A couple of weeks ago I posted my Smug Hipster Twat’s Guide to Voting. You’re all idiots and liked it much more than everything else I’ve ever written, so I’ve been trying to be much less popular since. However, my monthly blog hits counter will look nicely symmetrical if I write something just as appealing and publish it this evening, so I’m giving in to the overwhelming public demand. Now I don’t know much about football, but it seems to me supporting a team is pretty much identical to voting, you’re joining a tribe, so I should be able to get by without changing too many words.
Option 1 - Pretend You Hate Football
Maybe you actually hate football? I don’t know, but that shouldn’t really matter, forget any actual feelings, we’re trying to get people to think we’re interesting here. Pretending to hate football is probably as old as football. Many people like it, and many of those are oiks, yobbos and vaisyas. You want to be different, and this seems the most obvious way. The problem is that yes, it is the most obvious way. It’s also essentially impossible to do without coming across as a complete snob, hating on anything enjoyed by the working classes. Why are they all kicking a ball around when there’s a social justice war going on?
Asda right now is full of little plastic flags, about half of them are for England, and about half for Brazil. Once upon a time I was a baby contrarian and I really didn’t see the point of supporting anyone unless I could cover everything I owned in little plastic flags. If you too think like this, and can’t bring yourself to support England, this is the way to go.
Pros- You will definitely win. There is absolutely no chance of anyone but Brazil winning this tournament. Put huge bets on this now, it’s free money.
Cons- How much are they charging for little plastic flags?! It’s a bloody liberty.
Option 3 - Pretend You Haven't Noticed There's A World Cup Going On?
Oh, it had completely slipped my mind. I’ve been reading Capital in the 21st Century all week, and haven’t turned the TV on once. Also I’ve been trekking Nepal for the past couple of months. Also I don’t own a TV. Also I never worked out the rules of football anyway, but it’s really fabulous that you’re all doing something you enjoy!
Pros- If you’re not lying, it’s pretty great.
Cons- Nobody believes you.
Option 4 - Support A Really Obscure Team
A high effort strategy here. If you’re going to claim you’re a massive fan of the Hondouran national team, you really have to back it up with some serious knowledge. Around other massive football fans, this probably pays off, but I’m just not sure how many there are that care enough. There’s a very thin line between football fan and trainspotter, caring too much really isn't on.
Pros- The four months of Fifa playtime isn’t a total waste.
Cons- Yes it is.
Option 5 - Support England
Next level, we’re getting into some serious countersignalling here. The key to cool is to ensure you’re not mistaken for someone slightly below you on the social ladder. We probably don’t need to worry about being mistaken for anyone lower than that, it should be obvious. In the same way, anyone who is obviously old money can get away with dressing like a tramp, while the nouveau riche need designer suits to distinguish themselves from the masses. To apply this to football, the tedious nouveau riche we need to distinguish ourselves from are the option 1s, so full throatedly supporting ‘our lads’ may well make you seem ever cooler.
Pros- I actually sort of want an England gnome.
Cons- A dangerous game, if you’re not obviously high status enough, people might start thinking you’re some sort of racist.