I grew up in a family of football/soccer fans. I’m fine with soccer, and with most sports, but I’ve never felt the amount of emotional investment that the rest of my family seem to. For example, we live in England, and what do you suppose happens whenever England play Germany and the Germans win? Well, if you have a German car you make sure that’s secure in a garage. I have a German friend and I was once genuinely afraid for their life here, because of a game of football. One time, I heard someone shout ‘what do we have to do to win? Kill six million Jews?’ I was just flabbergasted because… no. There is no relation between a game that involves some people kicking a ball around a field and the holocaust – I feel like this shouldn’t need to be pointed out. I think I would enjoy the game a lot more if some of the fans could just get a little perspective.
I see some of this in other types of fandom too, for books or shows or video games. I’ve been involved in it, and to be honest I’ve always just ended up feeling very depressed about it because I think ‘why have I just spent the entire day arguing with someone on the internet about something that really doesn’t matter?’ I do try to be polite, but not everyone does – people often turn to insults very quickly when you disagree with them, or even if you don’t really but they’re determined to have some sort of fight anyway. I guess all I’m saying is that these days I find high emotion and hostility in fans kind of off-putting and prevents me from being able to enjoy a thing, which I guess is hardly a revolutionary thought. Just enjoy the things you do and don’t be dicks about it. Don’t be that England fan.