Saturday. You have had a hard week at work, your boss had your scrotum or titties in a tight ass vice grip all week, but still your feeling good because your favorite team is on the telly this afternoon and you can’t bloody wait. An hour before kickoff the news comes through that your best player tweaked his groin in training yesterday and won’t be playing. SHIT BALLS. Move ahead to 30 minutes before kick off and whilst excited you are already starting to get flashbacks of last weeks bore draw against a team fighting for relegation, which makes you a little nervous. Still you bury those feelings and try to be positive because its footy day. And finally kickoff. Within 30 minutes of the game the positivity has been sucked out of you like a 1890’s East End hooker blowing for her next glass of gin, because after going in with high expectations your team is once again SUCKING DONKEY ASS. 44 minutes on the clock and then it happens… the opposing team gets a corner and as history dictates with your team that ain’t good news. Ball is swung in and what do you know it its a goal. The symptoms start, your head drops into your hands. You start having visions of finding the next dude in the street wearing a pair of Espadrilles and beating the ever loving shit out of him, your blood pressure is up, you start to sweat. Thankfully at that point reality sets back in and your remember a game of football is 90 minutes and change. You get a little positivity back and you manage to calm yourself down. Halftime doesn’t help. You sit there watching the experts discuss how crap your team is and all you feel like doing is reaching into the television and strangling one of the pundits with his €300 tie. Second half kicks off, your team is back, switched on. The manager has obviously sorted shit out during the break and your seeing your team dominate. Two quick goals and you are elated, jumping, screaming, having visions of title glory and spouting out such drivel as “when we play like this we are the best team in the league”. Then 30 second later the opponent equalizes. DREAMS CRUSHED and the same old insecurities surface. At this point you are more nervous than ever. Blood pressure through the fucking roof. No more finger or toe nails, you are sweating like an Eskimo (apologies INUIT) in the Sahara desert and your so wound up you can’t even talk. And then the inevitable happens. Whilst your team is pushing for that winning goal the other teams breaks away on the counter attack. Its the 92nd minute and it all seems like slow motion. The striker ends up 1 on 1 with the goal keeper, calmly dribbles around and slots it home… and then it happens… FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK. MOTHER FUUUUCKER (followed by about 30 seconds of the most creative profanity one has ever heard). You lunge for the television and actually pick it up from the TV stand ready to hurl it at the wall or through a window. The rest of your family heads for the “safe room” like they do every week. You’re blood pressure is so high that you are less than 60 seconds away from a GIGANTIC STROKE. The full time whistle goes and your team lost. You are frustrated, angry, upset all in one. Eventually, usually within the proceeding hour or so you remember that its just football and there are more important things in life and whilst you will remain grumpy on the inside until the next game can get it out of your system, you make a concerted effort to get on with it.

    You see, same kind of thing. Its love that does it. That bloody thing they call love. You can’t live with it and you can’t live without it. Now I can only give you a sense of things from my own personal perspective, but there are only two things that can make me lose my shit like that, my wife and my favorite football team. THAT’S IT. (Alright, maybe one or two other things if seen may make me lose my temper badly, but these are singular events and not common occurrences).

    At this stage I just want to take you back to the very first paragraph where I stated “as I get older and slightly wiser I have come to look at things in a more pragmatic way, not just in football but in all areas of life”. During the course of writing this I have realized that statement WAS A STONE FACED LIE. Whilst in the calm moments I find myself able to think with a clear head, talk and write with a good amount of pragmatism and neutrality, in the heat of the moment I am afraid it is uncontrollable, its the red mist that comes over me and it can only be triggered by someone or something that I love with all my heart and passion.

    As a final point, if you are one of those people who read this little piece, compared the two examples within and came to the conclusion that I am trying to suggest footballing love is more complicated that marital love, I have only one thing to say to you….


    And you kind of missed the point.

    “The course of true love never did run smooth.”
    ― William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

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