Thirteen reasons to understand why he prefers to watch the football

The years and decades go by and women continue to ask: What the hell do men see in football? Where ‘s the fun of watching how others play, or in the best of cases get the shirts sweaty, damage the grass and get the shorts muddy for trying to put a ball between two sticks?

Trying to discover the phenomenon that paralyzes men in front of television screens and turns them into wild beasts in the stands of a football field, we can conclude that men become fanatic about football for the following reason:


All men, however different, have something in common: they all played football as a child. On the beach, in the paddock or in the cul-de-sac, there is no man who has not raced after the ball with the kids of the neighbourhood or in the schoolyard.

No matter how many years go by, they never leave their childhood, they are determined to stay in a mental age of a ten years old. They could reach fifty and remain spellbound watching others play football, even though they are no longer fit for running after a ball. It would be the same as if adult women spent the whole Sunday in front the TV watching how grown ladies sit on the floor playing Barbies.

It would already be a serious issue that adult women play Barbies at a certain age, but it would be much worse if they watch other adult women play with dolls. The difference between men and women is that men are not ashamed of that ridiculous attitude.


Men can be divided into two categories: solitary and competitive.

Solitary men don’t have friends and don’t care about having them, and they don’t even communicate with their brothers, their children or their mothers.

Competitive men communicate more with others. Often they send messages like: “You did a terrible job, Ramirez” or “Gonzalez you are fired.”

For both, the capabilities to achieve true friendships are almost none: they never visit a friend, nor become intimate with the colleague, nor know the private life of their tennis mate. Male conversations are compact news: politics, weather, crime and sports. Unlike women, no man knows that his friend has conflicts in his marriage before he announces a divorce.

How do men stand his loneliness, without the ability to communicate that we, women, have? By watching football matches! They know that football matches are the only programs that have a good rating. They know that at that moment when they are watching the game there are at least three million men, alone at home, doing the same. Isn’t it like having some company?


As we said, men, are not characterized by our conversational skills. However, in the same way they are limited to talking about important topics in life, they can have highbrow conversations about whether it was or was not a goal, and what would have happened if the striker had not been injured or if instead of playing 7 they had made him play 10. While they talk about the corner of yesterday’s game perhaps their drug addict son is going to live in Burkina Faso and his wife is sleeping with her boss.. But they don’t talk about it because the focus of talks is always football.

And to have some prominence talking about football, you have to be informed.

And to be informed you have to watch the match, otherwise, what will they talk about?


What chances of feeling like a winner does a man have today? Unless he catches a big fish or scores a goal, almost none. As fishing is not so easy, what they try to do is score goals, and although they do not score the goals themselves at least they enjoy the feeling of victory when a player from their beloved team does. Then (incomprehensibly, but with masculine logic) they feel empowered to shout “WE WON!”.

There’s no child that after kicking a penalty has not felt like the best striker in the world. Once grown up, men know that being sports heroes is never going to happen. And neither being heroes of anything else.

Watching the match returns them to the beautiful time of childhood when they still believed that fate would bring them a cup, trophy, something…

Having played football, men know very well how difficult it is to assemble a good team and perform well in a moderately decent match. In most children and amateur games most of the time is spent getting the ball to the neighbour’s yard.

They know how difficult it is to cross a football field with dignity, and know that an immense strategy and concentration is demanded to make a good pass, and it requires a tremendous physical effort to run for ninety minutes without losing breath and keeping the motivation to win.

As no one expected we, women, to reach the success of our lives by getting a little ball in a net, that leaves us indifferent.

They score a goal and they feel like achievers in life.


“What team do you support?” It is the question that an infant male is frequently asked. If the answer is “none” they look weird. Then the boy has to choose a cause to give body and soul to defend it, for the rest of his life. It is assumed that such a choice is made on the basis of compelling reasons and honour. But no. The football team chosen as favorite among hundreds is chosen for the most absurd and random reasons. The beloved team is elected for inheritance reasons(“because my dad / my cousin / uncle Albert… supports Atletic”), for aesthetic reasons( “I liked the colors of the shirt”), to avoid rejection ( “because all my friends supported Celtic”), for convenience (” because my child used to go to the club swimming pool “), for geographical reasons (“it is the club of my city”), or for survival reasons (“If I didn’t  say I supported Real Madrid I would have got beaten up by 10 guys”).

Although a man has no religion, no country, no job, what’s left in life is wearing the shirt loved by thousands and then feeling part of humanity.


Being taken by the father to the stadium has for males the value of a unique first ritual: one is already a big boy, one can withstand the hooligans and all the swearing. Moreover, being a fan of a team achieves the unparalleled sense of identification with the father, by belonging both to a well virile same “cause”.

