Questions arise, and only the un-inducted don’t have answers. Why does football play such a central role in the world today? What is it that makes the wealthiest people in the world and the poorest sods alike flock to The Game religiously and cherish it beyond comprehension? What is it that makes football different, to the extent that pundits, writers and idiots alike make a living commenting about The Game, about those who own it, those who run it and those who run it into the ground? What is this phenomenon that is certainly unique and transcends any other human social interaction, reaches into the heights of global politics, threatens to derail lives and – occasionally – delivers joy to literally everyone?
For one, football is the only game in the world that is actively played in 210 countries. It has the same rules everywhere, the same problems everywhere, delivers the same excitement everywhere and everyone is an expert.
Secondly, and because everyone is an expert, everyone feels qualified to talk about it, to scream about it, to smear it, to praise it, to shout about it and to silently withdraw when the supported team has lost.