I was watching Masterchef a few weeks ago and Greg Wallace asked one of the wannabe chefs what football team they support.
Their response was along the lines that they’re not interested in football.
And I immediately sat up and thought, “good on ya! I’m liking this guy to win.”
It didn’t matter whether he could cook or not, he’d just made my day.
Trying To Fit In
For as long as I can remember, I’ve vaguely followed football teams because I felt like I had to fit in.
It’s far too common when I meet other dads for the first time that one of the first questions they ask me is which football team I support.
If they really quizzed me on anything they’d soon realise anyway.
And I shouldn’t really care what they think but strangely I do.
Being a stay at home dad isn’t the easiest way to meet new people so when I get the opportunity, I try my best to make a good impression.
Even if that does leave me bored out of my mind listening to football talk.
But then again if that’s all that gets talked about, I’m not going to have much in common with that person.
I soldier on though just in case we might find some common ground.
I remember my first real experience of uncomfortable footie chat.
I’d just finished university and was doing some temping work at an insurance company in Edinburgh.
I had lunch with the team manager and his male colleagues every day for a couple of weeks.
And all they talked about was football. Even worse was that it was about Scottish football.
On the tedious scale, that has to be up there with watching paint dry.
I wasn’t about to say that I’m not interested in football though because I was looking for a job!
Luckily I managed to escape to another department at the company after a couple of weeks.
I ended up with a job there and thankfully it didn’t involve the same boring conversations.
Is It Hereditary?
I’ve often wondered whether the fact I’m not interested in football is hereditary.
My dad has no interest in it and neither did either of my grandads.
I used to go and watch the odd match with my uncle as a teenager.
And then later on I would go with my brother-in-law and some of his friends to watch the local team.
I did enjoy it but knew at the time I would never be a die hard fan.
My passion as a kid was always tennis. I loved Wimbledon and still do to this day.
But that wasn’t really hereditary either. My dad is only interested in motor racing.
My Son Is Football Mad
Who’d have believed it? Yes, my son is football mad!
So my theory that having an interest in football might be hereditary doesn’t work in his case.
He watches football on the TV and on Youtube as often as he can.
And he makes me go out and kick the ball about with him nearly every day.
I’ve never encouraged or discouraged him although I’m less keen for him to join a local football team.
Since there have been so many reports of child abuse within the game, I’m wary about who he would come into contact with.
If there were more checks on coaches and they had the proper child protection training, I might reconsider.
But until that time, he’ll just have to be satisfied with a kick about in the park.
But He Plays Rugby
My son doesn’t play football at school. It’s all about rugby.
Whilst I’m not interested in football. I do follow rugby more readily.
I know my son would prefer to play football if he could.
I’d be happier if he did too because I always fear there will be a risk of injury playing rugby.
At the same time, rugby feels like a much more inclusive and friendly sport to be part of.
You don’t usually hear of rugby hooligans running amok around the world.
That seems to be reserved purely for football.
Are You One Of The Minority Who’s Not Interested In Football?
OK, so I realise I’m not in the majority here and I’ve probably committed a cardinal sin.
But there must be other blokes out there like me and the guy on Masterchef?
If you can’t stand football let me know in the comments section below.
And if you love it, well you can let me know that too.