The kinds of people you'll meet at a sports bar during a football game
With Rooney’s drunken woes, Wenger’s questionable judgment, United’s virgin dominance and sports bets taking up most of social media newsfeeds- it’s safe to think you’ll probably be standing in a bar on Saturday wishing you had a third eye so that you could catch all the high profile games.
It will be the most successful social event of the weekend. The siren’s song of many a football fan that all fans will answer to with the shameless enthusiasm of a teacher on duty. There will be countless people at the over-capacity bar on game day.
But what kind of people?
Every group has them. They’re as common as hair. Know-it-alls are aware of everything. Heck, they could even tell you how many leg hairs Cristiano Ronaldo collected from his drain shower during general cleaning.
They are aware of every lineup, match time, the referee’s names, the substitute referee’s names and even the interns who are on attachment from referee school.
They always have stats on their phones and are sometimes willing to share their know-how when it comes to betting.
They are the complete opposite of the know-it-all. They know nothing. And they don’t know that they don’t know. Often loud, and arrogantly basking in their ignorance, they will shout whatever comes to mind.
They are frequently the echo of the loudest people in the bar. They repeat everything shouted and have no clue what they’re doing. They are usually desperate to fit in or may have passed slightly buzzed and are well on their way to blind drunk.
They show up earlier than the game is set to begin. They were probably there at 2 pm for a 5 pm game. They decided to pull an early bird so as to schmooze with a client they’re trying to impress with their social affability.
By the time the client says yes, there are a few minutes left before the game starts where the networker can use his newly acquired contact to pull another client. They’re sharp, observant, and quick on their feet and couldn’t care less about football. But they fit in anywhere. In another life, they’d probably be high-end con artists.
They are passionate and can only express their desire by trying to break the human record for loudest sound ever recorded. Regardless of whatever happens, they shout. When a goal is missed, they shout. When a goal is scored, they shout. When the ref’s shorts ride up, they really shout.
The irresponsible gambler
Sports-betting has become the norm in hustling culture. Some engage so as to get a little supplemental income. Others lie to themselves that they’re doing it “for fun”. There will be fans who will be desperate to win anything.
As they watch the games they will live bet on games in other regions as well where they hope luck will favour them. Just as it will somehow favour their perennially losing team. This time. Hopefully.
The s#*! stirrer
In high school, we called them inciters. On Twitter, they’re called hate mongers. And if they’re really bad, Piers Morgans. These are the people who just love to get a rise out of unsuspecting fans. They will always say something insulting just to get a reaction.
Perhaps they never got enough attention as children.
I call them football-whisperers. They are always right. They know everything but unlike the know-it-all, they don’t revel in it. They’re just the people who somehow know everything there is to know about the sport.
They probably dream in stats. They’re the kind of people you should befriend when going for football trivia. Or when you want to win an argument.
Their phone’s wallpaper is a photo of them when they won an all-expenses paid trip to the Emirates Stadium. When Thierry was still captain. They met a few players (the ones who always disappear after a bad season). They have photos of when they were in line to meet and greet Sol Campbell but that didn’t work out because reasons. And it can’t be disproved because there was no Instagram Live back then.
They wear high-end sports paraphernalia. Caps, jerseys, shorts, socks, shoes. If it was possible they would probably use UEFA condoms too and tell everyone about it.
They are overly sensitive. They react to everything. They’re the ones who had to be checked on when Brazil was floored by Germany at the 2014 World Cup.
They’re the ones who profess unending hatred when their favourite player transfers teams.
They get maudlin when anything doesn’t happen to their liking.
There are others who will always be there. A corner lurker who was already at the bar anyway. The supportive friend. The cynical ones who appear not to care about anything. The ones always nagging and asking what is going on.
Just don’t sit next to the loudmouths. They’ll blow out your ears when the cheering dies down.