Rhidian Babbling Brook, writer, celebrity and Christian

Football: isn’t it just great! Manchester Villa vs Tottenham City is everyone’s dream match.

Irrational attachment to a particular football team makes it almost as good as religion.


8 thoughts on “Rhidian Babbling Brook, writer, celebrity and Christian

  1. “Football is all about winning.
    Football is tied up with money and corruption, and always has been.
    The football team you support depends on where you were born, or the team your friends and family support.
    Football is not really necessary.

    Football is just like religion”.



  2. You forgot the bit about it being foisted on the unwilling at school. In my case it worked as a kind of aversion therapy in both instances.


  3. At least with football, Rhid, the object of worship turns up. And yes, you can often be frustrated, exasperated, angry and despondent, and all the rest, and despite all this your reverence can prevail, and there can at least be a genuine interaction with the boss.


  4. Here’s an example of how contingent it all is. For many years, my male relatives alternated between two local teams. Then they started playing at home on the same day. They made what I think was a pretty arbitrary choice to go to one over the other and stick with watching that one. My brother then me became supporters of that team. It still makes me uneasy that ,had they made their pretty random choice the other way, I’d be supporting that despised other team, and think it fine and dandy. It’s probably the nearest I get to empathising with a religious mindset.


    1. The changes in football are huge – and not always for the best. Like you, I can’t imagine being a supporter of the other Liverpool side. But a few years ago it was not unusual for fans to go to Goodison Park on a Saturday when Liverpool were away – people wanted to go to a game (and disregarded the old sectarian polarities). At Anfield you could also get in the ground at half time for nothing; and in the schoolboys’ compound young lads could all go with their mates at some ridiculously small (but affordable) sum that didn’t leave a big dent in their pocket money.


      1. It’s not so much supporting them now that makes me uneasy. It’s the idea that, if different decisions had been made before I was born, I’d be supporting them and not feel any different about my loyalties than to how I do now. I suppose the difference is that I know how arbitrary it is, whereas the religious tend to think they were lucky to be born into the One True Religion.


  5. A memorable quote from the irresistible Russell Howard : “Football is like religion…. except that it’s real.”

    Rhid was very busy building hostages to fortune this morning. StephenJP points out the brilliantly obvious parallels which shouted out of the radio this morning – who could have listened and not made those mental links?

    Rhid concluded with the curious observation “football is not necessary.” I’ve no idea what he was implying there – if football isn’t ‘necessary’ then neither is TV, or music, mountain climbing, horse racing, swimming – or indeed any cultural pursuit. One thing is true for sure, though. Religion is ‘not necessary,” and in the light of recent religious protests outside schools where cultural equality and diversity are being taught, religion appears not only unnecessary but also deeply undesirable.

    I’ll be watching the match tomorrow, but the result will be up to the players on the pitch – there won’t be any appeals to an IMF from this household.


  6. “Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I don’t like that attitude. I can assure them it is much more serious than that.”

    So said the revered Bill Shankley.

    Frankly, I don’t see football in that way. I am indifferent about football, paying little attention except maybe when there is a big match on, like the one tomorrow which I might watch if I am too knackered to exert myself doing something else. I went to an English First Division match once when I lived in Manchester in the early 70’s. City were playing United. It was cold, wet, standing, ram jammed full of crazy fans, some skirmishes before and after the game. It was a distinctly lowering experience. I never ever went to another football match.

    To paraphrase Shankley …

    “Some people think religion is a matter of life and death. I don’t like that attitude. I can assure them it is much more dangerous than that.” Just go and peruse a serious news outlet for 5 minutes and observe all the hatred, violence, retardation, disruption and strife inflicted by the pious upon each other and those of us who have utter comtempt for all religious dogma.


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