The men of the house share a secret, a unique and manly love where no woman enters: football. Not surprisingly the big boys keep going to daddy’s backyard to play football. As we, women, do not need our fathers to accept us and we prefer to make them proud of us for something else other than saying that we support this or that club, we never understand this passion about nothingness.


In the match all men are the same. All insecurities, ambitions, personal problems and fears are left to one side in the act in which a man puts the shorts on to go and play with the ball, or when they sit on the couch to watch a tennis tournament or football championship.

In the field, life has its own clear and unchanging rules: a corner is a corner and on the field you win by scoring goals. No surprises or ways to discuss this. Therefore, all personal insecurities vanish. The external world is anarchic: laws seem to be made to break them, job competition is fierce, immoral people get away with it, fraud is not condemned and you never know where you stand.

This does not happen in football, where two plus two is always – or almost always, four. The rules are enforced by a neutral referee. You pay for your mistakes and you receive a reward for your successes. Always. In football -as opposed to what happens in life, they know what to expect. We women prefer to believe in Freud and weather forecasting, but there are tastes for everything.


Football ritualizes and even sublimates violence, by legitimizing aggression towards the opponent. And having a socially accepted way of spitting, insulting and beating up the neighbour is a relief for men in the depths of their souls, they yearn for the mammoth hunting and the time that they invaded neighbouring villages. The daily work of a man does not require brutal force, except to carry furniture or run out the trash. Shouting: “GOAL ..!” until they become hoarse and throwing some bottles to the referee fill men with satisfaction and pride in an absolute primitivism.


Because they have nowhere to show their virility, and they are increasingly doubtful of it, to differentiate themselves from us, they cling more than ever to an absolutely masculine territory: football. Football does not end when they can no longer play, but they continue to play even as mere spectators. Football gives men the certainty that they are men, it reaffirms their identity.

As if we women had to watch knitting championships on TV to reaffirm our femininity!


A professor at the University of Kentucky named John Green wrote in the “Journal of Popular Science” that “If an alien anthropologist fly over our planet and see in all major cities huge oval buildings with a square field in the middle, and spaces to be filled by tens of thousands of people, it would think they are our religious temples”

In a world with so many different people, where there are thousands of religions already tested to explain or alleviate human suffering, there is not a widespread need to believe in something. However, the sport gives millions a community feeling of fighting all together for the same cause, to have something to believe in, and even of arming factions in perpetual war to replace the old need to feel that they beat an enemy in the battlefield, now the football field.

That sense of community or belonging, to feel that they all want the same thing, and that at least for 90 minutes they are all brothers, sometimes achieved in a political march or in a rock concert, is what leads thousands of men to keep wasting so much time with football.

I recently saw an old man dying in a hospital, covered by the flag of the club he loved, as if it was the mantle of the Virgin, to give him strength.

For men, football is a religion.


Athletes, like homely gods, occupy a special place in the pantheon of society. A football idol is expected to be wise, clever, sympathetic, generous and perfect like a god. If football is a religion, players are their priests, they cannot fail.

When you can no longer believe in a president, a priest, or a senator, it is comforting to believe in a goal scorer. At least while he gets out “clean” of the anti-doping controls, and before he gets bought by an Italian club.


My football fan friends tell me that each brings to the stadium his own neurosis, and finds there what he wants either an opportunity to do catharsis by screaming like crazy until he gets hoarse, or to take out the desire of swearing, or he will have fun with the songs, or with the antics of a bad player, or he will see if he learns something about a sport that he does not dominate.

No one knows well what’s going on there … you cannot look at twenty two men that run at the same time. The matches are unpredictable, and that’s what makes them interesting: the surprise of the final result, and trying to guess how things will end. Knowing what happens there is not important. The important thing is to look and feel.

But the truth is they love to see those getting tired are others, not them.


A baby boy spends the first two years of his life fascinated trying to put sticks in holes. We know what they are training for.

As putting sticks on pinholes is not a task that can be done in group until one is old enough to attend orgies with swingers, men had to invent another way of putting one thing inside another in group so that it keeps reminding them that the main role in their lives is to put something into something.

For them it is essential to check that they can put a ball in a hole, even from long distances (golf), manage to get through a network with the ball (tennis and volleyball), and put a ball in a hoop (basketball), that they can do it even by crossing the opposite field (football), even when opponents throw themselves at him to stop him (rugby). They can do it by running, crouching and skating (hockey), by riding a horse (polo) and they can get it out of the stadium from huge distances with a stick (baseball) or in deep water (water polo).

If men prove themselves they can put something that comes out of them in an elusive arc, they can rest assured. If they managed to get a ball – equivalent to a giant sperm in an arc – equivalent to a large vagina, it is that they are machos.

What woman can make a sexual reproach to a man who scores goals?

Although he can’t score a goal to her, the world knows that he would be perfectly trained to do it.

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