Confessions of a football hipster


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I only recently became aware that a football hipster actually exists, and I was horrified to find out that I qualify to be named one. Football hipsters have always been around, wearing obscure jerseys (River Plate anyone?). But just what makes someone want to be a football hipster and why am I one myself? I wish I knew. This piece will explain the traits and methods of a football hipster.

The internet has been a major catalyst in more and more people becoming football hipsters. The ability to create a blog has driven the trend more than anything else. Blogging has made everyone a journalist now, but not your everyday hack, people specialise in the most obscure footballing subjects. You’re thinking La Liga? No chance, more like bloggers on Romanian left backs from the 1970’s.

Twitter is another catalyst in the rise of football hipsters. Along with blogging, twitter helps drive the fad. Everyone must know everything, denounce the norm, be one step ahead of the trend. Social media creates a platform for anyone to talk about how bad their team played. Maybe it’s just that now, because hipsters are expressing their views to a larger audience that people are now more aware of football hipsters.

Many view hipsters as a plague on the game but not me. It’s odd, I despise football hipsters, yet I portray so many of the traits. Irish football website Balls.ie recently wrote an article on the top 25 football hipster traits. Some of my favourites were; ‘Buy Inverting The Pyramid. Read it cover to cover. Take shorthand notes to remember important terms like catenaccio, regista, triquartista and manager,’ ‘Set up a blog. Write 4000 word pieces on how Falcao scores and stuff. Tweet every football journalist on twitter and ask for a RT’, or my personal favourite ‘. Assert that this Barcelona team is decent but nowhere near as good as Sacchi’s Milan’.

One of the more recent hipster movements was when Real Oviedo began selling shares online. This gave football hipsters a chance to be different to your average fan. They now had the opportunity to part own a football club. I was one who bought shares in Real Oviedo being unaware that I was following a hipster movement. Am I ashamed? No, I embrace the life of being a football hipster!

You then come across the more severe football hipster. They refuse to watch the Premier League or La Liga simply because they are too mainstream. Instead, they watch the Belgian League’s and the Brazilian league, or the Brasileirao as they’ll point out it’s proper  name. I am pleased to say I am not one of them, though.

There used to be a time when having a Napoli jersey sufficed as a hipster jersey, but not anymore. Perth Glory or even a Corinthians jersey would qualify as a hipster jersey these days. Hipsters are growing to be more ridiculous all the time and are becoming more extreme by the day, or so it seems.

Football hipsters love the Bundesliga and say that it is far better than a league in England or Spain. Atletic Bilbao is another favourite for a football hipster. In fact anything that is not the norm is a hipster movement in my view. That’s not saying that individualism isn’t good, it’s just that trying to be different for the sake of it is just plain stupid.

The only exception to the rule that hipsters favour things aren’t the most popular is Lionel Messi. Even hipsters agree than Lionel Messi is nothing short of magnificent. It’s not Lionel Messi though, it’s just Leo!

Nick-naming players and managers on just their initials is another trait that is just ridiculous in my view. AVB and RVP instead of Andre Villas Boas or Robin Van Persie just don’t fit in in football.

Sergio Busquets is a huge favourite of football hipsters as is Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Many regard these two as average players that have been playing in very good teams which have been making them appear better. Football hipsters will defend them at all costs and I admittedly am a big fan of both players and would dispute anyone who thinks that these two players are anything less than brilliant.

I urge people to lay off football hipsters. They are just trying to be different to every other football fan. This obviously is difficult because football is such a global game. Hipsters are misunderstood in my view. Many find them unbelievably irritating and this may be true but hipsters agree about a lot that average fans believe in too. The commercialisation of the game is hated by both hipster and normal football fan and I’m sure that both believe that Sky have ruined football, but that’s another matter altogether.

Ps, Jurgen Klopp is god.

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One thought on “Confessions of a football hipster

  1. I hate the notion of the football hipster, but like you I think I am one. I read Inverting the Pyramid, then went on to read Jonathan Wilson’s book on Eastern European Football.

    I have a healthy fascination with the Bundesliga and more recently the J-League. For example, when I was told by a friend that Gareth Bale has the best left foot in Europe, I replied with Juan Arango and Keisuke Honda. And for a moment, I hated myself.

    But unlike most football hipsters, I don’t abhorr tribalism in football. Usually it is seen as something to make fun of – which is why Liverpool fans and Arsenal fans have been the butt of many jokes, but I don’t get why this is. Maybe it is because I am an LFC fan. I dunno.

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