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Is There a Point in the Imaginary: Looking at Fantasy Football

Blog9 - Is There a Point in the Imaginary: Looking at Fantasy Football

Sports fans are highly creative when it comes to find different ways to truly enjoy the sport that they love. Today, we will be looking deeper at the entire concept of Fantasy Football.

What is Fantasy Football?

This is actually an offshoot hobby that originated from truly die-hard football fans. Football has down seasons when the teams are back in their local arenas and training for the big fights. During that time, football fans needed their fix on matches.

It was also a gripe of many a fan on how things would be so much better if they were able to run the team that they love. Fantasy football is a god marriage of both. It allows fans to build and ‘run’ their own imaginary team. The fans act as team owners or team managers and they build their teams in accordance to predetermined rules by the group.

The popularity of fantasy football has sky rocketed in the last few decades. More and more people have come to realize that it is a viable and fun activity.

play - Is There a Point in the Imaginary: Looking at Fantasy Football

Why Play Fantasy Football?

If you are a fan of football, you would totally understand the appeal. Being able to control and “interact” with players is always a fantasy of anyone who has ever loved the game. There are even several benefits to playing fantasy football.

Here are some of them:

It’s a great bonding experience

Football lovers all gravitate toward each other when playing fantasy football. After all, it is a team effort. Several players will have to come together in order to form the ‘league’ owners or managers. Fantasy football only works if you have a network of players who are willing to play the game along with you.

It is only natural to trade players, after all. Also, if the season completes and the game is a positive experience for all, plans can be made for the next season. There is a bond that is forged by fantasy football that can be the foundation for solid friendships that will last decades.

It is a positive hobby

Usually, fantasy football will require a day in a week to be able to ‘formalize’ any trades or dealings between ‘owners’. As such, there will be a dedicated schedule for this hobby. Time dedicated to this hobby is time that is not spent in pursuing other vices.

There are studies that support the fact that those that indulge in fantasy football often lead overall healthier lives. As these people are able to act out their dream teams and dream matches, there is very little stress or anxiety that is left over from the past football season.

It also helps that being able to trade players that were disappointing gives a sense of control and release for fans. It may not seem like much but it is a healthy and positive hobby that can help curtail any negative leftovers from the previous season.

You can make money from it

The whole concept of sports betting is nothing that is truly new. Yes, even in fantasy football, money can be a part of it. What started as a few small bets between friends can also balloon in to massive bets with large payouts.

There are now dedicated websites that allow players to do the whole game but in shorter periods. The websites make use of an algorithm that will help determine the winner of the season based off the points that the ‘teams’ will earn as selected by the player.

As it is with online forms of gambling, there will a slight entry fee in accordance to the prize that is up for grabs.

Negative Impact…?

Like in all things in life, there will be a few setbacks when you do try playing fantasy football. Here are a few of them:

Player stigma

While there are a lot of people who do play fantasy football, there is this negative stigma that usually accompanies it. A lot of “legit” football fans often feel like fantasy football is a child’s play and should even be entertained by “serious” football fans.

Then there is also this ridiculous sense of silliness or shame that comes with playing fantasy football. This is rampantly represented in media. There are scenes in movies wherein wives think their husbands are cheating only to humorously find out that their significant other is merely playing fantasy football.

When asked why they just did not go ahead and say that they were playing fantasy football, the common answer is that they were ashamed from it. The ‘pretend’ part of the game is often met with derision that can affect the players if they let it get to them.

Potential addiction

Fantasy football is something that you can become addicted to if you are not careful. As there are now sites that monetize fantasy football, it is now legitimately considered gambling. Whenever gambling is involved, it is important to be cautious.

Without meaning to, you can become caught up. Instead of devolving into hooliganism, you may now contend with the very real threat of losing a lot of money to the game.

To Conclude

As football is seasonal, fantasy football is a highly creative (and now lucrative) way of keeping your appreciation and interest of the game alive and well. It is a recreational hobby that poses very little threat to those that play it—provided that it is done ethically and responsibly.

Fantasy football is a great way to support your team in a manner that is more user friendly and a good boost to the ego! Playing fantasy football with friends will not go out of style any time soon. Some of us actually do go out and play fantasy football. It is an easy hobby to pick up that can be difficult to put down—why would you want to? When done properly, it is a hobby that is healthy and positive. Would you guys consider playing fantasy football? What team would you want to own?

Break out the Popcorn: Football Movies You Should Watch If You Love Football

Blog8 - Break out the Popcorn: Football Movies You Should Watch If You Love Football

Movies are gifts that keep on giving. There is a wealth of information that one can get from football movies, if you really know where to look. Those that love the sport of football will have their own collection of go-to movies.

What is great is that there is no short supply for football movies now. More and more studios are realizing that there is indeed a massive market out in the world for football fans. In light of this, today we will be taking a look at some of the football movies that you should watch if you truly love the beautiful game.

