Tips for non-football fans. (like me) :p

Exactly what it says on the tin

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Tips for non-football fans. (like me) :p

Postby Captain Swing » Wed Jun 16, 2004 12:54 am

For those who want to feel part of Euro 2004 but don't know much about football:

You don't like it. In fact, you can barely understand it. But one thing's for sure - over the next few Euro 2004 drenched weeks, you're not going to bw able to get away from it.
Everyone's going to be talking football and unless you can opine a little about players, teams and tactics, you could find yourself embarrassed and excluded until the closing ceremony on 4 July.

This guide has been compiled to help you confidently watch games with friends and join in conversations about the tournament. Who knows, maybe you'll actually get into it.


IN-GAME COMMENTARY
If you're trapped at home or in a bar and forced to watch a game, it's helpful to have a stock of sayings to shout at the TV so you fit in.

For example:


"oooooooh" - whenever a shot is taken at the goal, no matter how close. (If especially close, a short round of clapping is permissible)

"Referee!" - if your players are fouled

[silence] - if your players foul the other team's

"PENALTY!" - if one of your players falls anywhere near the opponents' goal

"Go on, son" - when one of your players is heading goal-wards with the ball

"Unlucky" - when said player is effortlessly dispossessed by a £14M defender

Be modest in your support, like all true England fans
Note: calls of "offside!" are probably best avoided. Even the best linesmen standing there on the pitch rarely get this unfathomable rule right.

Certain phrases are verboten. Nothing will reveal your lack of football knowledge more than an ill-conceived comment. Avoid the following:


"6-nil? All to play for then?"

"Which ones are England?"

"Wow - did you see how far he kicked that?"

"He's picked it up! He's throwing it! I thought you couldn't do that?"
Replace said utterances with generalised, chin-stroking observations such as:


"Hmmmm, they're playing a little deep."

"They should push up more."

"They should bring on a holding midfielder."

"They need to get the ball into channels."

A few of these confidently delivered during the game should disguise your ignorance.


APPROPRIATE REACTIONS
It's important that you react in the right way at the right time. When your team score, jubilation, shouting, jumping and hugging are expected. This is also the only time when spilling your drink on another man is forgivable.

If the other team scores, however, a frozen look of shock, followed by a shake of the head and close examination of the bottom of the pint glass is appropriate. Try to avoid eye contact.

If your team loses, rock back and forth in the foetal position until the bar staff say it's time to leave.


POST-MORTEM
Games can often be the subject of conversation for hours, days, weeks afterwards. This is when you could be most exposed.




Check the result on BBC Sport
If asked for your opinion on a result, stick to short summaries like "Great game" and "Yeah fantastic" or "Terrible"/"Disaster". Always check the score
the morning after a game to ensure you deliver a suitable reply. Try to avoid sentences which begin: "I loved the bit when..."

A way out is to say "Sorry I missed the game" followed by an excuse of sufficient magnitude. "My wife gave birth" or "An airplane crashed into my house". If really pressed, never say you actually don't like football and never watch it. Stay calm and simply concede: "I don't have the football gene." Or "I'm more of a tennis person". "I support Scotland" is always an
excuse that elicits sympathy.


GENERAL PUNDITRY

Thankfully, some generalisations can be deployed to keep your end up in a Euro 2004 conversation. The Spanish, for example, tend to under-perform in major tournaments (as do England). Italy are "good at the back" (ie they have an excellent defence). The Dutch are a "tempestuous" side. And, of course, the Germans are "well organised".


Bone up on your footy and you too could be an England fan
Try not to be drawn into any discussion about who's going to win the tournament. Stick to the major nations and be non-committal and diplomatic.
England have "a chance". Spain, Italy and Holland are all "safe bets".
France is a "favourite". Completely avoid speculation about "dark horse" countries like Croatia and Latvia. You could end up in deep water if asked to elaborate.

If you find yourself pinned down, a wishy-washy caveat should get you unstuck. Something like: "Well, it is the European Championship. Anything can happen."

Remember: optimism is the prevailing outlook during any tournament. Phrases like "early days", "all to play for", "still a chance", and "it's not over yet" should be repeated mantra-like, if you have nothing else to say.

If you're feeling lucky, it may also be prudent to memorise some expert-level facts on the intricacies of the Latvian league or Zlatan Ibrahimovic's (that's ibra-HEEmovitch) scoring record. Don't worry if you know nothing about these things. No one does.


DISCUSSION OF INDIVIDUAL PLAYERS

In conversation, it helps to have adjectives to describe certain players. These should convey insight alongside a certain warrior grace. For England players, for example, Owen is "pacey", Dyer "versatile", and Rooney "fiery".
Try to avoid inappropriate, non-footballing terms. Describing Owen as "cute" or Beckham as "lovely" may be frowned upon.

