Sunday, 19 April 2009

The Fan

It is said that followers of football are in the main not very bright. And with seat prices at some of the London stadia approaching astronomical, you'd have to be mad to pay for it.

But there's no logic in fanaticism. I think that's the definition of it really.

I remember one tearful day long ago when my mum upbraided me for being obsessed with football.

And many years later as I go swimming and do yoga so that I can shuffle around a pitch, she may have had a point. But then since I'd probably do the same if I were playing for a team at tennis, maybe it's all just about competing.

Maybe I'm obsessed with competition - but in a corinthian manner. That might explain my career as a journalist.

But this isn't about where it all went wrong, this is about how trying to eschew plangent maternal criticism.

I got off the Eurostar this morning and felt the burning need to go to a gallery. Well somewhere other than the Guardian office too early.

As I got on the 63 bus, an Everton fan followed me on. I suspected he was an Everton fan as he had a blue scarf on and his team are playing at Wembley on Sunday against Manchester United in the FA Cup semi final.

After he'd paid up, he was on his mobile telling a mate that he'd placed a bet on the result.

"230-1....Everton to win 1-0 and Phil Neville to score the first goal.."

Now the fan in me knew full well that Phil Neville was once a Manchester United player. The journalist in me knew full well that the irony of that would not be lost in any of the news reports of the match.

The pedant in me wondered about the first goal in a 1-0 scoreline.

If the odds are 230-1 for the first goal, what would be the odds in the only goal of a 1-0 result?

Maybe the Rodchenko/Popova exhibition will take my mind off the conundrum.