Football Hipsters: The Definitive Guide
Football hipsters have recently and rather ironically become ‘a thing’, most likely due to the growth of social media and blogs, and thus a platform upon which they can share their supreme knowledge of unknowns.
These are the type of people that dream of becoming hippy-esque sports journalists, who long to be flown out to Belarus for 18 months to not only find the up and coming talents, but also to find themselves. Some may want to open a café somewhere in Hungary, where they can reminisce with customers about the golden team - or the ‘Magical Magyers’ as they are less-commonly known - over an expertly blended cup of organic, fair-trade coffee. Perhaps they’d even have a framed picture of the manager Gusztáv Sebes on the wall (they would).
Now, football hipsters aren’t all the same. In fact, there are a few different types and they all approach being alternative football fans in different ways. I’ve opted to split them into five categories, and I know they’ll hate me for that. Good.
These are the cruelest members of the football hipster community, and yet also the best at adapting to the ever-changing climate of what’s cool in the football world. You will know them as those fans that effectively support more than one team, but really are just having a casual flirtation with one. They typically label themselves as ‘Fan of Team X. Team Y aficionado’, thus cleverly leaving the door open to a shift in enthusiasm regarding Team Y. They are set up in such a way that they are able to go from supporting one promising and cool side to another at the drop of a trilby hat.
A prime example would be the Borussia Dortmund fad. Klopp’s band of talented, well-groomed players were a chameleon’s wet dream a couple of years ago, but ever since they’ve done well on the European stage and thus become appealing to a mainstream audience, they have been ruthlessly cut loose and when (not if) Marco Reus leaves the club, there will be none left who don the black and yellow flag. These chameleons have either already changed or will change their colours soon, freeing them to find a new exotic spirit to fill their vintage hipflask (ahem) with.
These can essentially be any football hipster operating on Twitter who insist upon giving you a running commentary of almost every single game that their adopted team plays with clear, concise language and a truly immaculate use of accents. They do this regardless of whether you want to read it or not because... Well, just because.
These football hipsters are usually young ‘aspiring football journalists’ who often develop a fanboy/girl-esque relationship with one or two players and tend to cover them more than any other player, telling you how very special they are and how they should be at a top club, but secretly don’t want them to be all too successful at all because that would mean surrendering them to the deathly grasps of the mainstream.
As the name suggests, this type of football hipster is obsessed with tactics, formations and names for positions that nobody knows how to pronounce. One has to admire their dedication to studying and understanding the art of football’s wide range of styles and shapes via what I assume is playing too much Football Manager.
A Tactician will draw triangles on a football pitch to show you a ‘pivoté’ has so many options available to him at any one time, wowing you with their mastery of footballing trigonometry. Amazingly, they generally appear to have a better mastery of the game’s tactics than the world’s best managers, which begs the question: “Why are they wasting their time on social media sites such as Twitter when they could be earning millions per year as a professional football manager?”. Maybe success and money just doesn’t motivate them, but the golden star of a ‘favourite’ does.
Hoarders are the football hipsters who are obsessed with finding everything cool and different in the football world and researching it to a socially adequate level (AKA they can have a conversation about said subject). Whether it’s teams, players, pictures, videos or obscure stories, they’ll have it covered.
They float in a similar way to Chameleons, but never tie themselves down like their colour-changing friends do. Hoarders are constantly trying new things and recycling older things on a not so regular basis. They are the type of person to use the same knife for all condiments in one sitting.
A hoarder’s personality tends to be more humorous with a sarcastic tang that clings to the back of your throat, which is probably a result of being more cultured and having a greater understanding of what makes football fans tick. In this way, they tend to be less insular (unlike the stereotypical real-life hoarder) and basically have more mates than other football hipsters despite occasionally getting on one’s tits when trying too hard to be cool.
These guys do not give a single fuck what anyone thinks of them. They are the purest form of football hipster and usually follow a relatively unknown football team religiously.
Extremists are like the method actors of the football hipster community. They are wholly immersed in a tragically artistic way of following football. From behind the lenses of their thick-rimmed glasses, whilst smoking a blueberry tobacco roll-up, they scour both the internet and real-life books in an attempt to fill themselves to the brim with obscure football knowledge surrounding their chosen team (usually a 2nd division Ukrainian side or something of that ilk). If that team resides in another country to their own (which it undoubtedly will) they will probably attempt to learn the native tongue, if they haven’t already mastered it.
These are the rarest of football hipsters as they are not as inclined to expose themselves to social networking sites. Extremists trust likeminded people to find their blog without assistance and it works because likeminded people must find such blogs to satisfy their need like junkies searching bins for anything of worth that can be sold. It may sound rather intense and ultimately pretty weird, but we just don’t understand.
Follow Billy on Twitter, @EducatedGooner