(Original post by Zürich)
1. I feel like I belong when I go to watch Arsenal, I dont need to become a hooligan to experience that.
2.Nothing, but it implies alot about the opportunities people will have in life to develop constructive, meaningful interests outside of hooliganism
3.I know. But is hooliganism?
4.Know from experience that this is bull****. Remember meeting rival fans in London pubs after matches and wondering if I was going to have my teeth knocked out
5.Maybe in the 2nd division. Know that QPR hooliganism is dying a death now that they're in the Prem. And it hasnt existed at Arsenal for decades.
1. Belong to what? Going to a top Premier League club isn't belonging to anything other than buying into a sanitized, overly polished, corporate modern football experience. Fair enough if you're going to away games and travelling with a group of lads you're close to and all that, then it's different.
2. To an extent yes, although again I know people from that kind of background with meaningful interests. I also know people from middle class stable families who have very little going on in their lives and are as dull as dishwater. It's largely dependant on the individual.
3. No, hooliganism itself isn't meaningful to anyone. That's a byproduct of the passion for the club mixed with the bond people have with their mates at the match. Most people don't set out to be "hooligans" however you define that, it just ends up that way.
4. Why were you worried about having your teeth knocked out? If you stay quiet and don't provoke anyone you'll be perfectly safe, these people don't target those who don't want to know. Obviously there's rare exceptions, but the average fan doesn't get pulled into these things unless they're out looking for trouble.
5. 2nd division? It happens in the Premier League on a regular basis with certain clubs, at least a handful of times a season with Manchester United alone at away games. It happened with United and City two weeks ago, the biggest clubs in England at the moment, it's certainly not a lower league thing. Just because it's not happening in or around the stadiums in big numbers like the 80s doesn't mean it isn't happening. In fact, 90% of Premier League fans could go to every home game and not see it - but it is happening whether you want to acknowledge it or not.
(Original post by doggyfizzel)
IMO, its people who need the tribal mentality that football provides. They aren't football fans, they are just fans of having a colour, a family, and association.
If you are caught by the police you are looking at a stadium ban, not something any football fan would want. Let alone someone with a proper job, ie one you are going to lose with anything like that you need to declare.
I think there is a difference between hardcore fans and hooligans.
They are absolutely football fans, a lot of them are some of the most passionate fans out there. The tribal mentality comes about from growing up around the clubs and the other lads that go, being part of the community, and family history with the team. A lot of the "hooligans" are brought up with football from birth and it becomes an obsession.
You can be a hardcore fan and be non-violent or violent, hooligans are just a subset of hardcore support. The two groups tend to interact well too based on the passion for the team. Personally I think there's a potential hooligan in a lot of ordinarily non-violent hardcore fans. This is why the football intelligence people use three categories to classify fans rather than two.
Category A are your normal, perfectly safe supporters that wouldn't under any circumstances be moved to violence; and Category C are the "hooligans" the people that go and actively seek trouble. It's the Cat B that are the interesting ones - hardcore fans with the possibility of violence. The ones who don't set out to kick off, but get so worked up and emotional that they burst into fits of rage and anger that they can't control. I'm a Cat B fan personally, but I've got good mates in all the categories.
Never thought this much about it before really trying to explain it or that, just take it for granted and don't think about it normally tbh!