Mocking players is okay in moderation - every armchair pundit has a player they hate. Watch out though. Some are fair game; others sacrosanct. For England, for example, Beckham is untouchable, even if he gets a red card,
concedes a penalty, and scores two own goals. If in doubt, stick to Neville.

And remember, at the end of the day, Euro 2004 is only on for three weeks -
Big Brother lasts for 10.
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Postby Caballero » Wed Jun 16, 2004 2:21 pm

I fucking hate football, why waste time watching a bunch of poofdahs run around for ages when you can play guitar instead? Keep cool Cpt. :lol:
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Postby devinci » Wed Jun 16, 2004 2:28 pm

I feel I am living out these rules as one of the ignorant but enthusiastic types that only ever watch/talk about the beautiful game when the stakes are international glory, such as now. I know nothing about the game but am an expert at doing exactly what you have advised, deploying catch phrase smoke screans to carefully discuise my utter lack of knowlage and display the illusion of of being the well informed, consistant, patriotic football fan I am not.
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Postby Teddy Dupont » Wed Jun 16, 2004 5:58 pm

Caballero wrote:I fucking hate football, why waste time watching a bunch of poofdahs run around for ages when you can play guitar instead? Keep cool Cpt. :lol:

As always, your language is deplorable but I completely agree with the sentiment you express. In fact, probably the most cogent point you have ever made excepting the one about dog's turds.
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Postby devinci » Thu Jun 17, 2004 1:04 am

Footballs great
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Postby djangology » Thu Jun 17, 2004 1:09 am

i think its important to keep a strong heart and keep exercising in between guitar practice sessions. it keeps the rest stroke strong and the mind clear. football is good. :-)
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Postby Rene » Thu Jun 17, 2004 10:16 am

Music shouldn't be a spectator sport, and nor should football.
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Postby Plowboy » Fri Jun 18, 2004 4:34 am

Bowling's the sport to love.
In what other sport can you spend the majority of your time sitting back smoking a ciggie and drinking a beer. Well ok, maybe baseball, too.
Your own muck is good muck!
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Postby djangology » Fri Jun 18, 2004 8:38 am

well, those would be the three sports that Django played: pool, fishing, and guitar playing. :-)
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Postby devinci » Fri Jun 18, 2004 12:01 pm

Rene said music and sport should not be a spectator sport. Don't you want anyone turning up to your gigs mate? Would you go and see Bireli if he was playing in your local gig hall?

3-0 ENGLAND, we are the self presevation socioty, Rooooooooooooooney.

You got to love it.
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Postby Rene » Mon Jun 21, 2004 10:54 am

Sure I want people to come to my gigs - I'd rather they participated by dancing, than just sitting there as spectators ! And the same goes for football - I'd rather be playing than watching.
Sure its fantastic to watch the best players in the world - but it isn't as much fun as being involved yourself.
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Postby devinci » Mon Jun 21, 2004 11:33 am

Sometimes watching great music is better than playing it, I repeat sometimes. And some music just doesn't inspiere me to dance, rather to sit, wide grined, hands on head. Carefull listening feeds ones own music. Really would you dance at a Bireli gig or would you listen carefully and tap your foot?

As for football It probably feels good being one of the crowd at an England game in Euro 2004, just watching it on the television with your mates gives sufficiant adrenalin to justify spectator worthyness.

I spend most of my time indulging my superiority complex by deploring football, but thats when its team verses team, when it becomes international, nation verses nation I am as big a fan as anyone even if I have to cheat on the lingo, as advised above, in order to mask my usual ignorance.
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Postby devinci » Mon Jun 21, 2004 10:36 pm

England 4-2


Yes


Rooney is the best
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Re: Tips for non-football fans. (like me) :p

Postby felixcharlock » Fri Jun 25, 2004 5:13 pm

Captain Swing wrote:For England, for example, Beckham is untouchable


Still feel that way Captain? He sure as hell didn't touch that crossbar...
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Postby Northern-Neil » Wed Jul 28, 2004 8:40 am

[quote="devinci"] Really would you dance at a Bireli gig or would you listen carefully and tap your foot?[quote]

Now, then... in all the years I've listened to and played this music, the one thing that stands out to me more than anything else is its total danceability - yet, apart from Gipsy children, I never see anyone doing it - the norm seems to be rows of seats and immobility at concerts, and circles of players with an outer circle of motionless listners (ever see day of the triffids... lots of very still automatons attracted by the sound of the ice cream van!!) so yes, I would dance at a Bireli gig ...If I had anyone to dance with!! Getting back to football: my tip is this. Flaunt your ignorance. When people say 'did you see the match' say: 'yes, I think Saracens gave Wasps the licking they deserved!' when people walk into a pub sporting a Becham shirt, say: 'You dont look at all like you do on the telly!'
...Eh up, Djangologists!
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