Here are some of them:

When Saturday Comes (1996)

You may recognize the lead of this move, a very young Sean Bean. The story follows the recruitment of a young and talented factory worker into the fast world of football. The character later makes it into the Sheffield United Football Club.

Not only does it provide a sort of positive feel to light the spark of interest for potential football heads, it is also a fairly good representation of how players were found back then. Non-league teams often recruit talented athletes which later end up playing for bigger teams later on. This movie is certainly a great way to get your initial interest in football alive.

Bend It like Beckham (2002)

While most people dismiss this one as an outright ‘chick flick’, you would be surprised at the insight that this movie can bring even the crankiest football fans can appreciate. The story follows two teen girls whose football journeys are hampered by their culture and their gender.

While we would like to believe that football is a magical world wherein there is a spot for everyone, we know that this is simply not true. In fact, there have been riots when the first black players joined the field. As a sport that was predominantly male, the introduction of women has always been a point of soreness for some.

This film helps to showcase the struggle that the females have when it comes to joining and maintaining football. It emphasizes that while the girls may have all the talent necessary to be successful, they are often bogged down by circumstances beyond their control.

The Damned United (2009)

A film that is not without controversy to be sure! This biographical film chronicles the time wherein Brian Clough was made the manager of Leeds United. This film details the volatile nature of the manager and the calls that turned Leeds’ locker room into one of the most toxic places you could be.

This is a good film to watch if you really want to see the dynamic of a football team in the midst of its struggle to qualify for the FIFA World Cup. Every team will have its own dynamic when it comes to the people in the team and who is leading. This film helps to show how the sides can clash and how the results are not always positive.

It gives a very humanizing approach to a genre that is often populated underdog stories. We like this particular piece of cinema as it provides a very gritty look at the ugly side of football.

United (2011)

While not exactly about the sport itself, this film is a great piece of cinema to watch if you are a football fan. This film discusses the time when Manchester United suffered a tragedy when several of their players will killed following a plane crash in Munich.

This film helps to showcase the perseverance of United and the fans that adored the team. While there is some controversy regarding the film, we like the fact that it galvanized people enough to try to find the real details behind the tragedy. It was not just another film that talked about a sad event and moved on. People actually cared about the tragedy enough to truly lend a voice to those who were not properly represented in the film.

The Miracle of Bern (2003)

While several liberties were taken regarding the ‘miracles’ presented in this film it should not take away from the actual miracle. The film is set in 1954 where the FIFA World Cup was about to come to a head. The climate of the film was the ongoing recovery of Germany from the stain of the Nazi rule.

The German team won the World Cup against a team that everyone believed would win. It was an incredible upset and a wonderful way to usher in the era of continued recovery for Germany. We like this film because it helps to show how a national team can carry the hearts and dreams of their home country.

The struggle and the success in the end is a great emphasis upon the massive hurdles that Germany had to face under the Nazi rule. It also emphasizes the power of a sport to usher in a entirely new era and face to a country.

Green Street (2005)

This film is a great introduction to UK Football hooliganism. While not exactly a positive way to paint the British football fans, this is a part of our culture that we need to remember. After all, a good way to counteract something negative is to never forget that it happened.

Green Street follows the violence that follows hooligan firms around. These firms actively seek each other out to fight—which is something that is quite bothersome for the fans that just want to enjoy a good game.

To Conclude

If you look beyond the drama or exaggerated scenes in football movies, there is so much you can learn. There are so many lessons that can be embedded within a sports film that can benefit so many. If you can choose look past the cliché lines or often odd romantic scenes, the true grit of the sport and the people who play it are in full view of the public.

The films we have listed above are only some of the football films that can really make a great impact in your understanding and appreciation of the sport.

Laugh Time: Some of the Most Ridiculous Football Player Superstitions

Blog7 - Laugh Time: Some of the Most Ridiculous Football Player Superstitions

When it is important to win, it is not all that far fetched to start believing that certain things or actions can affect your chances. This is where superstitions come in. Everyone has their own form of superstition. What we want to take a look at are the different kinds of superstitions that permeate the field of football.

Some of them can be quite simple and some are even downright silly.

What are Superstitions?

These refer to beliefs that are held that usually refer to actions with regard to securing a particular result. Superstitions often have a tie to history or specific reasons. For example, a common superstition is to not sweep the floors at night as this sweeps away fortune and good luck for a home.

Sports often come with its share of superstitions that are held by both the players and the fans. Today, we will be taking a closer look at some superstitions that we have come across in our years in the field of football.

Mind you, we are not going to correlate specific superstitions to players. We are just going to focus on player superstitions that we have come across.

Last Man Entry

One of the beliefs that we have come across is the idea of the last man entry. This specifically refers to being the last person to step unto the field. While we have not really found any particular reason behind this superstition, we have our guesses.

