Misguided Misanthrope

5 01 2010

This world chips away at people. Day after day people annoy you. Footballers do things to annoy you, politicians do things to annoy you, shop workers do things to annoy you, taxi drivers do things to annoy you, inanimate objects do things annoy you. If you let it all get you down you will be a bitter and twisted wreck. Some recent Jet Set posts may hint at this feeling; “Existence Fatigue”.

After consulting our spiritual guru we have used the ancient art of reflection to remember that people can be nice, we have also remembered that football can be nice too. Meeting Carl again started the process. Football, when looked at from an enlightened view, can be regarded as the glue that binds people together.

Watching football only works properly as a collective, not a solitary, activity. Going to football on your own will never feel as good as it does when you’re with others. By going on your own it can seem as though you are doing something merely out of habit whereas even the most boring of matches can be enlivened by a comedian friend or a chat, and god knows the amount of times that a match has got in the way of a good chat. 

Matches need to experienced in the flesh as well. By watching matches on TV you may see fantastic skill, fantastic goals and fantastic players but football matches are not works of art to be considered. Although you can enjoy matches with mates present it will never be the same as seeing one in the flesh and watching one on your own is a hollow experience.

Enjoying football is about more watching 22 men on a bit of grass, it’s about fun, a bit of nervous anticipation and a lot of enjoyment. Football is about enjoying the company of others. Therefore football can be the glue that binds people, take the story of how Carl and the Jet Set first met.

Picture the scene….Next to some plastic seats in Downtown Graz…..

………..The Jet Set were trying to tie a flag to a fence. The crack Austrian security staff  sternly refused to countenance its display, the flag  was “Too Politisch”. We acquiesced to avoid offending Jack Warner. Carl and his wife could see the hurt in our crestfallen faces so they began a consoling chat. After the match a few beers were quaffed and even though our encounter was cut short, (The Jet Set had to undertake a mad dash across Graz, with the Wales mascot and his dad, to catch a train), our paths have crossed several times since and it’s always a pleasure to catch up. That’s  the network of Wales fans. I could be in Cardiff chatting with Carl, or Gary Pritchard, or Gary from Rhos, or Rhys, or Ian, or Haz, or the people I met prior to our piss shower in Milan, or even the people who I only know via a nod, or even Carl. I know that I’d never have met any of these people without football.

Then there’s Bangor, it would be impossible to enjoy the matches properly without the presence of likeable people. Every Bangor fan will be able to recall several memories that bring forth a smile, these memories will involve the antics of their fellow fans. Football brought us likeable people together!!

FC Midtjylland and Bangor City, now there’s a case of friendship overcoming geography. All it took for several of  us became Midtjyalland fans for the night against Manchester City was an impromptu kick-about in the late Danish evening, some Hawaiian shirts and a friendly European draw. After the game we were labelled lucky charms by the FCM fans and offers of Danish hospitality were legion. The borders of Europe, and the North Sea, may have separated us but football had brought us together.

Our flags have helped to make people friendly, even if it’s only through curiosity. Nigel from Port Talbot wouldn’t have said hello without the flag, Hywyn would never have said hello on the plane to Austria if I had been flagless in Rhyl  the previous day. Even Rhyl fans have remarked about them in a friendly way. Without football none of this would have happened, we wouldn’t have had the flags for a start.

The final piece of the jigsaw; a group of comrades from Scotland have wished us a happy new year. If this doesn’t show the positive power of football then I don’t know what does. Two groups that have never met share a common bond, and it’s through football, sprinkled liberally with political comradeship.

So a very  happy new year to the Hibby Boys, in fact a happy new year to everybody.

Have a look at the Hibby Boys’ site, up on the right.

 ‘mon the Drum!!



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