Diagnosing Football Addiction

With football available on television for 12 months of the year, it comes as little surprise that some football fans are taking things too far and developing a destructive dependence on the sport. Football addiction can lead to a number of problematic behavioural symptoms common to all addictions, including relationship neglect – forgetting spouse/partner/children’s names,failure in the workplace – forgetting that you have a job, and withdrawal symptoms – feeling ill or empty inside in the absence of televised football matches.

While football addiction is yet to be acknowledged, never mind taken seriously by the psychiatric establishment, those at the forefront of sports psychology have not failed to notice the rapid increase in pathological dependence on televised footballbrought about by the information age.
The following diagnostic scale was developed to assist you in determining whether you, your friends, or a member of your family has become addicted to football:

Football Addiction Questionnaire

Please provide a yes or no answer to the following questions and score yourself appropriately:

1. Do you support more than one football club, including a local Premier League club, a ‘Big Four’ Premier League club, and a Football Championship club:

Yes
No

2. If your house was burning down, which would you think of rescuing first:

Your official Blackburn Rovers away kit with genuine sponsors logo
Your Premier League wall chart, dated 1993
The photograph of you standing two metres to the right of Alan Shearer in an on-field press interview
Your grandmother

3. Your friend is getting married on the day of the FA Cup final and asks you to be his best man. Do you:

Skip the match and ask a mate to record it and attend the wedding
Attend the wedding and listen to the match using your cell-phone and a discreetly hidden ear-piece
Make an offer to your friend to take care of all wedding arrangements, thereby ensuring the wedding takes place in your local pub 5 minutes before kickoff
Realise that nobody who would ask you to miss the FA Cup final is a real friend, demand that he change that date, and threaten him with terminating your friendship if he refuses

4. You are invited to a football trivia competition at your local pub. Which of the following questions can you answer:

Who won the FA Cup Shield Competition in 1973?
Robbie Fowler’s niece’s boyfriend plays for the youth division of which second division club?
What was the name of the referee of the second FA Cup final, held in 1885?
Who said “There’s no in between – you’re either good or bad. We were in between”

5. You own, or would like to own, one of the following football videos or DVDs:

Beckham’s 100 greatest free kicks
The 100 best penalty saves of all time
The most exciting 0-0 draws of all time
The most technically precise right back tackles of the century

6. You completed this questionnaire without being distracted by a replay of the 2003 J-League relegation play-off between Shonan Bellmare and Sagan Tosu:

Yes
No

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