Johnny & Al's Football Hipsters On TV

Are you a football hipster? Do you have a Borussia Dortmund shirt? So you opt for Anderlecht v Trabzonspor on Europa League nights? Do you fawn over AC Jimbo?

Last Updated: 18/04/13 at 15:52 Post Comment

Latest Articles

F365's 2014/15 Season Quiz - Questions

Post comment

With the new season just around the corner, how much do you remember about last season's Premier League. Oh, well then you're going to do badly...

All Articles

A term we've seen used quite often in recent times, albeit exclusively online, is 'football hipster'.

Like the parent term, 'hipster', it's one of those phrases that seems at once approving and sneering. After all, surely liking independent, quirky, artisanal, quality products is a good thing - buying local, spending your dollar on creative, small enterprises rather than sucking on the corporate megadong ought to be encouraged.

Then again, watching young men with plaid shirts and difficult haircuts queuing for 45 minutes to buy a ten quid hamburger can certainly grind the gears. Especially if you want a hamburger in a hurry.

As with hipsterism in general, we find ourselves in two minds, or actually because this is a joint column, four minds. What is a football hipster, and should we celebrate him, laugh at him, or attempt to steal his hamburger?

At root, football hipsterism describes the non-mainstream football lovers amongst our brethren - those who reject the idea that the Premier League is The Best League In The World, perhaps preferring instead Belgium's Jupiler Pro or the French Ligue.

The etymology of the term is a bit vague so we thought we'd help you and ourselves reach a conclusion as to hipster status (or otherwise) by virtue of what football media you consume.

We think the football hipster's media dude of choice is James Richardson, a fellow of whom we have written approvingly on many occasions. He knows about stuff that isn't mainstream. He comes from a cultural hinterland which your typical 'get right up their arses' terrace beer monster wouldn't understand. This is important to your hipsters because not being like the common folk is an important element of the calling. The nearest a football hipster wants to get to the grunt labour is when attending an exhibition of Italian Poor Art, as favoured by Fabio Capello.

So AC Jimbo (a football hipster nickname if there ever was one) stands atop the hipster media tree, especially as he does most of his work on the Guardian's podcast. Podcasts are a hipster's wet dream. While others go to work listening to Radio 1, you can hear people talking about Schalke's defensive weaknesses or which national side plays 3-2-5. And what's wrong with feeling good about yourself for being clever or, at least, informed?

TV is tricky for the hipster though. BBC1 and ITV1's offerings are such a slurry of milky middle-of-the-road rusk puke that no-one worth their hipster credentials would sully their eyes with them except to exercise their withering vitriol and confirm their own superiority. The hipster will, however, watch ITV4 for the Bundesliga highlights and for the Europa Cup game that no-one else cares about. Anderlecht v Trabzonspor you say? Now that's a game.

The Champions League coverage is a problem. No hipster can watch an English side with total satisfaction, as it's far too obvious, far too four pints of Stella. They're looking for something to tickle their football synapses along with that Polish wheat beer or the rare vintage Hungarian Tokai wine. This is where clubs such as FC Bate come in useful.

We think the football hipsters have some basic media preferences - they like Rebecca Lowe over Ray Stubbs, they worship Gary Neville's analysis and have an Alan Shearer voodoo doll. They love the excellent Zonal Marking. They love blogs that are not widely read and are wilfully obscurantist. They enjoy the new wave of intellectual, not to say esoteric, fanzines like Surreal Football and The Blizzard.

They scour Eurosport for something no-one else will watch, such as Under-21 Women's World Cup or England Under-17s internationals yet are often very uncurious about Conference football, fearing it to be too rootsy, which to the football hipster means 'common' and of the people, neither things which the hipster can identify with.

Football hipsterism isn't the same as football nerding though. It is more culturally aware and more self-aware than the over-focused individual who never leaves the house for fear of having to put down the 1975 Rothmans he is currently committing to memory. The football hipster has an awareness of literature and of the lyrics of Half Man, Half Biscuit. All he wanted for Christmas really was a Dukla Prague away kit.

Like hipsters of other stripes (music, fashion, food, beer, etc) the football hipster rarely sees himself just as a consumer: he is a producer, a contributor to the experience. The internet has obviously opened this up in technological and practical terms (see the vibrancy of online magazines, specialised blogs, Twitter etc) and, like following a small band, your presence and participation do actually count in the way that they don't if you are a fan of Man United/The Rolling Stones. Incidentally, we have referred to, and think of, this creature as being pretty much exclusively male - although would be very happy to stand corrected.

There's no doubt that the term 'football hipster' is used disparagingly or even sneeringly, but that isn't to say it's a bad thing to be. We wonder, though, if in the desire to seek out the path less travelled, one could miss out on the more obvious delights in the mainstream. While there is much to be said for the delicious artisanal morsels of the Argentina Second Division, there's no shame in a full English either...

So what do you reckon? Are you a football hipster? Is obscure football fandom the one true way, or is it merely intellectual snobbery for its own sake?

John Nicholson and Alan Tyers

Read Johnny's book, 'The Meat Fix' here

Alan's football and cricket books are all in one place here

Follow Alan on Twitter here

or Johnny here.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

Y

ou can't blame De Gea for wanting to leave, he has enough to do in front of goal as it is as well as taking on the role of Man Utd's version of Derek Acorah in trying to contact and organise a defence that isn't there.

rodger's gusset
Van Gaal downbeat on De Gea

I

f you want to take six points off Arsenal, then that's a great strike force. Can't imagine either of them showing much for the rest of the season though...

foot in mouth
Adebayor & Berbatov: You Have To Admire The Balls

L

ooks like Real get their man, most likely at their own valuation, yet again. Resistance is futile.

paul7702
Van Gaal downbeat on De Gea

Latest Photos

Footer 365

Digne agent denies Liverpool talks

Lucas Digne's agent has denied reports he has held talks with Liverpool regarding a move to Anfield for the Paris Saint-Germain left-back.

Mourinho scuppered Reds' Costa move

A new biography has revealed how Jose Mourinho scuppered Liverpool's bid to sign Diego Costa - a year before he arrived in west London.

Ramos 'extends' Real Madrid contract

Manchester United's pursuit of Sergio Ramos is over after the centre-back agreed a new contract extension at Real Madrid.

Mail Box

De Gea Disrespectful? Remember RVP...

We got dozens of mails from people pointing and laughing at Brian D for suggesting David de Gea has acted disrespectfully; we printed some. And there's more...

Getting Tired Of De Gea's Disrespect

One Manchester United fan is growing weary of David de Gea's disrespect. Plus thoughts on Southampton's summer, Balotelli loan, and Depay in the centre. Why?

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company