Something about the devil...


Written on 4/30/2007 07:38:00 am by sikapitan

Sometimes, people ask me why I bother supporting Manchester United. It’s not that these people are against Man United, but they can’t understand the whole rationale of supporting a football club, especially one as far away as Man United. Actually, the people who ask these questions don’t watch sports, thus they cannot comprehend the benefit of supporting your favorite sport’s athlete, player or team.

The worst thing about being asked silly questions is the fact that there’s no outright answer. Why do I support a football club? Why do I enjoy watching football? Why does Manchester United mean so much to me? Why do I get into arguments over it? Why do I piss my parents off so many times because of my desire to watch the beautiful game with fellow fans till late at night?

It’s not as simple as telling people why you like a Porsche or a Beemer or an Audi. I mean, you can have a reason for THAT, because it’s something tangible, something physical that you can relate to your daily routine. “I like the Porsche because it sticks to the road like a leech” or “I prefer the Avanza because you can travel all over Malaysia with 7 people and still be back in the same day…”. I mean, it’s explainable.

How do you explain getting emotional over events that have NOTHING to do with you (unless you’re a betting man, which means that you have a financial reason for watching football, which actually is an easy explanation to give)? It gets harder when you’re one of those fans who are willing to spend some money buying jerseys, posters and stuffs like that. What’s in it for you?

For me, the easiest way to explain the joy of supporting a football club is to bring these detractors along for a game…especially games like Everton v. Manchester United last weekend. The utter frustration of being down 2-0 with 30 minutes left on the clock, coupled with Chelsea leading 2-1 at Stamford Bridge, caused grown men to look as if death had just walked in, had a seat, and started dealing out poker cards.

I bet for those who has never watch a match with football fans would be surprised at the utter silliness of it all…and yet they would certainly find it hard to leave their seat. It’s not the football itself that counts for much. It’s the emotional attachment, unexplained yet all too evident, that makes watching football and supporting a team all too addictive. Old men, young boys, cool teenagers, fashionistas, rempit, bohsias…football fans represent the entire gamut of our population. I bet they’re more people watching the Everton v. Man U and/or Chelsea v. Bolton last weekend than they were people voting in Ijok (not too hard to accomplish…).

Just like some segment of our population’s passion for reality tv stars, or the star-struck teen with Justin Timberlake’s poster, football fans passion for the game could be traced to one important factor – football is entertainment. It doesn’t matter if the team plays attractive football or not. I mean, if people could vote for Dafi…then there’s nothing weird if someone supports Bolton.

Speaking of Bolton, they managed to grab an equalizer at Stamford Bridge. Then Everton’s goalie made a blunder for O’Shea to score (again!) and gave hope for the millions of United fans all over the world. Along comes Christiano Ronaldo, who then rose above the Everton defense to nod down a powerful header towards goal. The ball seems to hang on the line for a while before another long-life member of the Red Devils, (albeit wearing the Everton jersey these days) Mr. Philip Neville, scored an own goal of comical proportions that it would surely caused Jose Mourinho to drum up another line of conspiracy theories.

2-2 at both stadiums. But that’s not the end of it, as Wayne Rooney expertly skipped the challenge of Hibbert then coolly placed the ball between Turner and the despairing Alan Stubbs into the far corner. 3-2 to United, and suddenly, from being level on points, Manchester United had a 5 point lead. Rooney wrapped up an impressive performance by setting up Chris Eagles, who gleefully accepted the chance to open his senior account with Manchester United.

News filtered in that Chelsea failed to beat Bolton. We celebrated like mad men. It wasn’t pretty, I know. But football seldom is. That’s the beautiful game for you. Go figure.

Full highlight of the Match...
Everton v. Manchester United
28 April 2007

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