Over the past few weeks I’ve attempted to explore the rights and wrongs of crimes against football fandom and the people who pass judgement on those who sin. To be completely honest though, my real opinion, all joking aside, is I think each case should be considered on its merits. Minor indiscretions like half scarves are fine but at the same time we can’t willy nilly allow heinous societal degradations, such as those blow-up netball clappers, to creep into the beautiful game or civilization as we know it would surely implode into a fiery abyss.
It’s just a question of where to draw the line.
So this week I thought it might be useful to look at an issue that, for me, sits squarely in the DMZ between A. ‘There are children living in poverty, I’m not wasting any fucks on trivial rubbish like this’; and B. ‘Go directly to The Hague. Do not pass GO, do not collect $200’.
Is changing teams an A or a B?
It’s an A right? Ok then, what about changing teams to your previous team’s fiercest and most hated mortal enemy? That’s a hard B surely. Is it really though? Are you sure? Because, the thing is, I’m asking for a friend… A friend who, for the sake of anonymity, we shall call ‘Renzo’.
You see, Renzo was young and stupid once, and like all young and stupid people Renzo made mistakes. Some people in their teens abuse alcohol, some abuse drugs, some drive their cars too fast and others vote for the Green Party. Renzo, however, in his youthful naivety, decided to become a Lazio fan… What the fuck Renzo you muppet…
Renzo’s big mistake was not doing his research properly. He saw there was a team called Roma and a team called Lazio. He knew that his family was from a village in the Lazio region but not in the city of Rome itself, so he thought “aha! Lazio must be my team!!” Rookie mistake Renzo.
Then Renzo realised his politics were left. And Lazio… are very very very not the club for lefties…
So Renzo was faced with a dilemma. Should he betray his chosen team and give up his eagle adorned cap and espresso cup, or should he keep siding with the Nazis? I know right – rock, meet hard place. Ultimately he decided that one was easier to explain to his grandkids than the other – which may or may not eventually hold true but time will tell.
Is Renzo a bad person? You be the judge.
For my two cents, I think we should all go a little bit easy on Renzo. He’s in a much better place now, supporting a much more classy outfit that wins marginally more often, with fans that stab marginally fewer people and don’t idolise a brutal dictator who was responsible for 200,000 Italian deaths alone. Renzo’s happiness and moral purity should come before the laws of football fandom. We shouldn’t punish people for seeing the light, on the contrary we should encourage such commendable ethical standards and fortitude.
At least, I’m pretty sure that’s what we should do…
Just don’t pull that shit again Renzo.