Critique & critic

Column of an angry journalism student

Fan de foot


I hesitated for a long time, fingers on hold. I breathed, then sacrificed in 600 words my last hope to get a decent grade. I had tried to meet the requirements of a teacher whose diligence to choose his topics was close to the unemployed persons answering to job centres proposals. I give you the treasure; the African Cup of Nation (CAN). The man (don’t doubt about it) thought it would be fun to inflict us a pensum of which the concept germinated, I can guess, by observing the surrounding joy manifestations. A brilliant idea if we live in Morocco, or either country of the interested continent. For the others, the task proved to be not so easy, as I ended up to notice after three fruitless London evenings passed chasing buffs.

Zealous, I first called many establishments with appealing criterions for the average supporter; from carpeted urinals to bartender called Mob, everything was. I let ring twelve times in six institutions. I learned that screen assiduity does not rime with phone diligence. Nowadays, the use of technology unfortunately offers a certain selectivity. Sad attempt that should have enlighten me about the rest of my adventure.

I put all the chances on my side and involved an African partner whose passion for football had only one equal; the passion of his stomach for beer. I was positive, we would find. The first sports bar of my list “The Pig and Whistle”, by its name first gave me hope. Turning our noses up at vomit marks next to the sign, a common sight in London after all, we got in as one man. I found here the sport spirit I was looking for. Four paunchy fans slipped on their red football jersey to valiantly support their team. The colour alerted my companion, a brief glance at the screen confirmed his thought; the Englishmen were following the Premier League, the British cup of soccer. I pass on beers I had to buy for my associate, I would look ingrate.

My second attempt targeted a sports pub, in an area maybe more concerned. The Bull of Sheperd Bush presented the comfort of toilets unwashed for a year, as well as free peanuts. I didn’t venture myself to try either of it. TV screens were broadcasting random programs. Founding regrettable the absence of hooligans who could have add some spice to my article, I asked the waiter to change the channel. I was counting on filming, out of desperation, the enthusiasm lifted by the CAN. The torturer could himself notice the interest given to his topic in Britain. After researches, it appeared that the cup was broadcasted on none of the proposed channels.

My third and last attempt was Friday. I imagined that the end of the week would engage fans to stretch voice and legs at the nearest bar. I was right. The crowd was there. Angelical looking, I addressed some words to the manager. I asked him if I could film the joyful effervescence, and maybe collect some gems of the current owner. The smile disappeared from his face as fast as the content of pints around me. At the categorical refusal he opposed, I suspect him to be a former from the IRA on the lame.

My researches ended in. I hope that reading these lines my professor will be, if not magnanimous, at least admiring my bravery. He made me look for what every young lady well thought out would avoid, there is no sports fan club renowned for its gallantry or delicacy.


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This entry was posted on January 7, 2014 by in Articles in English and tagged , , , , .
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