We all know that most men love soccer. And for some, it is just more than love especially when they are a team loyalist. A football loyalist is he/she who dedicates their time to sit and watch the game of football. Well, the English Premier League, La Liga and Champions League have just started and even though it’s still early days, loyalists have dedicated their time and life to their respective teams and the beautiful game of football.Ladies, it is around this time when it is almost impossible to have a successful conversation with the man of your dreams unless it is in front of a TV set. Unless the sun falls out of the sky, no interruptions are allowed. Your bad day at work, your heartless boss and that girl who gives you the evil eye will just have to wait. Having a decent talk about life with a soccer loyalist can only happen hours before the match starts or a day after the game.
Your chances become even slimmer when their team is defeated by a long-time rival. So when Manchester United loses against Chelsea, you can forget about having a productive conversation with a ManU fan.
‘If you can’t beat them, join them’ because winning as is slim as the chances of seeing Aston Villa win the English Premier League. But as they say in football, the ball is round so you never really know.
Soccer, even on a local scene has united populations especially men. Take a drive past pubs or the shabeens in Eveline street during a normal game – crowds come out in numbers to support their beloved teams. It gets very sentimental especially when one is on the winning streak.
Others would be throwing insults to the referee or the coach for wrong substitutes. Some even come from the comfort of their houses to gather at a bar with a wider audience to talk football.
“When Manchester United plays, my body will be glued to the TV, I make sure my schedule is clear for the game and everyone who wants to see me must meet me in my sitting room. There is just no way I can miss a Man U game,” said Sebron Nghipangelwa.
It is almost as if life stops for about two hours and even longer if the final score line is not in favour of your team. As such, immediate relationships surrounding the soccer loyalist often suffer because of the inexistent mutual understanding. Many who still have hope have complained while the few who gave up simply postpone whatever plans there may have been.
A few women have already come out strong against the time their men spend on soccer. “I know for sure that I will not see my boyfriend if Chelsea is playing. It is even worse when they lose because it’s like he enters some mourning stage and nothing matters,” narrated Ashley Nicanor.
Provided the routine that cannot be compromised, those who dedicate themselves to the course ask for nothing more than to be understood during this times. As Sebron puts it, “these are precious moments and as such, they need not to be disturbed.
His friend puts it this way – “Big games are one of the reasons why we watch soccer and do not wish to be disturbed. It creates great debates and great fun. We are always trying to find out who the superior team is, and we are destined to be right.
Whether it is Brazil against Argentina or Manchester United versus Chelsea, we do not want our team to lose.”
Not only that, but these big matches tend to be something special that everyone can enjoy. Especially games in which we have Lionel Messi square off against Cristiano Ronaldo. So why would you want me to miss that?” said Errasy Shipingana who is a die-hard Chelsea fan.
So for persons who wish to understand soccer lovers or even want to sit and watch the game with them, the two friends provide the following advice:
It’s not about you so keep any discussion limited to the game only
- Do not support the opponent loudly
- Leave the remote alone
- You do not celebrate when the opponent scores
- Do not make more noise than the commentators
- Make yourself useful by bringing the beer from the fridge and,
- Do not make fun of the guy who loses.
If there is one thing that stands out about soccer fans it the loyalty and pride to support their team at all times. It does not matter if the fans have never seen the borders of England, he or she is ready to defend their team at any time. Errasy says – “I love my team. So whenever somebody disrespects it, I get angry. And I am pretty sure most fans do the same with their team. It is the pride we have for our team. It is the thing that separates us from casual fans. Even if your team had a horrible season or performance in a game, you will always support that club.”
Sebron adds – “Pride for your team is sticking with them, no matter what happens. Pride is not changing teams because that team has the highest chance of winning. Pride is trusting your team. Whatever it is, you show pride in your team by supporting them through good and bad times.
The most loyal fans are Arsenal supporters. They have last won the English Premier League in 2004. This means a 12-year old has never seen the club lift an EPL trophy but they are still there. Now that is pride and loyalty,” said Sebron.
Whether you hate or love the soccer loyalists, going against them does not make their situation any easier. All they want is simple understanding and life goes on.