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Unlike other sports which use the hands such as Rugby, Basketball or Netball, Football is the most popular sport in the world, and yes, it is a game played using your foot and a ball. American Football is a camp game invented by Americans who did not want to play rugby without body armour.
The 2006 FIFA World Cup Final was watched by 715 million people while "M*A*S*H series finale: 'Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen'" tops the charts for the Americans with 50.15 million fat-assed slobs tuning in. And that is in America.
American football is played by Americans and Australians where they compete to win the "World Championship". The American Football World Championship is open exclusively to Americans and as such other nations are barred from entering, giving them an almost perfect record over the last 50 years. To protest against this the Australians have created Australian rules football, but no one cares because they are Australian.
edit The game
The sport has been played for as long as men have had feet and things to kick with them. In 1920 a huge step forward was achieved when they dropped the decapitated head, and replaced it with a leather "football" (although some players complained that the football was more difficult to control than a head, due to its lack of projecting nose, ears and chin). This combined with the freedom of movement given to the players by the relaxation of minimum length for shorts in the 1950s created the more modern dynamic game we know today.
The game is played between two teams with 11 players, and you score a goal by putting the ball between two goalposts. Each team has a manager whose job it is to take the blame when the team loses.
The modern professional game is (of course) completely dominated by the teams with the most money, and the team which wins is usually the one who spent the most. That, with the obvious exception of Chelsea who, let's face it are just plain shit and no amount of money will ever save them up until 2012 where all 800 million pounds of Abramovich's money has finally won him a champions league trophy.
Until the 1960s the teams managed to keep all the cash they made for themselves, but then Jimmy Greaves kicked off, and now Lionel Messi gets paid more than the Belgian gross national product.
edit Football Positions
Unlike Rugby Football, and other similar games you can talk about positions in football without the players ending up bending over each other in something which would be more appropriate in a homosexual version of the Kama-Sutra.
- Goalkeeper: A player who has the right to handle the ball inside his box. While that sounds fun, all goalies ever do is stand around waiting for an opportunity to make something they do look more difficult than it is so they don't get bollocked too much later when they let one in. Some goalkeepers are able to keep playing until their forties because it does not matter if you are old, unfit and fat. If some of them do stay fit they release yoga CDs or sex tapes.
- Centre Back/Centre Half: A player who serves as the main excuse for the goalie whenever he concedes a goal. He is usually too old and knackered to play up front any more, but can kick you like a donkey who is smoking Crack.
- Full Back/Wing Back: A player who wanted to be a winger, but did not have the talent, and so spent the rest of his career trying to get forward and support the attack, but ended up being one of the muppets who actually had to do some running around.
- Sweeper: A favourite on the continent in the 1970s and 1980s. The position became almost obsolete in the 1990s as people suddenly realised that a bloke with a brush was really pointless.
- Defensive Midfield: A player who does exactly what the Centre Backs do, except for the fact that he does it a bit further away from goal. He attempts the occasional fruitless challenge, which is tackling without holding fruit salad in your hand. A current trend that started in Switzerland is to tie two or three Defensive Midfielders together as they are just shorter Centre Backs. In England this position is usually played by rabid dogs or, more dangerously, Joey Barton.
- Centre Midfield: A player who will do a lot of running over a match but will not really know where he's going or what he's doing. He is usually under the false illusion that he should take most set-pieces due to the words of the footballing Gods and they often have the flashiest boots on.
- Attacking Midfield: A player who gets the ball somehow and delivers it to the striker. Will normally attempt the same 'skill' over and over after a fluke success in a game several years ago. Can also be seen blasting free kicks and long shots into/over the stand from any distance under 40 yards.
- Alluring Fauntleroy: A player who wears a teasingly small miniskirt and attempts to distract the opposition by craftily flashing them the lower part of his buttocks. This occasionally backfires when his own team is accidentally distracted, or when playing against those who ascribe to the frowned upon doctrine of heterosexuals.
