Are We In Danger Of Simply Forgetting How To Enjoy The Game Of Football?

The Toon Army
The Toon Army
From Twitter feeds, Wikipedia pages, up to the minute news feeds, football blogs, newspapers, to the word of the guy standing on the corner of the street, it seems that is not hard to keep up to date with all things Newcastle United.

As football fans, our appetite for information regarding our team is a craving that is very hard to sate. Like junkies, we all log onto our internet devices and look for the latest news headline or player signing. And while offline as we go about our day to day lives, a small feeling of desperation slowly grows within us as our internet devices sit idly by.

“What if I miss some breaking news?”

This preoccupation we seem to have with information regarding our club is something that has led me to write this article.

After reading a few posts over the past weeks, in which some posters have stated that our current plight is the worst they can long remember, I started thinking that surely that can’t be right? We have had tough times in the past so what has changed over the years to make someone who is a passionate supporter, suddenly lose all faith and wonder why they bother.



This quandary sat with me for a few days (as you know I am a slow thinker) and eventually I believe that I may have an answer to the problem.

It has to be Information Overload!

It seems that we have become so preoccupied with everything that is happening off the park that it has begun to pollute the thing that is most important of all, the game of football. What has happened to the days of simply turning up to a game, watching the lads play and then dissecting the result with your mates over a couple of beers?

Now days, we know players wages, club debt, buy out clauses, player transfers, players girlfriends, who is happy, who isn’t, who is fit, who is injured, players religious beliefs, how much money we will spend on players, how much we won’t spend, what players are worth, who says the right things, who says the wrong things etc. etc. Take Hatem Ben Arfa for example. A few months back it was reported that he was seen in a gym wearing another team’s shirt. Now this certainly caused a stir on the internet and many fans reacted angrily to this news.

This story turned out to be false but it does make you wonder that as fans should we be worrying about this type of thing. Do we need to know this information, in what way does it help us as a supporter. Twenty years ago, I knew nothing of this type of thing and I relied on the games being shown on TV and imported footballing newspapers for information. Was it enough to satisfy my need as a supporter, probably not but I took the games for what they were and simply loved watching them. I had no preconceived ideas about our players and owners motivations, when watching the game; it was eleven vs. eleven and nothing more than that.

Have we all become our own worst enemies with all the information that we consume regarding our team. A certain amount of ignorance would certainly be bliss and lower the frustration levels. I am not for one moment say that there are not valid issues off the park with our owners and the direction of the club. They are important and need to be discussed but I really believe that we would all enjoy our football a little more if we limited the use of internet devices for football matters.

This is easier said than done and I really do count myself as one of the fans that spends too much time on line looking for news updates on our players and club. We know that most of what we read is bullsh*t but we read it anyway, maybe there is no hope for us after all…

This article may seem a little hypocritical as I am writing this for a football blog which exists on the very platform that I have been deriding. What I am talking about is balance, learning to filter the noise and rubbish that we are being served up and not letting the small stuff cloud our love for the game.

I think the following statement should be used as a reminder to us all for when the off field noise exceeds that on the field of play.

“What is a club in any case?
Not the buildings or the directors or the people who are paid to represent it.
It’s not the television contracts, get-out clauses, marketing departments or executive boxes.
It’s the noise, the passion, the feeling of belonging, the pride in your city.
It’s a small boy clambering up stadium steps for the very first time, gripping his father’s hand, gawping at that hallowed stretch of turf beneath him and, without being able to do a thing about it, falling in love.”

-Sir Bobby Robson

What are your thoughts? I am with Sir Bobby on this one and I am going to try and limit the amount of nonsense that is polluting my enjoyment of football and Newcastle United.

Aussie Magpie Fan

About toonsy

A lifelong Newcastle fan and current webmaster of this very 'blog who has the sole aim of creating a place by Newcastle United fans, for Newcastle United fans.

57 thoughts on “Are We In Danger Of Simply Forgetting How To Enjoy The Game Of Football?