From a psychological standpoint, it lines up well with the concept of “saving the best for last”. So a player who enters the field last gets to enjoy the already built up hype that was created by teammates that went ahead.

foot1 - Laugh Time: Some of the Most Ridiculous Football Player Superstitions

Routine

For some players, there are established routines that they return to whenever they are about to play a game. Some of our writers actually do have routines of their own when it comes to games. One of our writers makes it a point to line up some of her few “lucky coins” that she inherited from her grandmother.

She makes she they are all accounted for and are all in a neat line before she packs them away once again. The routine, she explains, is not so much a superstition as it is something to help calm her down. When she is able to reach this state of calm, she performs better during her games. As such, the connection between this particular routine and the eventual positive performances were made.

It is highly possible that superstitions grounded in routine establish a sort of placebo that helps to perform better.

Lucky Things

This is probably the most common type of superstition when it comes to sports. There are so many athletes and players that believe a certain trinket or belonging brings them massive luck when it comes to performance.

It is usually something that the athlete has on their person during the game. When you are playing football, the options are fairly limited. So these are usually an undershirt, socks, or even undergarments. A common factor would be the unwashed state of these ‘lucky things’ in the fear that the luck would be washed away as well. There is massive representation of this superstition in multimedia and movies. This is not just the sport of football that has this superstition, baseball, basketball, and many other sports have athletes share this as well. For example, in the film A League of Their Own, the character of Alice keeps her long socks unwashed since she believes that brings her luck.

The superstition of lucky things is something that transcends the world of sports as well.

Bodily Fluids

Gross but it happens. This particular superstition is often frowned upon or outright banned from being practiced. There have been recorded events of some professional athletes who relieve themselves on the field.

While there is a standing rule that you cannot leave the field when the game is ongoing, it is normally recommended to hold it in until the end of the game. However, back then it was considered to be permissible to relieve oneself while on the field. It is a truly odd if not ridiculous superstition.

As of modern standards, it is wholly recommended to not.

foot2 - Laugh Time: Some of the Most Ridiculous Football Player Superstitions

Hair Rules

One of the more acceptable forms of bodily representation of superstition, this usually involves the hair of the athlete. It could either refer to the hair on the head or facial hair. Normally, it would be about an athlete who has decided to keep their hair uncut until a season is over or until a particular goal is met.

One of our writers actually used to subscribe to this superstition. He had kept his face unshaven until his team had won the local tournament. He said that it was fairly easy to start but rather hard to maintain given the itching and depending on the length it got, his beard would get in the way of his vision when the wind was too strong.

He says that keeping his hair long helped to serve as a very real reminder to his dedication to his team and their goal. So the superstition also works as a sort of mental contract between the player and the sport that they are playing.

To Conclude

Superstitions are a normal part of anything that has a certain age. English football has been around several centuries, so of course there will be superstitions attached to it. What is important is that these beliefs do not actually impede your growth as a person and as an athlete. Superstitions have a bit of fanciful interest to them and are often harmless. It is up to the player to decide if they want to be beholden to this or to move past it. From a personal standpoint, it is often something that boils down to personal preference and its effects.

If it is not hurting you or anyone around you, there is no harm in keeping a few superstitions along with your journey as an athlete. Just be mindful if you are creeping unto the territory of outright ridiculous superstitions.

One for the Players: 4 Non-Physical Ways to Improve Your Game

Blog6 - One for the Players: 4 Non-Physical Ways to Improve Your Game

Growth is something that must be pursued by all athletes. In the world of professional sport, there is a lot of importance that is placed on performance. In order for there to be proper and suitable performance, the athlete must be in prime physical and mental condition.

A usual problem that athletes faced is that there was so much importance placed on their physical health and aspect. This is not the only thing that should be focused upon. There are non-physical ways to improve an athlete’s performance. Today, we will be taking a look at the non-physical ways an athlete can improve their football game.

Fighting the old beliefs

Football is first and always, a very physical contact sport. As such, it would not be surprising if a lot of the focus would be about improving the physical attributes of the athlete. These will include building specific physical exercises to focus on muscle strength and stamina.

However, as the sport clocks more years under its belt, it would be wise to look at other ways to improve an athlete’s performance. In recent years, there is much emphasis placed on the mental well-being of the athletes as well.

The addressing of mental illness is more common and no longer held the negative stigma that it once did. When that came about, there truly needed to be a revolution regarding the ways athletes improved themselves.

Non-physical ways to improve performance

It may sound like a lot of phooey but give it a gander and you might just end up quite surprised:

n2 - One for the Players: 4 Non-Physical Ways to Improve Your Game

1.)   Film Study

Preparation is a key ingredient in improvement, right? This is something that more of the latter generations could really take advantage of. Make it a habit to record your games and review it repeatedly. You would be surprised at the wealth of information that hindsight provides.

When you are in the middle of a game, your vision is only restricted to what is directly around you. Having your game recorded will offer you full field vision. A lot of professional athletes have their games recorded. More and more teams are coming to realize the importance of this. A common issue from back then was the quality of the recording.

