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May 2, 2012
The question is the crux of the matter for many who research football fandom. Why are we attached to one team, and how come we are emotionally affected by its results? The answer may be easier to find for national teams, due to ethnic, linguistic and cultural factors. But what about the clubs? Why do men or women wearing a certain colour become ‘ours’ and the rest ‘the others’?
There are plenty of possible answers. To some of us, one obvious factor, however, is family heritage. Have a look at this short video from Malaga (Spain).
We support certain teams because our parents or grandparents did. Football is a beautiful sport in which the intergenerational gap is almost non-existent. For many of the youngsters, it is almost unimaginable to spend free time with elders. (If you don’t believe me, just try watching a Tarantino movie with your grandmother). The same goes for playing games: although nintendo wii opened up some new possibilities recently, me and my dad have been separate since the arrival of PS1.
But football is different: it can actually bring families together. Some of you might remember the brilliant ending of the Istanbul episode of the movie One day in Europe, when the entire family of the Turkish taxi driver watches the Champions League final and integrates the German guy who goes through some adventures in Istanbul.
This short video of the grandfather and the boy took me back in time. With my dad, we did not do much together, But listening to matches on the radio on Sunday afternoons was something we both enjoyed and did together. He is a very emotional man, my dad, he cries on practically anything. But he never did cry over a football match, and he taught me how to lose with dignity, always saying, ‘well, next week, hopefully’ after the matches we lost. When we won, we hugged and cheered.
A friend of the FREE-Football Research in an Enlarged Europe project, reknown journalist Simon Kuper also very recently shared his family moments in a stadium, but also he raises very interesting issues on why we go to matches in his column in FT.
Do you have similar ‘family moments’ in football? Watch the video, leave a comment, share your memories.