As many will know; my part of the world is currently knee-deep in the 2012 European Football Championship. As many will also know; I couldn’t care less. I’ve never watched an entire football game in my life, nor a game of any other sport, I doubt. I don’t support any team, I don’t have any favourite players, I don’t feel pride when ‘my‘ country wins, nor do I feel sorrow when it loses. When England compete, and everyone around me is screaming and cheering (or more often, screaming and swearing), I find it hard to understand their emotional investment in seeing a bunch of overpaid Gillette salesman and fancy walking shoe racks with silly haircuts and gaudy tattoos running back and forth, kicking a ball for an hour and a half. I understand that people do love it, and live and breath by it in many cases, so you need not correct me; I’m simply stating that as a person with my disposition, I find it impossible to be so attached to something that I see as so insignificant.
So why did I feel butterflies in my stomach and a quickening of my pulse during the tense moments of England’s recent match that I was forced to watch at work the other day?
Simply. Because I’m an asshole.
Surrounded by all these hopeful England fans, cheering and crying and hoping and wishing; I found myself silently cheering for their opposition, Italy. Perhaps this was because the sooner England are eliminated from the tournament, the sooner we can stop showing the games, and the sooner I can stop trying to blag my way through tedious football-related small talk. Sadly however, I don’t think this was the reason. I think that deep down, subconsciously, I just wanted England to lose so that all these happy, joyful, emotional people would be disappointed; and start moaning and complaining and being generally miserable. I think I saw all the happiness that they could derive from something that offers me none, and I wanted it to go away. I was jealous that it was so easy for them, and I wanted them to feel the disappointment and apathy that I tend to swim around in.
Does that make me an asshole? I think it probably does, a bit. I wasn’t intentionally wanting that, but I guess beneath my skin, I’m just a bit of an empty person. That’s cool though. I fucking hate football.