Date: 14th November 2017 at 8:51am
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Everything about football is so abstract. In which case ….Why do we follow it? What does it give us? How does it get such a strong grip on our lives? Why does it matter?

From the time I was hooked as a Spurs supporter I have found myself occasionally wondering why I was so obsessed by twenty-two people (which these days, could be twenty-eight) chasing a piece of leather around a bit of grass. Logically it doesn`t make sense. Logically it shouldn`t matter. But, as I`ve often said, ‘logic` and ‘football` in the same sentence doesn`t really work.

No matter how much thought I`ve put into these questions over the years, I`ve never been able to find any reasonable answers. Is football an addiction? It certainly appears that the longer a person supports a club, the stronger the connection to that club becomes. And it`s fairly apparent that supporters, in the true sense of the word, very rarely support more than one club during their lives.

Of course it could be viewed simply as an enjoyable interest …. except for the fact that it is not always enjoyable! Materialistically, football gives us nothing that would reinforce our motivation to follow it. So it must satisfy us emotionally. But, emotionally, football can shower us in hope, despair, elation, frustration, joy, fear, and anger. Why do we choose to make something that can affect us so emotionally, and to such extremes, such a meaningful part of our lives.

Playing football makes sense …. increased physical fitness, being part of a team, an outlet for excess energy, social possibilities, are all healthy reasons to pursue an activity. But, just watching a game of football satisfies none of these reasons, with the exception of the social aspect which is often a family legacy or can be enjoyed with friends.

So, I can only assume that it has to be emotional. Football allows us to express the full range of emotions in a socially acceptable manner. It allows us to release various emotions vicariously, rather than letting them build up, internally, to the point of uncontrolled explosions of emotion that could affect other areas of our lives. Many aspects of our lives create stress. Football is certainly a release valve to help us cope with it …. or add to it!

These are just some of my aimless thoughts. Anyone else got any?!


19 Replies to “It`s All So Abstract!”

  • I’ve been studying my family history recently[sort of thing retired people do!] & have discovered that I had an ancestor living in Tottenham in 1800. In fact , both sides of my family there are ancestors who lived there.That would explain why my grandfather & father were massive Spurs fans.I lived in Lewisham for the first 8 years,but Spurs are in my genes.

  • Greaves …. Are your next generation carrying on the family tradition’? My son is a Spurs fan and my youngest daughter is rapidly becoming one.

  • Geof said “So, I can only assume that it has to be emotional. Football allows us to express the full range of emotions in a socially acceptable manner…”

    I would say, it does most of the time; more than once you hear supporters overstepping the mark, and I’d say I and my Spurs loving mates definitely over-step the mark when we’re watching a game on the box..!

  • Overall, I’d say my love of the game, of playing became embedded in me at an early age – and whether I wanted to or not (and there have been many times that I wish I could have) I simply can’t turn my back on it, or of course, Tottenham – where the tribalism, the dedication to the cause of eventual success is as part of me as my organs!

  • I believe Spurs helped keep me on track during my teenage years when many of my mates left the track completely. it also kept me connected to my father as Saturdays were always match days together.

  • Geof, I’d have to say that it is an addiction, no matter where I am in the World or where I was, no matter what I was doing – the sports channel, the football pages, the internet connection to my favorite feeds/sites/blogs etc all have to be available!

  • Spursex … I can record all the games, even if quite a few are delayed by a few hours. But many games, especially the European games, are live; some of them on at 3 or 4 in the morning. I could watch them when I wake up …. except that I automatically wake up if my brain knows there is a game on. I don’t know how that happens, but it does. i have an inbuilt alarm clock whether I want it or not. Crazy!

  • Hi Geoff,unfortunately I never had children to carry the torch.I shall pass the family history on to my nieces & nephews & their kids in America. Soccer ,as they call it over there, is growing in popularity .The bars often show Spurs games.

  • I am addicted to Tottenham Hotspur FC to the point at where I can’t even find envy for, feel hatred toward, am impressed by or can be awestruck at……. any other football club.

    Not Chelsea. Not West Ham United. Not Arsenal. Not Real Madrid. …..And not even… Accrington Stanley. WHO?!


  • Not sure whether anyone else has ever come across the 4 happy chemicals. These are endorphins, dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin and are the brain “neuro-transmitters” that the body releases to make us happy. Most people have heard of endorphins as they do sport and active footballers get loads of it when they hit the pain barrier just like runners do. However, what’s interesting about being a football fan is that it’s sort of a combination of serotonin (It reinforces the sense of relationships with the group, allegiance), oxytocin (Creates intimacy, trust; feeling that someone will protect you) and dopamine (feel good hormone when you win). That for me is why it is so easy being a football fan as it is playing right into how the body naturally works.

    As for why Spurs, that for me was always easy. That’s a generation to generation thing for me and I’m not sure I ever had a conscious choice of supporting Spurs. Dad was one of 7 kids who lived in Edmonton / Enfield during his childhood years and his dad and his grandad were Spurs fans. All of the 22 grandchildren from the 7 kids are Spurs fans as well 🙂

  • muttley … I watched the game and all three of Erikson’s goals were brilliant. The game summed up the emotional aspect of this thread, Republic took an early lead and their supporters were elated. Then Denmark score a couple and they were devastated. The Denmark supporters experienced the same emotions in reverse. Emotions ebb and flow throughout matches …. as we know!

  • To me Spurs are part of my family. They’re just with me the whole time. And it goes beyond the football. I’ve had the good fortune to meet many hundreds of Spurs fans over the years, some of whom have become some of my closest friends.

    It was pure coincidence that I started supporting Spurs in the first place. When I was 6 years old, I started playing football with a few lads at the top of my street. They asked me who I supported and when I said I didn’t support anyone they said I should support Spurs. So I did. And that was it.

  • Gary … That was lucky. They could have said …. you know, that other mob!! I guess it was a close call for most of us.

  • Here we go! …Come On You Spurs!

    …Oooh, great save Lloris! Huuugo! …..Easy… easy does it! Pass it, pass it Jan! Inside to Harry, Danny, inside! Nice control, Winksie! Give it to Dier, give it to Dier! Great ball Eric! Through the middle Christian! Lovely! Dele, look up! Fantastic football Spurs! Look up, look up! Give it to Harry, Alli! Give it! Ahhh, this is great football, Tottenham! …..G’on ‘Arry! G’on Kane! G’on my son! GOAL! GET IN! COME ON YOU SPURS!……. OFFSIDE?! …..Ref, you *******!!!

    Arsenal 0-5 Tottenham Hotspur!

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