Nowadays, it is so much easier to obtain high quality recordings. Study these individually and as a team. The individual study is needed in order to build your own opinions on your strengths and weaknesses. Then do an analysis of your team’s performance. When the team looks over the recordings, everyone should have their own takeaways from their own individual reviews.

2.)   Keep an eye on your nutrition

With the vast improvement of medicine comes the vast improvement of nutritionists. More and more athletes are paying attention to what they eat as this is what can account for around 79% of the body’s muscle growth.

It is quite funny how it was not even the rigorous physical training that amounts for a majority of the muscle growth. Now that this is more commonly known, it is important to really take advantage of it. if you are able to, visit a nutritionist in order to get a accurate estimation of what you should be eating and what you should not be putting into your system at all.

Nutrition is a critical part of your life as an athlete. Not only will it enable you to perform better but it will also account for your prolonged physical fitness and health.

3.)   Sleep

There has been this notion that you can always make up for lost sleep. Recent studies have shown that you cannot. Once you lose sleep, that is gone and you will have to readjust several days of your life in order to make up for the messed up hormones and chemicals in your body from missing sleep.

Sleep is vital if you want to be able to heal your muscles properly after a training session or after a game. One of the things that you need to be strict with is your sleep schedule. Not only is your body’s recovery tied to your rest but the energy you will have for another day’s training or game is reliant on your sleep as well.

n1 - One for the Players: 4 Non-Physical Ways to Improve Your Game

4.)   Wellness retreat

What was once perceived as a luxury is now considered an utmost necessity. Athletes need to have proper rest and relaxation. This includes taking a complete and absolute break from anything and everything that is related to their sport.

The age of information has made it quite difficult to escape the outside world. Pressure can truly affect an athlete’s mind and performance. As such, it is important to take regular wellness retreat that focuses on the holistic wellbeing of the person.

It is important to take breaks away from anything that is harmful to your mental health. It also helps to form good mental exercises to clear away any sources of anxiety and stress. It is now a generally accepted fact that mental health is just as important—if not more important—as physical health. As such, it is important for any athlete to take really good care of his or her whole wellness and not just their physical aspect.

To Conclude

When you think of improving one’s football performance, it is not at all weird to narrow planning to the actual physical part of the sport. As we hope that we have shown above, it is not only the physical part of the game that needs attention.

There are actually non-physical ways to improve your performance as an athlete. The trouble will be sticking to the tips. It is not at all odd if, while reading this article, you thought it was absolute hogwash. That was what some of us thought at the start of our careers.

However, if you just open your minds, you just might be surprised at the results that you will get. Just as we discovered how wrong we were, you can as well. All you need is to have both eyes open when looking at the ways to improve your performance.

What You Choose Matters: How to Ethically Support Football as a Sport

Blog5 - What You Choose Matters: How to Ethically Support Football as a Sport

The world of sports is vibrant and exciting. It can also involve a lot of money with the concepts of sports-betting normally attached to it. As it is illegal for those directly involved in sports to profit off of sports betting, athletes and coaches often rely on performance bonuses and the like.

With that the only way to earn beyond their contractual salary, the concept of ethics have been severely tested in the recent century or so. This also applied to the fans. The way that you support anything should be done ethically. Join us today as we breakdown the different ways on how you can ethically support your football team of choice.

What is the concept of Ethics?

These often refer to the moral principles that are supposed to be inherent in our behavior in an event or occasion. Ethics are often tied to professions and businesses. Sports, is a combination of both. Football is a marriage of professional athletes and team owners that handle the whole thing as a business.

Ethics also permeate our daily lives. It is always about doing the right thing even as it appears to be the harder choice. For example, ethics can be about something as simple as returning a wallet full of money. It can be truly tempting to keep the contents and merely return the wallet—after all who is there to report you?

Doing the right thing in an often challenging situation is where ethics and good values kick in.

What do Ethics have to do with Football?

There has been a rather strong question regarding how ethical it is for people to support football in general. Recent studies have discussed the fact that a large percentile of football players often hides injuries in order to keep playing. What is more worrying is the fact that even some coaches or team physicians were complicit in keeping the injuries under wraps.

A disturbing trend was developing. It seemed that having the good players in the team regardless of their personal well-being was now the top priority. There are the usual virtues that are normally associated with ethics that are being overlooked. These virtues are integrity, fairness, and respect.

Supporting the Sport Ethically

In the world of British football, fans have had a rather negative reputation. The whole concept of football hooligans was once native to England. While there have been proactive attempts to curb and combat hooliganism, there are still quite a number of football fans that are not very successful in kicking the habit.

