At some point of my football fandom, I’ve developed this irrational hostility towards the “top” teams in football leagues – Bayern Munich, Barcelona, the two Manchester teams, Paris Saint German, and many other teams capable of winning titles. A good part of that hostility comes from their ego-bloated transfer policies, which seem little more than buying a big fat gold chain every season to wear around for a year or two before chucking it out on eBay; but it mainly boils down to the sense of apathy and stagnation I feel whenever I force myself to root for teams like Bayern Munich or Barcelona. As teams who spend incredible amounts of money on signing and keeping world-class players and coaching staff, they are downright demanded to deliver success every season; failure to do so ends up in a higher level of disappointment, followed by a bombardment of insults from their fans as if they were served burnt scrambled eggs from Gordon Ramsay. The ones who could support the “top” clubs without being haunted by such obsession to success are most likely tied to their clubs on a more personal level; unfortunately (or fortunately), I have none. Therefore, that sense of disappointment that fans of the “top” clubs must feel whenever they fail to win is far more entertaining for me to watch as a bystander than to experience as a fan.
And that, I feel, is the beauty of hating “top” teams in football.
To me, opposing the top clubs is an effective way to project the story of football to my own – a man striving for opportunities to achieve success. Such projection to reality creates a narrative to a game of football, a story of the underdog that in turn makes the games even more enjoyable to watch. The entertainment value I see in the shocked looks on the players and the fans of the top teams when they lose, completely blown away by the possibility that they might not win a cup for more than two seasons, is equally matched by that in the utter joys of the opponent teams, rejoicing their success, appreciating everything it took and cost them for that moment of glory. All these will be gone if I were to support the “top” teams, in which a game won is treated as importantly as a piece of toast I eat every morning, and a game lost as a flat tire on my way to work.
Of course, that is not to say that I don’t like the “top” clubs to succeed. As a matter of fact, I would like all teams to achieve success. It’s simply that I feel more elated to see a team madly celebrate a hard-earned win, then a team under-appreciating their success.
<Featured Image from : Azteca Soccer.com>