Apparently there’s a big football related event happening next week. Someone said ‘World Cup’ about three nights ago, and I actually had to ask ‘World Cup in what?’ I had no idea it was happening. You see, I’m not a football fan.

I hate that I’m not a football fan. It’s made life hard for me in a variety of ways. Girlfriends’ dads struggle with what to say to me because I don’t have any ‘So, d’you see the game?’ banter to come at them with. Taxi journeys are a chore too – I have to resort to the age old ‘so what time you knocking off?’ routine that stinks of ‘I have nothing to say to a man that doesn’t have an email address at his work’, and I hate myself for that. My friendships also suffer a great deal. I zone out of conversations and can’t stay in on a Friday night with certain people because Match Of The Day makes me restless.

The reasons behind my difficulty with football are a few-fold, and to do with my youth:

- I was a sickly child, bad at sports and last to be picked for much of my educational career. This was disheartening and made me slightly resent the game for showing up my weakness and lack of physical talents.

- My dad was not a football fan either, so no one took me to games or got me psyched about inter-generational team supporting (I hear that’s a big thing).

- I got bullied by the kids who were good at sports. I look at David Beckham and, despite all his work for charity and footballing prowess, subconsciously think “he might give me a wedgy”.

I don’t hate football though, in fact I love the idea of it: the teamwork, the skill, the camaraderie between fans etc. The problem is, when I see it on TV I may as well be watching static - it leaves me cold and I can’t engage with it in any way. I suppose it’s something you’ve got to get into young, and now it’s too late.

This website features a lot of things about art, electronic music and people who spend a lot of time on Flickr, so I doubt I’m the only one who has this problem. So, I’ve put some thought into it and written a document that I’m going to present to FIFA president Sepp Blatter, which includes a list of improvements to the game that would allow those of us who don’t get it to get it.

Here it is:

Dear Mr Blatter,

How are you? I am fine, thanks for asking. I don’t like football but I’d really like to. Please read my list of things that would help me (and others) like it more.

My improvements include:

Can you believe they already did this in cricket?! They also changed the name of the sport to something that sounds like a pop punk band name from the 90s, but that’s incidental. Yeah, obviously anything is improved by hot girls jumping around, and I know football doesn’t have a problem getting straight males to get into the sport, but what about the gays? You see, there’s more to dancing than leotards and flashing gussets, there’s routines, costumes and bass-heavy sassy music too! Once you’ve got the gay fellas on your side they’ll start getting involved, and slowly but surely they’ll have more and more influence and suddenly footballers will have ditched Ed Hardy/white tux/distressed denim and gawdy Essex mansions for Tom Ford suits and stylish apartments in the meat packing district of New York. Football would become less vulgar, this would trickle down into the lower orders of society (yep, that just got said- sorry) and everyone in the country would start dressing better and smelling nicer, football would be a glamorous, civilized occasion and they’d sell smoothies and hummus facials alongside pies at half time.

Special moves
Mortal Kombat: great game. Streetfighter 2: great game. Tekken: great game. Golden Axe: great game. What have they all got in common? Each character in the game had a unique physical attribute or magic power that allowed them to have an advantage that no one else had, which made for exciting gameplay. Can this not be applied to football in order to spice up current order of things? At the moment everyone pretty much does the same thing: kick the ball and run around a bit, but maybe Wayne Rooney can get fitted with an extendable foot like Inspector Gadget, Joe Cole can have some kind of ‘FINISH HIM!” type spine ripping move or David James can wear some kind of invisibility suit? (I had to look two of those names up so I could give that example). This would get all the sickly nerds who lost interest in football to play video games back into the sport. I don’t know if you need that demographic, but it’s all about bums on seats, right guys?

Paintball guns
You think football as it is has enough drama? Think again! Imagine how thrilling it would be to watch some guy making a play for the goal, skipping past all the defense, beating the keeper and it being a sure thing, then suddenly he gets a paintball in the throat! It’d knock him over, he’d be disorientated and in shock, maybe it will have broken the skin! He came so close and yet he was so far! He dodged the opposing team’s tackles all the way down the pitch and finally he was sniped by a midfielder with a paintball gun in a fluke shot from 20 metres away! That right there is drama, simulated warfare, deft skills (both football and aiming) and human tragedy. Imagine the tears! Imagine the slo-mo replay where his face contorts in pain! Imagine the blood on the nylon shirt! Seriously! Let’s make this happen guys!

You know how certain African teams, the North Koreans and the Iraqi team are always playing for their lives in a literal sense? Didn’t the Iraqis have the soles of their feet lashed when they lost a while back? It’s terrible right? Right. But that kind of threat of impending violence does give the game that extra edge, I think you’ll agree. You know what’d further improve on that edge? If we could watch the torture on our 42 inch HDTVs! This FIFA sanctioned torture would improve the game in three ways: firstly, players would have a new incentive to play harder, making for more compelling football action. Secondly, they would pay for their failures as athletes publicly, giving vengeful fans much needed closure, and thirdly, it would make for great TV. This would be entertainment - Roman style! Let’s do this!

So what do you think of my suggestions Mr Blatter?

Yours etc.