As such, we find that it is important to fans everywhere to be aware of more ethical ways to support their favored football team. Here are a few ways how:

soc2 - What You Choose Matters: How to Ethically Support Football as a Sport

Treat Everyone Cordially

When in the midst of football season or even if it is just a regular day, you will come across other football fans. It is highly possible that they may not even support the team that you favor. In such instances, it is important to be respectful.

There have been several instances wherein friction between two fans has led to rather unfortunate—sometimes fatal—circumstances. While such instances have been often touted as rare, it has happened often enough to be a cause for concern. It if continues, the environment is going to be much more toxic than what is good.

As such, it would be in the best interest of everyone to just treat every football fan with suitable respect.

Do Not Tolerate Unethical Practices

As fans, it is important that we hold all our teams—the athletes, their doctors, their coaches, and their owners—accountable for any unsportsmanlike conduct. A common unethical practice is faking injuries or even faking a foul.

While this is something that other people may consider to be “part of the sport” or even a “proper strategy”, this is something that we must not tolerate. It is important to remember that professional athletes get massive exposure both nationally and internationally. While they may not exactly mean to be, they end up being role models for young athletes. The young are the eventual future of the sport. As such, it is important that they only be exposed to ethical practices.

When you view your sport and you see unethical activities and practices, it is important to take a stand against it. With social media being highly accessible, use that platform to galvanize everyone to holding athletes and their team accountable. You would be surprised at how powerful the voice of the people can be.

Push for stricter measures regarding fines and punishments when unethical actions are done.

Be Active in Your Local Area

A good way to make sure that only ethical practices are being passed on, it would be good to be active in your local football community. As football is the national sport of England, you would be hard pressed to not find a local club in your area.

Be involved. A common issue with sporting communities is that they feel that ‘fans’ or ‘outside opinions’ should not be entertained. A great way to combat this is by actually being part of the sporting community. You can volunteer or actively be employed by a sporting club in your local area. Keep a high standard on how things should be done.

soc1 - What You Choose Matters: How to Ethically Support Football as a Sport

To Conclude

The way that you support your chosen team matters. As there quite a bit of ethical concerns regarding the world of football, it is important that imminent methods surrounding it are kept healthy and sustainable.

In order to keep the sport up and running in the United Kingdom, ethics must always be considered. Once again, we cannot place enough emphasis on the concept of ethics. It is often easier to delve into an unethical path—they are always easier to do and sometime more lucrative—however, it is important to think about what are we leaving behind?

We are all responsible for maintaining an ethical and positive sport for all. So look back upon the tips above and utilize the ones that you can.

One for the Parents: Tips to Help Your Budding Football Star

Blog4 - One for the Parents: Tips to Help Your Budding Football Star

A lot of professional football stars started when they were young. This is a trend that continues to this day. So we wanted to come up with something for the parents. These will be how you can help your budding football star. Football is a great game which can be used as a passport fort he rest of the world.

In the UK, football is our national sport. The game was born and nurtured right here in our shores. There is very little wonder as to why year after year there will be young people who will want to be part of the game.

When you are a parent, it is only natural to want the very best for your child. In the mind of a parent, sport can be a double-edged sword. A sport like football can have a lot of benefits but also carries its own series of risks. In order to properly guide and support your budding football star, here are a few tips for you:

Understand Your Role

When you are the parent of someone who wants to be a football player, it is critical that you understand the role that you will play in that journey. As the parent, you will be at the forefront of everything. Deciding on which club to enlist the child, the kind of after-school trainings, and so many other things need to be considered.

Major decisions will have to be made by both the parent and the child. Yes, the parent plays a huge role but remember it is the child that goes through the journey. They will have to form their own decisions based on the choices that the adults have carefully curated for them.

There are a lot of parents out there that often struggle with this. Just because that you will be funding the equipment and the lessons, this does not mean that you will make ALL the decisions. Understanding this role is critical if you want to raise a well-rounded individual and athlete.

soccer2 - One for the Parents: Tips to Help Your Budding Football Star

Support the Coach Mindfully

While the coach of the team is the one who is calling the shots in the field, this does not mean that they do not need the help of the parent. Coaches are where they are because they have made it their responsibility to take something they love and pass it on to the younger generations.

Coaches will have their own ideas and ways of doing things and a parent must be mindful of this. The coach will come off as tough and the parent must not derail the lessons being taught. However, this also does not mean that you should blindly entrust your budding football player to someone else.

There have been instances wherein a coach has crossed the line or a coach that has lost sight of the players and focused on the game and results. A parent must be able to mindfully find a balance of supporting the coach and looking out for their child. It is important that the parent not be swept away by a charismatic coach and forget that they are the first line of defense for a child’s well-being.

Unclench

This is something that most parents forget to do when they have an athlete in the family. While the whole idea of a contact sport may be terrifying, being totally controlling will stunt the growth of your athlete.

The earlier that you are able to accept that you cannot control every minute details of your athlete’s journey the happier you will be in the long run. A lot of us struggled with parents that were quite controlling. Their heart was in the right place but their methods would prove to be detrimental—especially over prolonged periods of time.