  1. oh got a new guy writing threads,more the better i say 😀 i enjoy most things in footy just a pity jabba has my club 🙁

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  2. I’m not sure it’s information overload as much as “crap” overload. Won’t go on about it here as I think most fans know by now that “the media” invent stories. And the clues to “invention” are – no direct quotes from anyone implicated in the story, other than “a source close to the club/player” etc etc
    As for our current plight being “the worst I can remember” – well that depends how long you’ve been alive! I started supporting the mighty United in 1962 – and boy! have I seen some sh*te served up by the club and frankly – our current state is superb compared to some of the stuff I’ve witnessed over the years!
    Ho-hum!

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  3. Threw me there MarkT with Toonsy’s name at the top, I knew it was Aussie though when I got to the “slow thinker” bit 😆

    A good read Aussie, mass hysteria’s the words for it I think, put a bad(usually) made up story in the papers and watch the forums/blogs go into orbit.
    The problem with just keeping it simple and try to just enjoy the football is that the football has been gash recently…as ever though I always hope that the next season will be better than the last. KTF :mrgreen:

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  4. Canny article, Oswaldo’s wife. 😉

    Yep. Modern technology eh. Can’t live with it, can’t live without it. It’s all about our growing dependency to know everything at the drop of a hat. The evil tinterweb. 😯 A craving for continual news updates on everything, from what my mate’s having for tea to the price of a coffee in Copenhagen.
    The internet has its pros, and cons. Personally I’d be a gibbering wreck without it, I’ve become so dependent on it.
    Always makes me laugh when I see young kids on the street/bus/train, sat next to each other frantically texting away as if mute. I was on the Metro from Central Station to Shields a couple of weeks ago, and a group of 3 teenagers all sat next to each other. Not ONE of them spoke the whole journey. Too busy on their smart phones. The irony of having instantly accessible information and communication ‘updates’ through social networking sites. It could be argued as ‘antisocial networking’.

    Anyway, this is silly season. It’s always happened in the past, we just used to have to buy one newspaper per day 15 years ago, whereas nowadays, with tinterweb, we all permanently reside in the all-you can-eat-bullshit-buffet! Some people just don’t know when to stop eating though.
    …just one more waffeurr thin mint, sir? 😳 😛

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  5. yeah I asked Toonsy to stick it on dashboard for me. I just had to add tags. Barely spoke to him in months 🙁

    As I said on last thread if anyone fancies doing a bit of writing just give me a shout. I’m pretty much in charge of things for the time being.

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  6. UTD111… I agree, I’m knocking on a bit(obviously not as old as you 😉 ) and I’ve seen worse times, although I don’t think we’ve had an owner who’s created more division amongst the fans, though again the internet contributes towards that imo.

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  7. Rodz… I think Toonsy has one of those actual “real” lives that we keep hearing about, rather than us sad feckers who only have online ones 😉

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  8. Richie was going to write a thread but talked him out of it,i mean who wants to know ten ways to eat pies 😀

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  9. Very interesting article. I have to agree. I found questioning myself at the back end of last season if all this stress I take from following my beloved NUFC is actually worth it. I am still torn between two minds as part of me want to know every news there is to know about the club but the other part is exhausted from all the problems we always seem to have.

    My conclusion…I will try to refrain myself from taking so much information about the club on a daily basis and focus more on the matches every week.

    It’s just that now during the ‘transfer window’ it’s even harder. I am desperate for us to sign a quality striker and I am always checking to see if that will change for the better anytime soon.

    I am hooked and have been for many years but after the heartache of last season I will take every new with a pinch of salt.

    I now have grey hairs when last year I had none!- honest.

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  10. Too many people over-react when they see a negative article. Most people automatically take it as the truth when in fact it’s more media nonsense trying to stir up a storm. Unfortunately too many fall into this trap and we all end up looking like fools.

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  11. JP…I said that the other day, the majority say the media just make up things but then believe it as soon as a bad article about NUFC is printed 🙄

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  12. whey off to watch Brazil v Uruguay and hopefully enjoy the football without all you neggas chipping in 😉 :mrgreen:

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  13. I too have to agree with this. There is a certain American blog that is constantly whining and whingeing (almost bullying), it is almost As they had a sandwich board saying end of the world! Yes I am frustrated by the lack of action but who knows what is going on behind the scenes!?!?
    I also think it is time to lay off of the management as one bad season does not make a bad team, just bad luck.
    I would love to go back to this time last year a write down all of the bloggers names who said pardew was our best manager ever etc and look now over the blogs to see if it is the same people who want his blood!
    This is just my point of view, but trust me management is hard enough without people on your back for no reason.

