Brass monkeys

Sub-zero tempartures. A venue with very limited facilities. A pitch showing distinct wear and tear. A predictably mediocre and dull game of football. Paid £25 for the privilege. What was the alternative? A warm house. A venue with plenty of facilities – 42 Inch TV, proper chinese food and cold beer. The same mediocre and dull match but the alternative of other channels. Cost, a few quid for the beers. The Sun is presently running a campaign to lower the costs of premiership tickets. Some seats cost over £70 but the seats get filled regardless. The psychology of a live match football fan. Discuss.

  • Paul

    Ah for the love of the game…..

  • wild turkey


    its a guy thing.

    throw in the cost of a ferry and/or flight hotel accomodation and people (about 99.9% guys?) still leave these shores for big matches elsewhere. Beats me

    Maybe some are enchanted with sub-zero temperatures, mediocrity in terms of facilities and fan amenities, a boring match and being generally ripped-off. Perhaps it adds meaning to an otherwise cold and dull and mediocre life. Alternatively, domestic and professional life might be so fulfilling and exciting the boys need something to, uh, take the edge off the good life.

    Question, if the major gaelic and hurling matches at Croke were played in sub-zero temps, would the same phenomena apply? Whaddya think? Don’t know. only asking.

    BTW, for serious matches, try a carry-out from Maccoa on the Ormeau Rd. Serious food, a few bevvies and a warm fire.

    At the end of the day it is all down to a relatively affluent society which encourages the choice and preferences of enough people to make the whole gig profitable.

  • willis

    Yes but you will have that warm feeling of superiority that “You were there.”

  • Donnacha

    I don’t think the love of the game comes into it regarding EPL teams, to be honest. I once watched an interview with a Grimsby (I think) supporter, who was berating MUFC fans: “It’s easy watching them, you should try watching Grimsby. We’re shite, we’ve allus been shite and we allus will be shite. And still we turn up every week.” I knew what he meant immediately, having been a regular masochist at Brentford in the 80s/90s. Crap facilities, but only a couple of quid to get in and only a few hundred yards to the comfort of the New Inn. Terrible team, mind you, but THAT was the love of the game. Premier league football is no longer about the love of the game.

  • Opto


    …..ahh, but when you see Thierry Henry in full flight……that’s all you need.

  • Picador

    I wonder how long it will be until Murdoch knocks this campaign on the head. Vested interests?

  • Donnacha

    Opto, I’d like to see him run at full pace on Griffin Park. He’d break an ankle.

  • Aidan

    If the seats get filled, who are we to argue? Nobody is forcing them to go to the games! And there’s always lower league football if they want a cheaper option.

  • harpo

    ‘Terrible team, mind you, but THAT was the love of the game.’


    If it’s about love of the game then why not go somewhere to see a decent game? Even a kids game or a youth game. It’s still the game.

    Why put up with watching a shite team? You paying to watch them only encourages the buggers, and thus they remain shite.

    I don’t see that turning up week after week to watch a shite Brentford team proves anything other than the herd mentality that you have to turn out for the local ‘big’ team, even if they are shite.

    That’s mindless behaviour. Not the love of anything.

    People go to see the EPL because it is the big time. One of the top levels of the game. That does make sense.

  • Pete

    Well FD, the Italian league may well turn out to be a spectorless game, so we should watch that with interest to see how that affects team performance and supporters attitudes to the game from the armchair.

  • abucs

    Personally, it’s good to go very occassionally in my book Fair Deal, for the event.

    There is a lot of hype involved though i think.

    Maybe it’s much more fun to play sport rather than handing over pounds to watch someone else play ?

  • Donnacha

    Harpo, I went because hope springs eternal. I went in the hope that the buggers would play well. I went in the hope that I might one day see them promoted. Mostly it was because in west London, going to see Brentford was the equivalent of going to see a kids game. It was cheaper to get in than to buy a pie at Chelsea, for example. And I was far less likely to get beaten or robbed in the New Inn than in the Springbok next to Loftus Road. And there was a kind of beauty in how bad they were. Tell you what I’ll just shut up.

  • BP1078

    In my early twenties, I had three or four seasons following Utd home and away (missed something like twelve matches in all competitions over the whole period).

    I dread to think how much cash I coughed up for the priveledge, but it becomes an obsession…you do actually start to believe that Fergie will put a note in the next programme asking why you didn’t make it down to Southend for the Tuesday night friendly.

    What finally weaned me off was the whole Glazer episode and the nightmare of Utd becoming a *sporting franchise* a la the chicago Bulls. It had been happening since Murdoch got his grubby mitts on the TV rights, but I’d been too blind to see how the game was slowly slipping away from people like me and towards the prawn sarnie eatters in the Bobby Charlton Exceutive Suite.

    But it’s very difficult to give up the live game altogether. It’s the sense of involvement and I admit things like being able to shout at overweight fullbacks and have them turn round and give you a rude sign in response; I much prefer to watch FC United or even an IL game rather than staying at home to watch Chelsea Oligarchs v Arsenal. And that’s even though Ms BP’s half-time catering is slightly better than the carpet burgers on offer at Gigg lane

  • Geo

    We all should know better but it’s an addiction.

  • Ziznivy

    I spend plenty of night sitting on the settee with beers. The game last night wasn’t as bad as all that and the cold was merely bracing. Give me dry cold like that any day rather than pissing rain or sleet.

  • T.Ruth

    Well its like football is now the opium of the masses and the masters of the capitalist system have recognised the potential in football and other sports to increase their wealth.
    Just watch the Match of the Day introduction with the lights beaming down from the heavens on the grounds,the people responding like sheep making signs of ritualised obesiance to their heroes,the kissing of logos,the huge investment in replica kit which is cheaply made in Asian sweat shops.Its all so depressing.I love football and have worked within it in a voluntary capacity all my life and it is depressing to see where commercialism is taking the game.Football is now a vehicle for selfish little people to extract all they can from it while contributing little.
    The schools,woman’s football and boys football(the grass roots) should take control of the game and get us back to the time when it was about the moral social physical and spiritual development of young people and communities through the great game of football.

  • Valenciano

    “Crap facilities, but only a couple of quid to get in and only a few hundred yards to the comfort of the New Inn. Terrible team, mind you, but THAT was the love of the game.”

    Absolutely. A decade ago I used to watch Newcastle Town (the Staffordshire one not the Geordie/Co.Down one) in the North West Counties league. Only 7 promotions away from the big league we used to tell ourselves. One season 1996-7 we got all the way from the Preliminary round to the First Round of the FA Cup prompting the BBC cameras and an attendance of 10,000 (instead of the usual 200) for the home game against Notts County. People just don’t want to watch mediocrity but they’ll crawl out of the woodwork for glory hunting oppurtunities.

    And one other thing – it’s genuinely amusing as usual to hear British/Irish people bitch about the supposed “cold weather” as soon as it gets anywhere near zero. It was -15 here the other day, that’s true Brass Monkey territory!

  • Cromwell

    I was at Whinger Park last night & it was quite cosy up the back of the Kop stand.
    The game itself was really a typical friendly, lots of players trying to look industrious without getting injured at a crucial juncture in a long season. I thought Norn Iron played some good stuff in the second half & deserved a victory.
    £25 quid for a friendly is possibly a bit rich but I’ll go anyway as I’m a bit of a mug like that. As for harpo above who asked why you’d put up with watching a shite team, well thats not the way it works is it? You get saddled with it at an early age for various reasons, locality, community, fraternity, whatever, & hope springs eternal, which is, I suppose, a human condition.
    Trust me, I know, I’m a Glentoran supporter.