This topic has two sides like that of a coin, and has a grey spot like in the canvas of life comprising of black and white (pun intended).
If it wasn’t for my elder brother, I wouldn’t have known much about ‘The Beautiful Game’. I remember staying up with him and Ma in 2006, just to watch the World Cup! Yes, Zinedine Zidane headbutted Marco Materazzi during this one.
Frankly speaking, I don’t follow the game. After my brother left home to pursue his career, I didn’t have my “football partner and gyaaniji” with me anymore. Hence, I stopped; except for those occasional phone calls from him, when I made sure that I knew all the latest news from Liverpool and Steven Gerrard to be able to tell him the same.
I have tried my hand at it (with successful attempts at achieving my goals) during my school days, and before you go on to think that I am a champ at it – I am not. I have just about played enough to know that tuddas are really painful, and I totally get it when people say that football matches should especially be reserved for the Monsoons. (BEST thing ever).
Apart from that, I don’t really know much about this game.
Girls are often seen as being disinterested towards sports as such, but that is not true. Of course, there are some who really aren’t (and it is their personal choice; who are we to ridicule that?), but it doesn’t mean that everyone is like that too. From my own experiences, I see it like this-
Type A – They don’t talk about it. Either they are into other sports, or aren’t into sports at all – except for some who indulge in the sport of “sightseeing” (guilty as charged!), because let’s all agree to the fact that most of the footballer players really do scorch up the game (and I am not talking about their football-pertinent skills).
[They might follow a particular Club just because their favourite hotbod star is a part of it.]
Type B– They DO talk about it and how! Staunch supporters and followers of this game, they keep track of every development in the Football World, just like their male counterparts. A senior of mine has been supporting Manchester United since I don’t know when, and she is such a dedicated fan that she actually went to the Old Trafford! (How awesome is that?)
Type C– Sometimes, they talk about it; sometimes, they don’t. It’s somewhat of an “I know and maybe I don’t know” kind of a situation. I come under this category. I had followed last year’s World Cup because my brother was home, so we would both sit and watch it together; I hadn’t followed the previous one in 2010.
Let me try to represent this in the form of dialogue(s) –
1) “Ooooh, David Beckham! / Cristiano Ronaldo! / Lionel Messi! / Neymar! you’re so hot!!”
2)“Hell yeah – David Beckham! /(*insert favourite player) – is such a fantastic player! Did you see his game last night? Wow.”
3) “Oh yeah! I am not entirely sure it, but I do remember hearing about Ronaldo’s penalties.”
(I am sure I would have missed out on several other kinds of people. This is the gist of my experiences.)
Nowadays, most of us come to know about the latest matches/scores, thanks to our friends’ Facebook and WhatsApp statuses. Sometimes, the exact same wording(s) resonate again, in the future conversations. I must say, these are quite helpful pieces of information about the game for half-ignorant people like me.
Apart from this, a lot of embarrassing stuff occurs as well.
I remember this conversation I was having with my friends, and one of them said, “I love Messi!”
Pat came the reply – “I know right? I love messy too! Messy hairstyles are the best.” Undoubtedly, this was followed by immense peals of laughter and a ‘foot in the mouth’ moment for my friend.
In fact, until recently, I didn’t know that the word ‘Arsenal’ was actually a… word. I was always under the assumption of it just being a Club’s name. I was thoroughly embarrassed for not knowing this tidbit. So yes, the joke has been on me too.
Coming to the literal sense of this topic – let’s face the reality. Girls aren’t COMPLETELY unaware of it. While some are, many are not.
It is the same with guys as well, isn’t it? I do have friends who follow Basketball and don’t get a kick from watching football. While some guys don’t follow it, some do. Come to think of it, it is the same for both the genders, but yes, I agree that the number of guys interested in ‘The Beautiful Game’ is more than that of the girls.
I feel that it all depends on the individual, rather than the gender. Lines like “She’s a girl, she won’t understand our Chelsea talks” are completely unwarranted. Even if she doesn’t know, it’s because she isn’t interested in the game, and not because she’s a girl!
(Wow, this article just took on a rather serious tone. I shall conveniently attribute it to my college syllabus pertaining to this particular subject, and I haven’t really come across “fun” stuff under it…)
The point is that for us girls, football could mean giggling at the flaming hot players, or following the game with a lot of gusto and exuberance, or enjoying the game from time to time.
I mean, if our sex was not interested in this game at all, Women’s Football wouldn’t have been there, right?
[P.S – A lot of schools have started forming girls’ football teams, which is so amazing, because, why should boys have all the fun?]