A young football player will have injuries, sudden matches, urgent need for new equipment—the list goes on. As much as a parent will never allow their child to be injured, this is just something that they need to come to grips with. What is important is that the parent transforms their concern into ready contingency plans in case of any emergencies.

soccer1 - One for the Parents: Tips to Help Your Budding Football Star

Establish Goals Together

When your child tells you that they want to be a football athlete, it is important to realize that this is a journey that you will take along with them. As such, it would be good if you sat down with your athlete and come up with realist goals together.

Having goals is important in maintaining the trajectory of growth for both the child and the parent. There are a lot of instances where the early wake up time can really put a hamper on things. The child may decide that it is okay to skip one day—it is up to the parent to help establish healthy habits. It is also important to nip any bad habits in the bud.

Being tough is often important when you are helping an athlete. Be prepared to feel like the bad guy sometimes. What is important is to spot any goals that are not at all healthy. Be prepared to fine tune your goals as time goes by. The needs of your child and what they are able to accomplish changes with time as well!

To Conclude

The parent/s has a HUGE role to play in the proper development of all future athletes. The world of both professional and amateur football in the UK can become the most toxic environment your child can know. This is why it is important to be present in their journey.

A lot of us had personal experience with playing football in our younger years. It was certainly not easy and that was already with supportive parents. If you have a youngster in your life that is showing a great interest in the beautiful game, make use of the tips above to help them is a positive and healthy way.

Sports parents are a crucial part of the journey. If you are a sports parent, do not get stuck in the sidelines. Be active in your role and the world can expect better athletes than yesterday.

Trivia Time: Things You May Not Have Known About International Football

Blog3 - Trivia Time: Things You May Not Have Known About International Football

In this crazy big world of ours, we all have the opportunity to learn something new everyday. The world of English Football has had quite the journey to it. While we discussed its history, there are other interesting factoids about it that you may not know about. This is what we will be talking about today.

These facts may be something you already know or something completely new—that is one of the best things about learning. These are factoid that we have rounded up through our years of being fans and through extensive research! Keep in mind that we are not just going to be discussing little factoids about English Football. We are also going to be bringing you fun facts about international football as well. Here you go:

England came to the party late

While we have discussed the fact that football had already been popping up along the various parts of England, an odd thing happened. There were a lot of local teams that were holding their own games against each other. There was also an attempt to organize everything.

The World Cup started at around 1930 but England did not actually accept the invitation to be part of it until almost two decades later in 1950. While we would like to say that England dominated the World Cup after joining it—we all know that was not the case.

eng1 - Trivia Time: Things You May Not Have Known About International Football

1966 was England’s year

In case you have not noticed, this website’s name is World Cup 66. If you have, then you will have a bit of an idea as to why. It was during the World Cup on the year 1966 that England won for the first time. England’s national team had won over West Germany is a wholly dramatic 30 minute overtime.

The whole concept of a hat trick was brought to life by Geoff Hurst when he scored three goals when it was down to the wire.

Mark Hughes played for two teams in a single day in 1988

This was the time that Mark Hughes had signed up with Bayern. What was interesting about this was the fact that he was also slotted to play for Wales in a qualifier game. The Wales match was held somewhere around midday and Bayern’s game was late at night on the same day.

Instead of any issue arising from both teams, it was actually handled quite well. Hughes was in Prague for the Wales game and as soon as it was done, he hopped on a plane and flew to where the Bayern game was being held. While he missed the first half of the game, he was able to make his debut at the start of the 2nd half of the game.

What gave this story a remarkable ending was the fact that Bayern had won the game.

Uruguay player’s record

The fastest recorded goal was achieved by Ricardo Olivera from a game in 1998. This incredible player was able to score a complete goal under 2.9 seconds. While there might be entirely possible that there were other goals that were scored faster, this one has the bonus of being recorded through a video.

It would be certainly interesting if there were other accomplishments that were duly recorded back then. If anything, we are all looking forward to seeing if there are any new records that will be broken whenever a talented athlete steps into the field.

Joy equals injury

It is an odd fact of football that around 1 in every 20 injuries that have been recorded in a game of football has been directly because of celebration. A player celebrating a successful goal or a goal keeper rejoicing a successful blocking is the usual reason for player injuries.

This issue has been quite prevalent that teams are actively trying to keep their players from going nuts while the game is going on. It is completely understandable that emotions would be running high within a game—especially if you managed to score or block a supposedly winning shot—however, this odd problem does need to be addressed.

eng2 - Trivia Time: Things You May Not Have Known About International Football

Where most the balls for the game comes from

Over 80% of all the footballs that are produced for personal and professional use come from Pakistan. While there are other factories all over the world, it seems that those with the highest quality and durability do come from Pakistan.

Not only do fans the world over get pretty well-made footballs but the demand for balls creates a good economy for an otherwise troubled country.

