Thursday, 30 December 2010

Yes, My Car Does Need a Scarf.

Last week I was at Chester's ground, picking up the limited edition Chester third kit I'd ordered a few weeks before, when one or two other things caught my eye. I ended up leaving with my shirt, two calenders (one for me and one for my brother's christmas present) and a Chester FC car scarf. I was rather pleased with these purchases, everyone could do with a calender, the shirt is really nice and the car scarf can go with the Chester City one that's currently on the back window. My sister however, wasn't in quite the same mind as me. In her opinion all this football 'crap' (which she has the cheek to call it!) is useless, clutters up the house and looks rubbish.

Now football fans, wait one moment before you rubbish this claim for the vile, ill-informed and inaccurate thing it is. What if my sister is correct? If we don't need this stuff (as we clearly do); what is the point in buying football 'crap'? After all, buying a Manchester City Monopoly set doesn't mean that you support your club more than if you don't own anything with your club's crest on it. Aside from following your team, caring about the results, perhaps buying tickets for matches and openly admitting to who you support, there isn't really a great deal more you can do to support your team. On the flip side, merely owning a Liverpool FC teddy bear makes a supporter not.

Buying from club shops might be said to helping your team's finances, and of course this is true. However, if you really cared about the club's finances that much, you could just make a donation to the club. The fact that you get something out of the transaction means that purchasing a Leeds Utd garden gnome is not an egalitarian act.

There is the point that by buying something like a club scarf that you're 'showing your colours'. This is true. It is a visual symbol of support and can be eye-catching, just like Manchester Utds supporter's 'green and gold' protest scarf. This scarf is not something which many fashion guru's would advise wearing (I assume), so it, perhaps, symbolises the pride supporter's have in their club. Rather than taking a fashionable grey scarf, a supporter takes their team's scarf instead.

However, do I really need my Chester FC keyring? Half the time the key is out of sight, and, whilst it is functional, there are millions of other keyrings which would do a perfectly adequate job of keeping my keys together. It must seem baffling to anyone who doesn't love football as a football fan does. Why spend £3 on a keyring with a badge on it, when you can get one for 50p without a badge on it? Yet, when I thought, 'I need a keyring', there was only one keyring that I was ever going to purchase.

It seems strange, buying all this needless stuff. When has anyone needed a clock with the Arsenal badge in the middle? Yet it seems to be part of being a football supporter. I understand why I need to buy a Chester car scarf; my car needs a scarf (have you seen the weather recently?!), and I also understand why a Rangers fan needs to buy Rangers wrapping paper. My sister, however, thinks its just a bit weird and sad. She's wrong of course, but it is interesting to think about how the non-football loving people perceive us football nuts.

Thanks for reading. Have a great 2011.

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