Being a football fan is such a time-consuming thing. It may be seen as a hobby, something that is supposed to be easy and fun, relaxing even, that you do in your leisure-time and that will take your mind off heavier things – but everyone who are football fans and/or work with football know that this is far from the truth.
Football will suck you into a deep black hole from which there is no return. Once there, football has a way of constantly being on your mind. And if you try, even just for a wee while, to escape it – say you leave your phone at home on a night out, going to the cinema with friends, because you know that otherwise you will feel that itch in your fingers to check the results of that ongoing game or quickly check if that transfer has been confirmed yet – there will still be so many reminders on your way from your location to the cinema, and possibilities to check it out. In the kiosk, on the TV screen in that bar you’re just passing or just a quick glance over the shoulder of that person that is checking their live scores right now. Being such a widespread phenomenon, football is really hard to avoid. So, why would you really?
Well, what about if you want a somewhat normal life, with other people involved than just yourself, a subscription to Sky Sports and the occasional meet ups at the pub with the footy gang?
The balance between real life and football is tough, and it can be a really hard road on which you have to learn how to prioritize between being a football fan and just a human being that actually has time for a dinner out – not in a pub – on a Saturday afternoon. This balance is something that I have found to be particularly hard since I got a partner (somehow I always found it easier to cancel or postpone on friends for footballing reasons hehe). He is the best guy there is, and an occasional Juventus supporter (family thing, he’s Italian) but he has no time or interest for my Tottenham fetisch, and finds it very irritating when I want to stay in on a perfectly sunny day, or when our pub round just happens to end up in a sports bar and the focus is elsewhere for 90+ minutes.
Being a football fan is more than just enjoying the odd game, or being more of an “overall” type of supporter, an omnivore that likes a bit of this and a bit of that. When you’re a supporter of a club it becomes a full-time occupation. But it’s not like a chore, no one is forcing you to see every game home and away, it is just the power that your club has over you. You WANT it, and you LIKE it. No, scrap that last part. You may not always like it (hi fellow Tottenham supporters!) but you HAVE TO see it. It is possible to survive without watching Tottenham – Burnley on a Sunday afternoon, but do you really want to?