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  14. When the game is on the passion and enjoyment is still there for me. I also enjoy discussing the club on here with all of the other contributors. I wish the owner had half the ambition of some of the people on here. I think we must keep hoping he reads some of this or has someone reading it who will tell him the truth. We want him to succeed because we want the club to succeed. But he must give an honest effort and than means proper hiring. That is not going to go away because his method has been a failure overall so far.

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  15. “They have never liked Ashley, but had come to accept him as necessary. Some even begrudgingly praised his business acumen, but football clubs will always be about far more than balance sheets and turnovers. That is something their current owner seems unable or unwilling to grasp.” Good final quote from that article icedog. And it says it all really from a supporters point of view mate. 😥

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  16. The comments from French supporters about Gignac make me wonder about our supposed bid for him. Some think he did well with poor wingers, but most would snatch our hands off if the size of the bid is anywhere near accurate.

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  17. G2 ive watched him play about three times only on tv like but did not impress me once,maybe two mill to replace shola but as a main striker no way

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  18. G2 & Ice .Two great quotes on here ,the one from sir Bob and the one at the end of that link that ice put up ,totally agree G2.
    Good read Aussie.
    I wouldn’t say I spend ages trawling the internet looking for stuff but I do try to read this blog most days if possible. Aussie I do agree that it can get in the way of just enjoying the game when you constantly look for reasons for this that and the other. But to be fair if we take our recent obsession with all things Toon ,it is not down to the fans . It was relatively quiet on the Toon front and I and I’m sure many of us was looking forward to nothing more than transfer speculation . Then the hand grenade that is JFK got thrown into the heart of the club and the rest is history. Given our owner never thinks to publicly speak to us or clear up situations in any concise way ,is it any wonder that we all end up putting 2 and 2 together and getting 5 🙄 . Until we have an owner who can communicate and show real passion for the club this will always be a problem. There is more to owning a club than balancing the books ,good though that is. Trouble is Mikey ain’t worked that out yet.

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  19. I think it’s fair to say that Gignac is a bit of a gamble coming in from a different league and the Marseille fans are quick to tell us he’s hardly been shit hot for them – so £12m and probably a substantial wage could well be an expensive risk.
    Personally I’d rather take a less costly risk on a Charlie Austin or Jordan Rhodes who although they are from a lower league, are younger and score bags full of goals in that league. Even at say £8m I’d say it would be a better risk than £12m for Gignac.

    Austin and Bent at £13m or Gignac at £12m – I know which I’d personally prefer.

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  20. Sharpy Got to agree @31 ,Does seem a lot for a guy whos own fans don’t feel that sad to see go. Mind you there are plenty would be happy to see us off load Cisse cause they think he’s crap ,it doesn’t mean he is though. All the same I would prefer we got more for our money if that’s all that’s being spent .

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  21. just like Sharpy wants two for the price of one 😀 but i agree like on this one,if you take Bent oot like

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  22. Kim – my concern is that I don’t see Ashley – a bloke who’s put the club up for sale – setting a side a great amount of money for transfers, so £12m for one CF would take up a large chunk of that pot. With Cisse, when we bought him he had a great scoring record in the German and was bought for around £9m.
    Gignac doesn’t have a terrible record but £12m is alot – £8-9m would be closer to the mark for me.

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  23. Ice – so you still haven’t come round to my way of thinking when it comes to Darren Bent then mate 😆
    Personally I’d want an experienced CF in with the inexperience of a Charlie Austin. But if it was someone like Finnbogason or someone like that instead, I wouldn’t be overly disappointed.

