Passionate Premier League Fans

I always find it unbelievable when someone shows indifference to sports and sport teams, especially football and football teams. I find it difficult to accept that a fellow man won’t be moved by a thrilling 90 minutes of a football game. But then, why should he? Or better still why do I and the other millions of teeming fans so thrilled, so passionate and addicted? In Africa, only a handful are left out of the fad as it has now become total madness seeing the devotion of the youths particularly, to their favourite English premier league clubs. Manchester United; Chelsea F.C and Arsenal are the big three in which these teeming fans mostly share themselves into. They unleash their outmost, uncontrolled, unreserved and sometimes undeserved support.

Watching an English premier league match, involving one of these big teams in a public viewing centre in Nigeria is always very interesting and challenging. There are always large turnouts of people at these venues occupying every available space, sweating profusely for lack of sufficient ventilation. There are all kinds of fans: Those who are forced to remain motionless and speechless due to tension soaked game. There are others like me who talk only at intervals, especially to mischievously counter some equally mischievous remarks by some desperately envious fans. And then there are the extremists who shout out for their team and shout down the opposing fans that turn out just to hurl malicious and derogatory comments at their beloved team. There are heated arguments that sometimes graduate to personal insults and unfortunately into physical bouts. There are regular cases of fighting and sometimes stabbing as some passionate fans have already lost their lives.

These games are normally played during the weekend, but we overzealous fans continue to discuss the highlights all through in the new week days, as we eagerly look up to the upcoming ones. It doesn’t matter where we find ourselves: In the schools, at the office, on the road, in the market place, everywhere. We discuss the high and low moments of the previous matches while also analyzing the upcoming matches for the coming week. We carry the joys of winning and the frustration of loosing into our everyday personal lives. It affects our mood, countenance and even judgment on sensitive issues.

 

But why are we really attached to these clubs and these games, especially here in Africa when we should be thinking of more serious challenges facing us daily? Some will say it’s easy; it’s just for the fun. But I think it’s more than the fun. It is that innate desire to be successful and be champions in our various endeavours, like the teams we watch every week. In Africa Nothing really works, not in the government or private sector. Millions of qualified graduates are rendered jobless for years, doing nothing out of the ordinary or champion- like, except strive for basic survival. But since we can’t give up on our dreams of being champions ourselves, we decide to get the feeling by living our lives through these great teams and games.

Today, two championship teams, all from Manchester [Manchester United and Manchester City] will be facing each other in the community shield, which is widely regarded to be the opening match for a new premiership season. Millions of fans around the World especially in Africa would continue with their over the top passionate loyalty to their favourite clubs.

Well, I can only hope the teeming passionate fans [youths], especially in Africa, will take this persistent passion and desire to support their various clubs to victory, to their personal lives also, through their various callings. As for me, I do and it gives me the championship feeling in a personal measure.

David Davonte

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