All Guns Blazing: Leicester City’s Premier League title triumph is so refreshing for all football fans
PUBLISHED: 17:04 04 May 2016 | UPDATED: 17:04 04 May 2016
PA Wire/Press Association Images
It’s funny how tribalism can consume you in football. Over the last few years, I imagine that most of us have been guilty of retreating into our respective corners of fandom, and with good reason: there isn’t a lot else to like.
The situation is only getting worse – FIFA corruption, the oil money, the rising cost of season tickets and the continued racism, sexism and homophobia across the board. For all the arguments I’ve had in the past when someone says they just don’t understand the appeal of football, it’s getting to the point where I’d just have to agree.
It’s easy to develop a tin hat mentality. Increasingly I’ve convinced myself that I’m an Arsenal fan, not a football fan, and concerned myself purely with the fortunes of the club. But really it’s madness to treat the two as though they could be mutually exclusive.
However much Gooners squabble about Arsene Wenger, the quality of our fitness coaches or whether Olivier Giroud’s burgeoning beard is somehow the real reason behind his goal drought (just me?), ultimately they’re all just short-term distractions. Arsenal exists within the parameters of a game and if that game carries on the way it has been, there will come a point where disaffection kills any of the things that actually make it worth supporting a team.
That’s why Leicester City’s triumph is so important. As hard as it has been to watch Arsenal’s title bid collapse again, the champions have given everyone fresh perspective on what a tired commercial landscape football has become.
It was strangely enjoyable seeing Sky Sports denied the chance to show the Foxes win the league directly. I’m sure their marketing department was hoping for another “AGUEROOOO” moment to plaster on billboards, but instead they got a live stream of some East Midlands pub and a few images of Wes Morgan sliding around Jamie Vardy’s living room floor.
I guess what I’m saying is that Leicester’s success should inspire a desire for change. Football is at its heart a tribal sport, but if, as fans, we don’t protect the bigger picture too, it just leaves it in the lesser hands of the money men.
There are many things that need to improve to keep football valuable. Most seem nigh on impossible for the average supporter to influence, but it’s never been a better time to be the underdog.
Follow me @alexbellotti
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