Tuesday, 8 June 2010

A Guide to World Cup Idiots

I love the World Cup. It's generally a fantastic competition.

What I don't love is the idiots that creep out of the woodwork at this time.

And what a lot of idiots there are.

Here's a look at the different varieties of World Cup idiot. These can be spotted in any pub in England over the next month.

NB: I'm talking about English people here: we've come to expect that the Irish, Scots and Welsh have no desire to see England win at anything.

Instant Expert
This is (generally) a man who has spent the period between tournaments watching almost no football, but suddenly develops very strong opinions around the time of a World Cup match. These opinions are remarkably similar to those of certain tabloid newspapers. It's almost as if they'd read something somewhere and decided to repeat it. Again and again. For a month. Last time it was all about how 'Crouchy' was England's best player ever. This years pearls of wisdom are likely to include "Rooney needs to calm down", "Gerrard and Lampard can't play together" and "Emile Heskey? Pah! Peter Crouch should be first choice! *does robot dance*"

Anyone But England
Comes in two flavours:
"Not bothered" i.e. Claims not to like football or doesn't follow it but has expressed a desire to support any other team.
"Glory hunter" i.e. claims to like football and has expressed a desire to support the 'best' team (presumably they've just switched allegiance from Man U to Chelsea again, or from Barcelona to Inter, or both).
Reasons given are usually a mixture of the wishy washy bullshit usually espoused by idiots and outright snobbery, i.e. the assumption that anyone who supports the England football team is a racist hooligan and is 'working class'. Parts of the media has decided that 'working class' and 'racist' are the same thing and the aforementioned idiots are quite happy to believe this. It appears to have become fashionable. I am wholeheartedly against this as I believe a big part of football's enjoyment is actually giving a shit about the result. When I watch Forest or England I actually care who wins, more so than the vague support I'll lend in any other match. If you don't really care, don't watch, and don't get involved. I'd rather a thousands pseudo experts that one of you.

Club Only Fans
Generally exclusive to the top end of the prem: supporters who not only don't support their country, but actively moan when their clubs' players play for their country. I for one used to be delighted when players at Forest used to get picked (used to be a regular occurrence 15 years ago!) whereas you'll find Arsenal fans delighted than Walcott isn't going and Man U fans hoping Rooney gets sent off as quickly as possible so he doesn't pick up an injury. A few years ago I remember a particularly contrary Man U fan cheering on Portugal against England because Ronaldo was playing. The fact that England had 2-3 Man U players in the team at the time (5-6 in the squad) seemed to make no difference. He wasn't even the stereotype Man U fan: he had a season ticket and was from somewhere near Manchester, as opposed to having a SKy box and being from Dagenham/Kuala Lumpar.

Stereotype Woman
Possibly only exists in adverts. Seems to think that men should earn the right to watch football by buying shoes or something. Women should be genuinely offended by this, and men should continue to be sick of adverts that make us out to be fucking morons. Future wife is as excited as I am by the World Cup. I work in an office which is 70% women and almost all of them have at least half an interest in England doing well, the others fall into the ABE category, complete indifference and the Irish. There's a Scottish lady who actually wants us to win so we'll stop banging on about 1966.

The Papers
Who spend there every moment trying to tear strips off the team until the World Cup, at which point it's 'support our boys' for a couple of weeks until the games start at which point they're 'not fit to wear the shirt'. A lot of the tabloids sell on the basis of their football coverage, much of which amounts to gossip. Essentially it's like 'Heat' magazine for men.

Here's the short version of the world cup year, as reported by the tabloids:
  • "Sack the captain, (how dare he get jiggy with an ex teammates ex girlfriend, which has EVERYTHING to do with how he plays football)"
  • "Sack the FA Chairman, (he said something controversial in private and we decided to print it in full knowledge of the fact it would have an adverse effect on the world cup preparations)"
  • "Manager doesn't know what he's doing, (didn't give us advance warning of who we has going to pick, journalist's toys thrown from pram)"
  • "SUPPORT OUR BOYS! FREE CAR FLAG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
  • "New captain injured, team doomed"
  • "Rooney has a temper, team doomed"
  • And from the Express: "Ghost of Diana says Rooney is a liability"

Ing-Ger-Land Hooligan Types
The insufferable ones who give us all a bad name, the ones who start fights in pub/at football matches/in tournament hosting countries, start running battles in town centres, threaten foriegn people who show their colours here, basically the people who the ABEs thing represent all England fans but are actually a tiny but very vocal minority.
As heard during the 2002 World Cup:
"what time is kick off?"
"About 5 minutes after the match."
Thw pub doors were locked shortly after this.

The Sheffield Wednesday Band
Learn some new songs for fucks sake.

Getting a reprieve are:

Clueless Girl Fan
She doesn't know what's going on but doesn't pretend to either and at least she's got into the spirit of the thing.

Vaguely Nostalgic Old Bloke
"I remember 1966.../He's no Booby Charlton.../etc"
That's nice, I wasn't born then, well done on surviving for another 44 years.

Completely Indifferent Person
Fair enough. As long as you don't keep telling us every 5 minutes about how you don't like football we'll let you off. No celebrating if we win though.

A late addition: Anti-football wind up merchants
I'm looking at you, tiny bassplayer lady. I'm letting you off because you're trying to wind up the idiots.

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