I read a book called ‘Feverpitch’ by Nick Hornby a few weeks ago. It describes his love bordering on obsession for football and the impact it has on his life. The book is very well written and tries to examine why people love football so much . One of the questions it raises at the very beginning of the book is : What motivates a middle aged man to travel a hundred kilometres in the pouring rain on a cold Wednesday night to watch a reserves match between Wimbledon and Plymouth Argyle ?
Through the book he tries to explain how football becomes a part of your life as you get into it and it gets to the point that it hurts you to stay away from the game.
At this point I’m reminded of Bill Shankly’s interview in the early 80’s when he was asked for his thoughts on the fact that he treats football like a matter of life and death. The reply : I can assure you its a lot more than that !
There is a section of the book where Hornby describes how at a match his girlfriend fainted and he couldn’t bring himself to help her for he considered the last seconds of the match more important .
I particularly liked the book because of the many parallels I see in my life. The parallel I can draw here is the fact that I didn’t convert a call I had from a very high profile B-school in Delhi and I still felt more depressed about Man United’s back to back losses to Liverpool and Fulham.
I am often accused of supporting United because they win . And some friends often sneer and tell me how its all going to be over once Fergusson leaves. Some even suggest that United may drop to lower leagues. Some point to the fact that the american owners may simply go bankrupt and United may eventually drop to the lower leagues. Some go further and ask me what i’ll do then. Coming to think of it , in the unlikely eventuality that United go down , I guess I’ll be the person travelling a hundred kilometres going to second division matches in the rain on a cold wednesday night .