Wednesday 26 July 2017

When even the slagging stops

Tribute: Football fans’ scarves on the Shankly Gates before a memorial service to mark the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster at Anfield yesterday.
Tribute: Football fans’ scarves on the Shankly Gates before a memorial service to mark the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster at Anfield yesterday.
Ian O'Doherty

Ian O'Doherty

Even the casual viewer can tell you that the Premier League is, quite frequently, a hard thing to love. Apart from the prohibitive prices, there are the antics of the players to consider and let's not forget the frankly evil machinations of those owners who like to treat their club as an investment and the fans as a menace.

But rivalries run deep and there is something so demonstrably absurd about an Irish fan having a massive argument with another Irish fan about an English club that you have to marvel at the game's ability to turn otherwise rational and logical grown men into dribbling buffoons.

That's why pubs have become such a no-go area whenever there's a big match on Sky Super Cider Sunday – do you really want to spend an afternoon looking at middle-aged blokes in straining jerseys behaving like children, even as their own children look on in mortification?

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