It is very seldom you read an article in which you find that the author is writing about you. Perhaps not directly, perhaps not saying “David Childs, I am on to you, I know your kind”, but writing about the sort of person you are, and what you represent.
This sensation happened to me this week. It wasn’t the study about the link between activity on Facebook and narcissist tendencies (I have over 800 friends and 1100 photos, which puts me in the “at risk” category, apparently). Rather, it was an article published on a site not to dissimilar to We Are Free Agents, about the rise in what are known as “football hipsters”. The phrases “football hipster” and “wanker” are interchangeable in this article, as the author clearly deplores their existence.
“Football hipsters” don’t differentiate from any other type of hipster; they mock those who have only just found out about the prowess of Llorente at Bilbao, or the aggressive style of the Napoli forwards. They’d much rather be on a crumbling terrace on a cold February Tuesday than pay £30 to enjoy the company of 45,000 other people. They listen to Football Weekly. They run blogs. This season’s jersey? A number from the late 1990s would be preferable, an obscure name on the back even better. When I think of “football hipsters”, I think of the poetry-spouting goalkeeper in Renford Rejects.
I am one of these people.
I’d argue that, within the realms of being a “football hipster”, the Scottish football hipster is a rather unique sub-culture. I’ve spoken to a lot of people who I would argue fall into this category. These are people who generally do not support the Old Firm, for the constant stream of “success” is far too mainstream.
The reasons for choosing to follow a smaller club in Scotland are varied; for me, I started following Partick Thistle because of their proximity to my halls in the first year of University. With others, the reason is purely geographical.
I spoke to Craig, a St.Johnstone supporter and admirer of old football jerseys like myself. The rise in football hipsters, argues Craig, is because of the apparent correlation between popular musicians and bands and smaller football teams. Biffy Clyro’s guitarist James Johnston is an avid Kilmarnock supporter, for instance. To support a “diddy team”, as my Dad would say, is actually quite cool.
It may be a case of self-defence, but is being a “football hipster” such a bad thing? I admit that being the guy who brags about the players and teams that you should know about already (Ozil and Anzhi are my two proudest achievements), but if it wasn’t for people trying to find a way of expressing their opinions in such a way, to express that football is more than just a game but also an art form as such, a website like the one established by me and Dave wouldn’t exist. And that is not that bad a thing, is it?