I love football, there’s no doubt about that. I love almost every aspect of the game. Still, I’ll get upset if someone calls me a football fan. Let me explain why: “Fan” to me always insinuates that I root for a club. But this is not the case. Of course, I have grown up to love a couple of clubs, but they’re mostly unsuccessful. In general, I am a friend of football itself, not of a team. A “fan” has a team, I have an entire sport.
I usually root for the team that plays better, be it offensively or defensively (an aspect most fans seem forget about: I love to see four defencemen become a perfect impermeable line). That means that I am also happy with a team if it played better and lost. I curse nobody for losing; maybe I am angry at a team for not trying to win, but football is too complex a game to always let the right club succeed. My impression of a fan on the other hand is that they do not care about these things. I would go as far as to say that they’re generally under the impression that no thought whatsoever is necessary to win a game. Here, I take pity on them. Football is also a game of the mind.