As well as subjecting themselves to long coach journeys, British weather and pie fillings of uncertain origin, football fans think of the beautiful game approximately once every 12 minutes, a survey has suggested.
The study, involving 2,000 fans of Premiership clubs, found that the average football fan contemplates football 80 times a day. Being a supporter, in other words, is a full-time preoccupation.
The time commitment does not match the incessant minutes men are said to spend thinking about sex, nor the time women are thought to spend pondering shoes. It will nevertheless provide ammunition for the partners of rabid fans, who are used to their loved ones’ appearance of being somewhere else even when they are not watching football.
The survey identified a hard core of fans, about 7 per cent, who thought about football once every minute.
Previous scientific studies show football to be the most stimulating of spectator sports. Richard Wiseman, Professor of psychology at the University of Hertfordshire, told The Times: “In a paper about unpredict-ability in sport, football came out on top in terms of being constantly unpredictable. It’s constantly jolting the brain with unpredictable events. A football game is a memorable event because it’s constantly surprising.”
Fans who watched Aston Villa or Newcastle United this season might take issue with that theory but Professor Wiseman said: “If you compare it with something like tennis, which has a much slower pace to it, where every point does not win the match, then football is much more uncertain.” Some football fans were more preoccupied than others, according to the survey. Top of the league were Sheffield United fans. On average they thought about their team 110 times a day, a mental commitment that is likely to become ever more arduous as the weekend approaches and the team fights to avoid relegation. At the other end of the table, Manchester United fans, now serenely contemplating victory in the Premiership, thought about football 71 times a day.
There were certain teams that inspired constant thought. Liverpool fans, who have watched their team reach the Champions League Final for the second time in the past three years, were very preoccupied, as were fans of Charlton, relegated from the top flight.
Of all the supporters surveyed, Everton’s were most preoccupied by other matters, turning to contemplate their team a mere 43 times a day.
The survey was sponsored by Virgin Money, as part of its Football Fans’ Inflation Index, a study into the rising costs of attending matches.
John Franklin, of Virgin Money, said: “We all know that football can be expensive financially but this shows it also requires a lot of thinking as well.”
Fans’ daily football musings:
Sheffield United 110
West Ham 79
Manchester United 71
Aston Villa 62
Not surprising that football has become the most practiced religion in the west, as they say " eat, sleep and live football", and the former Liverpool manager Bill Shankley said " Some people say that football is a matter of life and death, they are wrong, its more important than that".
I wonder how many of us as Muslims take Islam as seriously as they take their religion? One main difference being that our way of life is from the creator , whilst theirs is made up, ours offers success in this life, if we follow it, whilst theirs offers nothing productive in the next life.