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  24. Sharpy kna mate 2/3mil max as i said before to replace shola ok but as one of the main strikers no way

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  25. Sharpy on bent no mate cannot cut the mustard for me ime afraid,if pardew wants him that says everything about him the bloody guy thinks shola oba,jonas are world beaters or you would think so the times he plays them

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  26. Ice – never gonna get him for as little as that like. For as little as that and if you’re talking a replacement for Shola I’d reckon Franco Di Santo on a free transfer may well be a good option

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  27. Brought a tear to my eye Aussie 😥 . Good article mate, sums my thoughts exactly. Don’t remember any era before Ashley but my dad always has a go at me for telling him “useless football crap” and teases me “what did Shola have for breakfast this morning” but I found out from my Gran that when he was about my age he used to assemble all the newspaper articles on Newcastle for his dad to read when he got back. Same passion, new media source.

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  28. Ice – just Wiki’ed Di Santo to see his stats and we share the same birth date – I’m exactly 10yrs older than the lad – which makes me feel fecking old!.
    His stats suggest his a 1-6 game goal scorer but I think alot of his appearances are from the bench, so actually he’s almost like for like replacement for Shola, but is still only 24 so best years ahead of him and his wages would be half of Sholas I’d think.

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  29. “It’s a small boy clambering up stadium steps for the very first time, gripping his father’s hand, gawping at that hallowed stretch of turf beneath him and, without being able to do a thing about it, falling in love.”
    I still remember the first time I went through the archway after climbing the steps and just taking in all four stands with ‘local hero’ blaring out of the speakers, looking down at the pitch and thinking “I’m going to play on that one day”. It still takes my breath away every time I go through that arch, and still think “yeah I could still play there one day”.

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  30. Scott – aye but Tevez will be on something like 4 times the wages of Gignac though mate.

    Andy – I’d being 10 yrs older than Di Santo didn’t make me feel old, the fact that you only know the Ashley era certainly F’ing does mate :sad:.
    But re your SJP experiences, it’s hearing ‘coming home Newcastle’ and ‘local hero’ that gets the hair on the back of my neck mate.

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  31. well written Toonsy,
    I for 1ce have completely ignored all the huss and puss regarding my club.
    I remember the season before when we got hammered in pre-season and all the people making noise now did the same noise (how in the world can a 3mill/5mill player compete with the likes of 20mill/30mill player) and i was laughing my head off then and am also laughing my head off now… i was worried last season due to not investing to cope with extra game…. but the coming season i will be happy with 2 additions up front and no bad injuries/ player out… end of the day 4 me its the football that needs to do the talking and am with you Toonsy…..
    Media wants to make money and so do every1 in the world but for me no matter what the outcome ( me being rich or poorer… NUFC will be my team and will support them through thick and thin). CA

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  32. Thanks Sharpy17….
    Sorry Aussie… well done and Toonsy good try 😛

    Cant wait for 1st July as am really confident we have a signing lined up already…. just a feeling…

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  33. Max-T-Million
    I have that feeling as well, don’t know why and I haven’t given up hope of PEA coming in.
    Sharpy
    I was around for others, but only remember this era, likely cus I didn’t get interested in watching football till I was 10/11.

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  34. It’s not the pollution, but the willingness to allow it to suffocate common sense that pisses me off. The media loves its incestual relationship with itself – reporting on its own manufactured reality, commenting on the agenda it spawns as if it were the truth or the will of the people (in Oz we’ve just dumped a very good PM because of it). However, people also have to take some responsibility for being influenced by the crap they are fed.

    Fizzin just thinking about it! Fizzin like a Troy.

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  35. AndyMag,
    I have a feeling that we will sign 2 striker but 1 will be fighting for starting 11 and other will be Bent ( which is not a bad business if cheap).
    Then am sure we will see a lot of youth players if they are cheap and potential… but 1 out of the 2 strikers will be a winger/striker … hope they do that & none of the so called purple players leave… we will fight for top5 come end of the year — that is due to few tops clubs changing managers and they need time to built their team and we can take advantage.
    Arsenal, Tottenham,Liverpool & NUFC will have a good season… but Lpool might struggle if they loose their hitman. I have a feeling chelsea might win the PL and Tott/Ars 2nd or 3rd and Manu/Nufc 4/5 and city6.
    only if we add strike force to our ever improving backline…

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  36. Agree with Bris…except possibly about the Oz PM as I know nowt about her 😉

    “suddenly” I find myself agreeing with Angry Ando 😛

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