This blog was started with one single reason: to be a platform for the uninhibited rants of a football fan. Having followed the sport for a long time, it is important that we understand the place this sport now holds in our life. Given that it’s almost ritualistic to sit down on weekends (with friends or alone) and passionately cheer on the team you support, or be awake till the odd hours of the morning to watch mid-week matches, it is crucial that we recognise the various aspects of it.
The riveting sport is an unusual explanation for multiple things that surround us. Whether it be ‘Old Firm’ rivalry between Rangers and Celtic which is deeply embedded in the religious rivalry between the Protestants and Catholics, or the fact that it indeed is called ‘Old Firm’ because the two clubs largely behave like organisations of a bygone era where profit was actively derived out of pandering to religious beliefs. The tremendous fanfare associated with FC Barcelona has its roots in Catalan nationalism. When Real Madrid became the symbol of the General Franco era in Spain, the Catalans used Barcelona to be the club to vociferously propagate their idea of nationalism and seek independence from his dictatorial rule. When the world’s cameras are focusing on their silky play, the stands silently display the symbol of the fight – the Catalan flag.
Both these scenarios are just different facets of the beautiful game. The kind of human emotions attached and the cultures built around clubs are a sight to behold. It is with this love for the game and having been largely been inspired by the works of acclaimed football writers like Phil Ball, Simon Kuper, Franklin Foer and Gary Imlach among others, this blog was started. ‘The Tinker Man’ is the quintessential term for the constant changes in the sport, but also for the unique way it has stayed true to its roots.