The food world should thank English football

Everyone in the world over knows or has at least heard of foul-mouthed chef Gordon Ramsey. The culinary would almost did not get Ramsey. When he was younger, his heart was set on being a football star.

Ramsey was actually a pretty good athlete as well. He was even scouted for the Rangers and his life seemed to be headed toward his goal. However, life has a knack for knocking the winds out of your sails and that is exactly what it did to Gordon Ramsey. Young Ramsey got a leg injury which forced him to give up football.

As football was no longer an option for him, he had to find another career path. It was not easy but he found his way toward the culinary world and he never looked back.

To Conclude

You may think you know everything about a hobby or a sport that you love but still end up surprised. We hope that the details that we shared above will help keep the flame bright and hot. We also hope that the fun facts that we have discovered can help to promote a healthier and more supportive community for English football lovers everywhere.

Do you have any interesting factoids that you know about English football that we missed out on? Send us a message and we would love to add more to this article—and who knows, if we get enough extra information we shall put it all together for a brand new one!

Wiping Away Stigma: Rehabilitating English Football Fans’ Reputations

Blog2 - Wiping Away Stigma: Rehabilitating English Football Fans’ Reputations

The concept of hooliganism has long been associated with English football fans. Today, we will be taking a deeper look at hooliganism and the active pursuit of reputation rehabilitation. Football is indeed England’s national sport—it is deeply rooted in our development as a country and as a people. You would be quite hard pressed to find a British family that does not have two or three football nuts in there.

While the sport should be a positive and healthy environment for all, our history has taught us something quite different. Loving the sport and supporting your favorite team is one thing. It is something altogether when the “love” you have for the team warps your actions into something that is harmful and quite disruptive.

What is Hooliganism?

This is the term that was given to the utterly violent behavior that has been perpetuated by some English football fanatics at sporting events. What is quite disturbing for English fans is the fact that hooliganism has been part of our culture. It was in the 1880s that the first hooligans were ever recorded.

They were not called hooligans at the time. Instead, they were the people that were called roughs. These people were so utterly dedicated to their teams that they would often make it a habit to attack referees, the opposing team, AND the opposing team’s fans. This is an utterly deplorable and senseless thing.

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It was in the 1970s that roughs or hooligans actively tried to find each other to form clubs. While this should have been fine if they were committed to merely gathering to show support to their respective teams, this was not what happened a lot of the time.

The year of 1974 was a particularly rough time in the history of England’s football. There were several instances of violence, riots, assaults, and even murders that occurred because of football hooligans.

There has been massive representation of such behavior in film and TV. One of the more favorite examples in modern media is from the film Eurotrip. The protagonists were supposed to be on their way to Berlin and had some time to kill in England. When they were killing time, they went to a sports bar and were surrounded by Manchester United fans. The protagonists even referred to them as ‘soccer hooligans’. Obnoxious, violent, and prone to acts of disturbance—this is how they are portrayed.

While they are not inherently bad (at least, in the movie they were not) this is not often the case in real life situations. It was in the 1960s when the UK solidified their reputation for having the most unruly and utterly appalling football fans in the world.

It did not help in the least that in 1975 and in 1977 full blown riots broke out following football matches. It did not help that around this time the blatant racism that some English football fans were showing Black football players.

All the negative actions got so bad that the British government had to create departments and task forces specifically designated to counter football related violence. This was particularly quite rampant in the 1980s and for most of the 1990s.

The Active Change

England’s football fans were now stuck with a rather negative connotation. It was widely believed that if you were a supporter of any particular football team, it would be in your best interest to not show it. Do not talk about the sport—you never know if a hooligan was around to overhear you.

As you may imagine, this did not do well for England’s reputation and especially its tourism. There was some argument regarding the “positive” impact that hooligan fans had on the teams that they support. They argued that having hooligan fans boost the team’s performance. There was also this odd surge in employment due to the fact that extra security was needed in sporting events simply because it was practically expected to have hooligans and disruptive behavior present.

However, these were merely limited time boosts and benefits. More and more teams started to realize that the pressure on their performances would be bad. What actually happens is that much stress is put upon the team to produce results to keep their fans happy. The mentality was either you win or you face a riot from the very people who claim to love you.

This is not good for any athlete in the long run. The constant pressure ends up being detrimental to the teams that they support. Also, there was a rise in perceived security brutality. It was a generally negative reputation that was starting to affect the sustainability of the sport. All of this prompted stricter measures regarding the addressing and punishments given for hooligans.

hol2 - Wiping Away Stigma: Rehabilitating English Football Fans’ Reputations

By the time that the 2000s rolled by, most of the physical violence had gone down. As it turns out, however, it simply found a new place to live: online. Hooliganism is now done under the complete guise of anonymity.

What is good is the fact that more and more football fans have actively been trying to fight the stigma attached to English football fans. They do not tolerate any form of hooliganism and as such the active clubs who have been known to incite violence are far and few between.