- Winger: A defender with brains (Richard Dawkins claims this is an oxymoron) who is officially a midfielder and so evades defending duties. They are generally the fastest players on the pitch so they can evade other irate defenders abusing them for not stopping goals.
- Striker: A lazy git who waits for some sucker to pass him the ball so he can comfortably lift his foot up, score a goal and earn fame and glory. Some strikers play behind the main one, but they're just AMs hoping to kick the lazy bastard's ass for stealing their booty. Strikers also have an unfortunate tendency to fall to ground after receiving any sort of contact, real or imagined.
- False 9: Recently striker discovered the ability to run, and so the False 9 was born. A false 9 looks like a striker, but then cunningly runs away from centre-backs. At the end, he stands in the centre circle and peels off his 9 to reveal a mystery number behind. Whoever guesses this in the crowd only has to pay £61 to watch the next match.
- Striker Breaker: A defensive player (usually with a criminal record and no hair).
- Striker Baker: A player who attempts to score by off-putting the opposing goalie by throwing baked goods at them baked earlier that day (rule 18) and then shooting. Also known as the cook. Useful for getting people baked at nightclubs after FA Cup finals.
- Trequartista: Usually the most homosexual, and highly paid player on the team. He is the lazy arsehole who stands wherever he can be bothered yelling at his teammates to pass him the ball the entire game.
- Target Man: A big, ugly, dirty striker, who's main goal in a match is to connect with an elbow to the face of the Centre Half. Good in the air but erratic in shot accuracy, they're often found plying their trade for a lower mid-table side who play awful football. Usually has the tendency for Crack mid-week.
- Regista: An Italian stats bore who sits deep, registering fascinating facts such as 'Shots on Target', 'Possession', and 'Parting Accuracy' (e.g. Bobby Charlton).
- Fantasista: Another Italian, but this one whirls about in the centre of the pitch, convinced that they look kinda cool, but actually doing sod all.
- Subs: In Football the players all actually have to play the game while the game is being played. 2 or 3 subs are allowed, and have nothing to do with sandwiches.
- Waterboy: Footballers don't need "A boy" around to drink as they all generally know how to use taps, with the exception of Wayne Rooney.
- Ref: All referees are racist and are referred to as "The Bastard in the Black" by the crowd. To stop them finding out and getting upset they are tested to ensure blindness and deafness before each match.
edit How to look like a footballer
If you're an overweight fan that's tired of not getting enough tail at the mall or while walking to your job as a shelf down by the docks you might consider imitating a professional footballer. Therefore it is essential that you know how to look like one, even if you are a novice. Be advised though, there's a fine line between looking like a real footballer and a twat. The image to the left differentiates real footballers from fake ones. The more sponsored products you own and the more ads you feature in, the more you appear like a real footballer
You should consider getting a tattoo of the manager on your forehead as all professionals have these. These tattoos are invisible to Sky Sports cameras so you probably haven't seen them during games. It is impossible to obtain real kits because professionals are bodypainted before they play a match. Make sure you carry a portable music player with you at all times. Other electronic equipment are also recommended. Real footballers are actually keen on technology, but are unsure which ones they need, so they carry all of them. Also, a large diamond earring is mandatory.
edit Women & Football
It's a known fact that 95% of women don't actually like football, and the others are faking it. They feign interest in order to get male attention but soon go off it when they realise it involves freezing your arse off on a cold night being leered at, jostled, half deafened by some chav shouting "TWAT" at 130 decibels and having a shower of pastie and cold tea/piss spat down your neck whenever someone makes a move within the general direction of the goal.
The more fanatical you are about a team, the more likely you are to get dumped by your girlfriend. Ditto for the amount of hours of football you actually inflict on the family from Sky Sports. Talking football will drive them absolutely insane. They will make silly little squeaky attempts at sounding clued up like explaining in crystal clear text book clarity - the offside rule that even professional players know nothing about. This is just a ruse. They know nothing. Pretend to sound interested and fob them off with a Ferrero Rocher or ten and tap them gently on the head.