World Cup 2014 – A hipster guide

by Charles Pulling

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 21.06.08For most football fans the World Cup is the pinnacle of the footballing calendar. However, due to the mainstream nature of the competition, for the small enclave that consider themselves ‘Football Hipsters’ the six weeks can be a tricky time.

Being a something of a self-professed ‘Hipster’ who has written on the subject previously I feel it somewhat my duty to fill my canteen, pack my map and take on the role of guide to help any prospective football hipsters through the Copa Mundial minefield.

1. Choosing your team

Lesson number one – repeat after me “Belgium aren’t Hipster”. Any ideas you may have had about the ‘Red Duivels’ being the team to nail your credentials to are totally misguided. A pre-qualification Belgium were the king of international football hipsterdom, but as the saying goes: ‘you’re only king for a day’.

So how does a discerning hipster go about choosing a World Cup team? It’s a subtle ballet – one must factor rarity (obviously) playing style, formation, coach and history. My advice, consider Chile – swashbuckling side who sometimes utilise a three-man defence (+1,000 Hipster-points), Croatia – the checkerboard kit and reference to the classic 1998 side are a priceless asset, or perhaps Bosnia andHerzegovina – World Cup debutants and a nine syllable name, superb stuff.

2. Viewing the World Cup

How or where to view the World Cup is a tricky stumbling block for any self-respecting hipster. In all likelihood, there isn’t a Brazilian cafezinho establishment in your area, or a bar that serves enough craft beer and stuffed vine leafs to be considered a hipster hangout. You could emigrate to Shoreditch for the duration of the tournament, but you’ve probably spend all your cash in Urban Outfitter’s summer sale, so there’s only one option left – your own living room.

And that throws up its own set of problems. Gone are the days where a World Cup was transmitted in analogue – the blurry images and Barry Davies’ fuzzy vowels reminding you of the far-flung locations the action was taking place in. The Digital fascists have enforced on you Mark Lawrenson’s smug face in High Definition 3-D. This is no way for a hipster to enjoy the world’s premiere footballing competition. You have two options open to you - attempt a South American stream on a site such as (REDACTED – BPF LAWYER) or, as I suggest, re-create that warm analog nostalgia with a simple DIY solution involving some baking parchment, the instructions to which I have included in a diagram below.

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 21.21.13 3. Punditry

There’s not much getting around it – the World Cup is where sensible, informed punditry goes to die. You must accept this, the logical reaction to seeing Andy Townsend and Alan Shearer sit in sun-kissed studios over looking Copacabana blurting out un-informed nonsense and mis-pronouncing names is one of rage. But you know the truth, you’ve read SwissRamble’s piece on World Cup TV finance – they are a necessary tool to draw in the equally mis-informed masses.

In pursuit of footballing purity you will take to Twitter and nod in agreement to the sage wisdom of Cox, Delaney and Ken Early – your solace is to be found in talk of false-9s and midfield pivots.

4. Sponsor avoidance 

One of the major bug-bears of those who worship at the altar of Jonathan Wilson and Catenaccio is the seemingly unstoppable commercialisation of Coup de Monde. The only course of action for you, the bastion of all that is whole and true in football, is to boycott the official FIFA World Cup™ sponsors – Coca-Cola, Hyundai, Emirates, Sony, Visa, Budweiser, Castrol, McDonalds and Adidas – unless, of course, you’re sporting a pair of original 1983 Sambas that compliment your CSKA Moscow shirt during 5-a-aside.

Those dastardly ad-breaks may prove troublesome to avoid, the masses may be willing to sit through Argos or Pringles adverts trying to cynically shill you their wares on the basis of some tenuous link to the tournament, but you are not are not one of ‘them’. Protect your thick-rimmed glasses getting steamed up by having this video cued-up and ready to go.

5. Lingo

I’m sorry did you just utter the word “Samba”?? Allow me to escort you to the door, no point in protesting, the ‘Regista Appreciation Society’ is not for you, thats it, on your way, don’t forget your tweed jacket and 1991 copy of World Soccer Magazine

You don’t want this do you? You’ve read ‘Inverting the Pyramid’ cover-to-cover twice, taken delivery of your 1994 Romania away shirt and the ink has just dried on your custom-made wall chart – all for it to be ruined with such a Freudian slip as to refer to A Seleção as ‘Brazil’. All nations must be referred to in their native tongue – it’s not ‘Ivory Coast V Japan’, it is ‘Équipe de Côte d’Ivoire de football versus Zakkerōni Japan’. Also – there will be no talk of ‘Golden Generations’, you know Belgium’s actually occurred in 1986; and penalties are NOT a “lottery”.

Now off with you, there are still copies of World Soccer unread, 1994 Romanian midfielders to eulogise and pronunciations to correct. May the force be with you fellow hipster. Oh, and one more thing – Belgium are not hipster!

Author Info

Charles Pulling

Charles Pulling

Completist + Flâneur. Co-Editor of @bpfootball. Content for: @inbedwimaradona @sabotagetimes + Others. Featured on http://WorldSoccer.com

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