Football

1) Yes, this blog is about football.

2) No, I have not lost my mind.



The local stadium in Koblenz, Germany




Anyone who knows me even just a little bit knows that I don't like football full stop. The first statement I will always make about football is "it's boring". This statement is usually followed by "I cannot understand how 22 men can run after a ball for 90 odd minutes and seemingly enjoy it too".

I don't like playing football and whenever we played football in school I either made a concious effort to be so bad that my entire team voted for me to be send to the bench (I was only ever allowed to return when we played basketball) or I point blank refused to play in the first place. I usually (somehow) got away with either tactic though looking back now I have no idea how I managed.

I don't like watching football. When prompted why, I will reply with "it's sleep-inducing" and yet another "it's boring" followed by various other varieties of negative comments.

Those who know me a little better also know that I'm somewhat of a hypocrite when it comes to not liking football for the following reasons:



1) Following the Ireland vs. France qualifier for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, I vowed to never ever visit France, eat French food or utter a French word.

2) I watched all the German matches in last year's football world cup but lost interest the moment 'my' team was out of the competition.

3) I once endured a live TV coverage of the most boring Ireland vs Germany game (held in Croke Park) ever.

4) My friends have successfully managed to drag me along to world cup screenings in 2002 and I cheered for Germany like any serious fan would have done.

5) I would voluntarily cancel any commitment to go and watch one of my friends play football.



So yeah, based on the above list I actually don't hate football as much as I proclaim to do which makes me a hypocrite - there I said it. You've got it black on white now and you can hold it against me. I confessed. You may quote me. I've nothing to defend myself with.

In saying that, here's another list for you:



1) I couldn't care less about the likes of Manchester, Chelsea, Arsenal, Real Madrid or whatever other teams there are. In fact I loathe those teams beyond belief.

2) I do not keep up with the European Championships or the Bundesliga nor can I tell you anything about the rules or how the whole set up works.

3) I do not go into a mad frenzy when I cannot watch a game or miss a game.

4) The likes of David Beckham and whatever other football players there are bore the living daylights out of me. 

5) The whole WAGs business is one hell of a crooked, fake, money-making institution. The fact that some women solely strive to become a footballer's wife or girlfriend in order to get fame and publicity is downright cheap. The only thought that comes to mind when reading about such women is 'high-class prostitute'. If only they used their fame to do something useful (and no I do not consider fashion something useful!) I could possibly overlook their intentions.

6) I struggle to name even just one player who plays for the German National Team however in my defence if forced to German football players are probably the only ones I could name.



Following those facts, I must admit that my opinion on football has changed slightly over the years. I've become a lot more accommodating towards the actual game but will continue to boycott every sort of commercial aspect that comes with it. My sole interest lies in the actual game and if it is an interesting match I will watch, gripped by what is happening on the field and what the outcome may mean...

I'll be the first to confess that I have a lot to learn when it comes to football but I well and truly enough the one or other odd game, especially when it comes to women's football. Yes you read right, women's football. It is on the rise and more and more people give it the time of the day it deserves - thankfully. It's no longer, just a group of women playing for charity, it's an honest and fair, world wide competition.

I consider a great match between two female teams a lot more sincere and interesting to watch than some match between blokes. You could say I'm biased but I genuinely believe women play for the fun of it. They take their talent and put on the field which is where it belongs. There is no showing off involved. It's a lot more fun and gripping than any men's game I've ever seen and maybe that's down to the lack of testosterone on the field although if I say that out loud (which I effectively just did) I may just make myself a few enemies.

I admit that I may be biased, given the fact that I too am a woman but *shrugs* - what's it matter? Out of the few women's football matches I've seen I can safely say that I've enjoyed every single one of those ten times more than I've enjoyed a game between two male teams. If you want to know why, let me tell you:



1) Women are well capable of playing an aggressive, interesting, competitive, intriguing game of football.

2) The talent stays on the field. There's no showing off talent other than on the field which is where it belongs when you ask me.

3) I cannot stand how some men continuously moan about a football injury to the degree that one could think they're on the brick of death. Dear men, if you're back on the field playing after just a few minutes following your injury then is not life-threatening and you can just as well shut up about it. If you get a kick in the balls (excuse my bluntness), double over in pain, moan, scream, whatever, but when the pain stops I really couldn't care any less about the fact that you got a kick into your family jewels. I've seen women get kicked between the legs in a game of football and yes it damn well hurts so bad that you want to rip a tree out of the ground - roots and all - but once the pain stops we get on with our lives and it just doesn't matter any more.

4) Women's football is so much more sincere.

5) There are incredibly talented female players out there who could put male players to shame without even trying exceptionally hard.

6) It's called equality. If we can do, you damn well better let us do it. Knock off that frown / grin. If you know it better, let us know without making us feel inferior. On the other hand, when we do go ahead and do it better, don't laugh into our faces but accept your defeat - you can't be awesome at just about everything and neither can we.

7) No, female football players are not a bunch of lesbians who hate men and wish to kick them in the guts. They are football players. They're also female. They play because they have talent. End off. It's that simple - really.



So yeah, I'm becoming just a little bit of a football fan. I also prefer female teams. I am biased when it comes to that. I thoroughly enjoy the Women's Football World Cup 2011. No I've no hard feelings towards Japan for knocking Germany out of the competition in the quarter finals on home turf. It was one of the best (and longest) matches I've ever seen. The Japanese goal keeper Ayumi Kaihori is one heck of a talented girl and that at only 25 - check out her profile here! One of the Japanese mid-fielders Homare Sawa plays one heck of a great game of football which I've truly never seen in my life. On another note though, 'my' German girls are pretty awesome too and most definitely not to be underestimated for they brought home the world cup title in 2003 and 2007 and are generally pretty extraordinary whenever let loose on a football field! They're attack and defence is spot on and they know how to get someone off their chair with excitement! ;-)

There you know something else about me - something you may have never guessed or thought of or considered because I'm unpredictable like that. I do like football. Whatever I may say, I secretly do like football (women's football, I stress) only now it's not such a secret any more. Now it's an open statement. I'm no longer hiding my new found interest, I'm coming right out and I'm saying it and I'm proud of it too! ;-)

♥ Current German National Squad