Experiencing football as a non-fan
My eyes shot open.
All the windows and doors were closed in my room. The curtains were drawn. Yet, I could hear them.
"Is it... their match again?"
The orchestra of voices rose and dwindled. A few minutes passed in silence. It was short-lived as the voices erupted once more.
I stepped out of the comfort of my bedroom, opened the door and let green light from a TV screen leak in. My brother was hunched over in his seat, staring at the TV as the screen glared in the darkness.
"Did Brazil score a goal or something?" I asked.
My brother looked away from the screen and said, "No."
His voice was hard to hear through the noise of Brazil fans outside.
"So... why are the people outside screaming?" By the frequency and enthusiasm in the cheers, I thought Brazil was thrashing whoever their opponent was.
"Oh, Neymar has the ball, that's probably why," he said.
They were screaming and ruining my sleep. Neither Neymar nor had any of his teammates scored a single goal. Despite their lackluster display, the flock of football fans were ruining my sleep.
The glorious FIFA World Cup finally is upon us. 3-storey-long Germany flags dangling off balconies, people sporting the jerseys of their favorite teams on the streets, and Brazil-Argentina fans dissing each other anywhere and everywhere. Unfortunately, for me, when the World Cup makes a comeback, I will know about it. The football fans will make sure I am not spared.
One effective method they use to make sure the whole country knows that their favorite team has a match on the day, is by relentlessly talking about it. When it's Portugal's match, your friends who don the red-and-green colours will randomly whip out Portugal's statistics over the past decade, debate each player's strengths and weaknesses, and try to predict the outcome of the match.
Perhaps it wouldn't have been so difficult to actually have a conversation with these football-loving folks if they stopped throwing around jargon all the time. They can't go ten minutes without complaining about the offside rule. More importantly, they will go off on a tangent about why some decision from a random match was nothing but a blatant display of bias against their favourite team.
When the only thing everyone seems to talk about is the World Cup, you can't help but nod along and occasionally throw in Ronaldo's name in the discussion. However, you do feel like you have been left out. It is as if everyone has formed a club and you were not informed about it.
It becomes more uncomfortable when your football-crazy friend approaches you and asks, "So, what did you think of last night's match?"
I assumed the safe answer would be, "Oh, it was a good game, both sides put up a good fight, but the one with the better strategy obviously won."
But sometimes, that does not work.
"They were actually pretty terrible. Oh, the woes of being a supporter of Argentina."
As a non-football fan, you are oblivious to the outcome of the game because you obviously didn't watch the game. You just predict the winner based on how loud the shouting was outside. And I had guessed Argentina must have won.
Zaheen equates watching productivity videos to actually getting work done. Send help at https://www.instagram.com/tasfiazuhair/