Understanding Football Shirts
Association football, more commonly referred to as soccer or football, is a football-related team sport usually played between two competing teams of eleven players. It is played by more than 250 million players worldwide in more than 200 different countries and dependencies, placing it the most popular sport in the world. The game was first played in Europe, but today it is enjoyed throughout the world and is the most popular recreational sport in the United States. The game has a long history, going back at least as far as the 7th century, and has changed quite extensively over the years, from its original primitive nature to a well structured game, with professional clubs and leagues.
Professional football matches are very intense affairs, especially during the season, which can last months. During this time, the teams play each other twice, once inside the town or region where they are based, and once outside, in various venues that have been arranged beforehand. Both games are extremely competitive and entertaining, with goals being scored both during the match and after the match. Due to the nature of the matches, football fans form the largest group of fans in the world, second only to the soccer fans of Brazil. Because the intensity of football matches is such, many people claim that the fans lose their ‘true’ fans status once the match is over.
Today, football is played professionally for money, rather than simply for passion. Due to this reason, many people tend to view the game as nothing more than a commercial business. This is why some football fans tend to be hostile towards the football players and team during matches, especially when their team loses. In addition to being hostile towards the game, some football fans tend to be sexist, as they seem to think that football is primarily a game that is played between men.
The’real’ football fans, however, do not tend to get so hostile. They tend to get excited and participate in the overall atmosphere of the match. There is no real love or hatred towards any particular team or player. The love and passion for football is expressed instead by a combination of cheers and chants, supporting the players, and generally giving their full effort during the 90 minutes of play. It may be difficult for some ‘true’ fans to watch a football match on TV, as they don’t want to see any negative displays on the field.
Due to this high level of enthusiasm, there are many ‘fans’ who attend matches just to support their team. The number of followers a football team has is dependent on how well their team performs on the pitch. A team with several unpopular players, or a team that has never been successful at home, would not have nearly as many followers as a popular team, like Manchester United. Some fans travel all over the world to see their favorite team in action, while others follow the team from their own home in their respective states.
Being so popular, football shirts have become a huge business, too, with replica, licensed and sponsor shirts available for purchase. These football shirts are often emblazoned with the logo and/or name of the team, and may also include other popular team colors, and sponsors logos. Although some people may look down upon these ‘fake’ or ‘imitation’ shirts, it is undeniable that these football shirts bring a level of interest to matches that would not otherwise be there. The large amount of money paid for football shirts reflects the interest generated by football fanatics and the commercialization of football. There is no doubt that football will be enjoyed for many years to come.