We all needed to change the negative perception that the rest of the world had about the fans of our national sport.

To Conclude

The idea of hooliganism has certainly done its share of literal and figurative damage. If a sport is ever going to survive, it is critical that the support system to keep it going is healthy and not disruptive. The funny thing is, the whole concept of hooliganism is built on being disruptive.

If we want to leave a more positive sporting world for the coming generation of football fans, hooliganism needs to be a thing of the past. The fight against hooliganism is still ongoing. We may have won a majority of the battles but the war still continues.

Turn Back the Clock: the Journey that English Football Has Had

Blog1 - Turn Back the Clock: the Journey that English Football Has Had

One of the best ways to truly develop a sense of appreciation for something that you love is to know its history. Today, we shall be looking back upon the vast history that English Football has had through the centuries.

What is ‘Football’?

The funny thing about the term football is that it can refer to a wholly different thing depending on where you are. The Americans have a sport that they call ‘Football’ but it refers to a ball game where a ball in the form of a prolate spheroid is carried or tossed from one goal to the other.

In the UK, football is what a huge part of the world would refer to as ‘soccer’. However, both names are actually correct. It would just be important to be mindful of what part of the world you are in when you are talking about football n order to avoid any misunderstanding.

football1 - Turn Back the Clock: the Journey that English Football Has Had

History

One of the earliest records of football in England was around the middle ages. Specifically, it was at around the year 1170. It was where a man by the name of William Fitzstephen jotted down an account of a ‘ball game’ which was played by kicking around a ball.

Such instances were also described in 1280 and 1314. The word ‘football’ did not actually arise to specifically refer to the ‘kicking ball game’ until King Edward II. It was not until around the 15th and 16th century that the ‘kick ball’ game was a bit more like the game that we know it as today. It was in the latter half of the 16th century wherein teams were being organized by local areas to play against each other.

It also became quite normal for rural schools to have their students (that were primarily male) to do football as an exercise. As with all things sport that becomes popular, it is pretty much expected that a governing body will rise up to clarify rules and establish a semblance of organization between the many teams.

It was around the 18th century wherein the first ever football club in the world came to be. It was called the Gymnastic Society that was based in London.

Eighteenth to Nineteenth Century Football

As it became more and more England’s favorite sport, universities and large schools were developing ways to enhance football. Take Cambridge University for example; they established their own set of rules around 1848. Their rules—generally referred to as the Cambridge rules—were quite instrumental in the latter development of more modern rules for the game.

At this point in time in the incarnation of the game, regulation was heavily needed. Football was sweeping the nation with its popularity and everyone wanted to play the game. As a consequence, more and more teams and ‘clubs’ were popping up all over the UK. These clubs and teams formed their own rules that were often quite odd and unfair if you were a team that was not under their jurisdiction.

For a game that would normally have the goal of scoring more than the opposing team, how would it have been possible to agree on the score if the rules varied? This was the question that was posed in 1863. This query was answered by the formation of The Football Association.

With the rules becoming more streamlined and uniform (for some teams at least) it was now possible for teams from different places to come together and play the game. The first ever recorded match of football on a newspaper was between the teams of Sheffield and Hallam.

With the attention that they received through the newspaper, football fever grew even stronger. In 1888, the first ever national football team of England was formed and we even had our first international match against Scotland that ended with a draw. What was quite interesting about the formation of our first ever national team was the fact that around this time there was a schism that was forming between those seeking professional status and those that wanted to keep the traditional values of ‘amateur’ play.

It was becoming increasingly obvious that if you were good at the game, people will want to see you play. And if you were ever good at anything, it would make very little sense to not get paid for it. This was at the core of the call for professional athletes. It was only three years before the national team was formed that the Football Association recognized the concept of professional football players.

football2 - Turn Back the Clock: the Journey that English Football Has Had

Football in the 1900s

A significant number of the modern shifts in the game of football happened in this century. With the English public’s interest in the game of football reaching a fever pitch, more people wanted to be able to play on a professional level.

As such, the Football League had to expand to include the many teams and the subsequent divisions that they had. It came to a point where there over 40 Football Clubs the dotted England. The reason why these clubs did not manage to sustain was because of World War I. During this point in time a majority of the men enlisted to fight in the war and as a consequence, whole teams dropped out of the league.

After WWI there was a resurgence of football teams and clubs but it was not as large in number prior to the warm. After the 2nd World War broke out, the number of clubs surged and this time, managed to sustain itself to what we know the clubs to be today.

To Conclude

The history of football is certainly a fascinating one. What we hope is that having a stronger insight on what the sport has gone through will continue to light the spark of interest in the younger generation. Football, especially in the UK, is something that can lead to some pretty special experiences.

What new historical fact did you learn from today’s discussion? Do you have any facts that would enhance this discourse? Let us know and we would love to update this on a latter date!