Yomi Kazeem: Don’t hate the player … (30 Days, 30 Voices)

We cannot understand why some guys do not like football (I, personally think they are aliens) and we just cannot understand why anyone will want to watch Africa Magic when a football game is on!

“Football is not just a matter of life and death: it’s much more important than that.”

– Bill Shankly.

After so many years, my mother still doesn’t get it. Why my dad refuses to eat when his favourite soccer team has had a bad day is beyond her and at this rate, my future wife will ask herself (and God) the same question.

The attachment to a team, the loud cheers of joy when a goal is scored, the shrieks of agony when one is conceded, the needless discussions on tactics and team selections as though it will matter in faraway Manchester or Madrid, the joy of celebrating like you won a lottery when a rival loses and singing along to renditions of ‘Stand Up for the Champions’ when your team wins something significant (not ‘Champions League qualification’ like Arsenal) knowing full well that it has no direct impact on your life. These are all symptoms of the madness that men are plagued with.

It’s a widespread disease but I doubt anyone wants it cured (except the ladies of course). Needless to say, most ladies do not understand us and have many questions to ask but just as the ladies have concerns, guys have questions too!

We cannot understand why the ladies cannot understand that for 90 minutes, we prefer to stare at men in shirts running up and down a rectangular pitch while kicking a ball, we cannot understand why some guys do not like football (I, personally think they are aliens) and we just cannot understand why anyone will want to watch Africa Magic when a football game is on!

For me, football is a huge part of my heritage. My late grandfather (a Stationery Stores fan) once threw his first son (a NEPA fan) out of the house for a night because he wouldn’t stop celebrating after NEPA beat Stores in a Division One fixture. Football was there for me to love just as I suspect it was for many other men. We grew up watching our fathers and uncles watch the Super Eagles while arguing if Stephen Keshi was a better defender than Taribo West. We grew up watching older boys kick balls around in the neighborhood while laughing at us because our mothers wouldn’t let us join. We grew up learning that 4-4-2 was way more fun than 1+1 and as we grew older it has become a big part of our lives-to the displeasure of the ladies.

Do not get me wrong ladies. We love you, we really do but unless it’s a natural disaster, a family emergency or a big personal problem, football will almost always come first during the course of the 90 minutes that it is on TV. No disrespect ladies, it does not mean you don’t matter or that football matters more, we just love football. We know you cannot explain – neither can we.

Sometimes, I feel for my girlfriend; she pretends to understand but I suspect that deep down she’ll never work out why Manchester United v Manchester City will be more important than she is for all of 90 minutes. Just as I feel for her, I ask myself if I’ll stop and the answer comes to me: NEVER. Not because I don’t want to but because I don’t know how to.

Luckily for my father, my mother has come to terms with his passion for the game. Rather than complain, she just prays his favourite team wins as that means one less plate of food to waste. If I’m lucky, my future wife will pray my favourite team wins too. If I’m unlucky, she’ll get angry and complain every time I want to watch football. If she ever asks the big question: Why? My answer will be simple: Don’t hate the player, hate the game.

I am @TheYomiKazeem


About the author: Yomi is, amongst other things, a soccer pundit on radio. As far as he is concerned only two teams exist in football – Manchester United and the others.


Editor’s note: Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

Comments (8)

  1. Nice piece Yomi. I also wish I could explain to the ladies why we love football so much, but the spirit behind this game is beyond human comprehension. A piece of advice for the ladies- anytime your man is watching a MAN U v MAN CITY match or a CHELSEA v MAN U match, just lock yourself up in a room and pray that his favorite team wins. "DON'T HATE THE GAME

  2. Well tot up piece..we'll always have an attachment 2 the game and love its passion..luv d game so much ma project was on FOOTBALL…gals around me already noe d drill ARSENAL and oda tins follow

  3. Mehn, nice piece, there's originality in it…message well conveyed, but sentiments and a breach of the love for soccer was explicit atleast to some sect…most arsenal fans are die-hard, seriously I don't understand why too 'cause there has been no success in the recent years, no offence, I'm justified…and of course there are 2 clubs…Barcelona and others…

    Sure you remember football flows in my veins too, you remember how we did it in estes park??…I think I'm good…and you too (but as a defender)…lol

  4. Lol dis article is hilarious but true! I won't ignore my bf for E or fashion tv! Buh boys are always fixed on d screen!! Stand infront of a boy watching football/ infront of d tv ur sooo dead!! He'll transform into d hulk! Nice write up! Buh yomi quit dissing arsenal!! Really!

  5. Lovely piece….truly most ladies just do not n may neva understand,we not trying to let football take their place, naa,we just giving it its own special place,top priority n to spite us attimes,ur girl chooses to support a rival team….arrgh…..love dat Gooners line,we still counting d yrs of drought,not ending soon….#TeamUnited

  6. Make all em girls, ladies read this and take heed we all Love you but sumtimes yu gat to lay back. Yomi this piece is so on point big ups bruv.

  7. And Yomi had to spoil this piece with an unneccessary, below the belt jab at Arsenal. Which reinforces my conviction that Manchester Utd fans are closet Gooners; no matter what they do, Arsenal is always in their thoughts! I was in the same class with 'Biola so I'm not that suprised. Anyhoo,the way we men can't understand feminine obsession with shoes (my girlfriend has almost 50 current pairs), they too can't understand how important footie is. We know it annoys you,but please bear with us. Love is long suffering…

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.

cool good eh love2 cute confused notgood numb disgusting fail