How Much of a Plague are Seasonal Fans in FIFA World Cup?
Disclaimer: Nothing written here is based on adequately sourced factual information. Hence, you’re recommended against reading it if accuracy is what you’re looking for.
Now that the FIFA World Cup 2022 is nearing its end, and Brazil has already lost its chances to mission Hexa, we won’t be witnessing the squabbles between Brazil-Argentina fans for a long time. This leaves football fans against their age-old adversaries: seasonal fans (also called plastic fans). Identifying a plastic fan isn’t that difficult. Right off the bat, you rule out the league fans – they are hardcore football fans, and if you’re a seasonal one, they probably despise you.
On the other hand, your friend who’s rarely ever interested in sports but suddenly becomes a passionate contender in a Brazil-Argentina feud during the Fifa World Cup might be a seasonal fan.
“And all of a sudden me sharing memes during the World Cup makes y’all judge my position? It’s not my fault you didn’t notice me ranting about Liverpool!” says The Interlude’s Entertainment Editor, Masud Zaman. And we 100% believe him when he claims to be anything but a seasonal fan. Because, in his own words, “I take pride in calling it ‘football’ while living in the ‘States.” Never trust a football fan who calls it ‘soccer’.
Seasonal fans are like a bunch of imposters in the football fandom who wouldn’t be able to name five players from their favourite team to save their lives. You’d think our Sports Editor, Qazi Naqib Monzur, would agree. But oh well, instead, he chose to quote José Mourinho, “I prefer not to speak. If I speak, I am in big trouble.” And there goes our chance to enjoy a fiery debate.
Now, don’t get me wrong; I, too, am a seasonal fan. Growing up, I’ve had my fair share of superiority complex over my rival team and have used my subpar football knowledge to write vindictive Facebook posts about them. Thanks to the “delete post” option on Facebook, that phase of my life is now just a distant, embarrassing memory.
What really helped me overcome my embarrassment, though, was owning up to the fact I am, by all means, a seasonal fan who will never have the time or energy to pick up adequate football knowledge, follow every league game, swear allegiance to a particular club, or actually understand the offside rule.
Solely based on my own observation and absolutely no other reliable source, there are different categories of plastic/seasonal fans, and not all of them grate on the genuine fans. Case in point, Grandmoms. Can you really resent their passion for football, 80% of which stems from fangirling over Maradonna?
What truly gets under the skin of genuine football fans are much younger ladies who are in it only and only for the athletes’ pretty faces. But honestly, how mad can you be at the girls who are 100% loyal supporters of the Brazillian football team in 2022 because they’d fallen in love with football legend Kaká some 15 years ago? C’mon, appreciating genuine beauty, albeit a superficial human feature, shouldn’t be a crime! (Can you tell the Kaká fangirl here is me?)
When asked for thoughts on this matter, The Interlude’s Music Editor, Mushsharat Bisha said, “I wouldn’t even call myself a seasonal fan as I don’t watch football at all but enjoy rants and memes of my friends online! Only thing is, most of them do be looking hot.” And she’s not wrong. You may call us fangirls shallow but look how even the players themselves sometimes dare to risk it all in the heat of the moment.
Then there are fans who don’t exactly fawn over an athlete’s looks but pick their favourite teams based on a star player, like – Messi or Ronaldo. These fans may or may not be adequately clued up on the rules of football but surely are more of a fan of the said star player than the team they play for.
Our Entertainment Editor Masud Zaman’s encounter with such a fan might’ve been a little rocky, as he said, and I quote, “I told her ‘You’re not special just because you have the same zodiac sign as Cristiano Ronaldo.’ I regret not saying that sooner.”
My favourite type of seasonal fans are those who support a team, not because of one particular player but because they’d been conditioned to support it from childhood and are loyal to it way into adulthood.
That’s commitment kids these days are scared of – WRONG; this commitment is easy because it comes only once every four years, only for a month (true seasonal fans don’t usually care about tournaments other than the Fifa World Cup). Usually, they don’t make a lot of noise on social media or in person, watch the game only when their favourite team is playing, and stop when the team is eliminated.
If counted, seasonals coming in all these shapes, sizes, opinions, and attitudes would probably outnumber the real fans. Maybe that’s why over the years, mighty football gurus looking down upon us dumdums seem to be giving up on the seasonal-nonseasonal debate and accepting that the game should be enjoyed by all. Although that’s not what they truly believe.
But you’ve got to agree that overenthusiastic, opinionated seasonal fans are half the essence of the Fifa World Cup. Imagine a world cup with only football fans giving their insightful analysis on every single match, nobody calling themselves Neymar’s wife on social media, and no one wrestling over Messi and Ronaldo while ignoring every other player in the game. BORING!
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This was such a fun read!