Sore loser, hooligan, and all manner of football fans in Bangkok’s bars right now.
The one you’re thinking about
If you’ve wandered into a “sports bar” on Soi 4, then you’ll find these in abundance—pot-bellied, tattooed Westerners who couldn’t get their shame through customs. As the World Cup goes, they originate from a country without sleeves. Cargo shorts, Leo beer shirts, and they are full of advice for professional athletes as they wheeze down another cigarette into their whistling lungs. To find one in the wild, all you have to do is shout, “You can’t say anything these days without being called a racist,” and one will show.
Traveling largely in packs, hooligans are enraged by the thing they thought would be fun: football. This species of fan is hyper-sensitive to colors and revels in screaming football chants—which is a type of mating call that has the opposite effect. Despite not being in primary school, hooligans are known to attack people for the color of their shirt. If encountered in the wild, do not look them in the eye, and blow a vuvuzela to distract them.
While there are many subspecies of “the English” prevalent in Bangkok, they all share the same love of failure. During the World Cup, this downtrodden creature can be spotted shouting “Oh come on mate!” into their pint with a frown. The English invented football but have decided that it would be bad manners to be good at it. They are, however, still the best at binge drinking. To find one, follow the sound of loud swearing and/or tutting.
The Beer Uncle
Often accompanied by the “tagalong ladies” [see below], these elder males are often smiley, chill, enjoying their retirement in the Land of Smiles. Why wouldn’t they be smiling and chill when Bangkok offers everything they need in life—women, beer, pub roast dinner, and an exciting game of sport they can barely see. They won’t get overly excited by the World Cup because they’ve been around for twenty of them.
International Teacher with the Beer Deal
During the day, they mold the minds that will inherit the planet, but we won’t hold that against them. Once the tie is off and the dress shoes are by the door, they put on their coolest Nike Air Max 97 and shorts. B999 for all you can drink Heineken for three hours? Challenge accepted.
Often spotted with their head in 5G, what this lot did before the invention of smartphones is unknown to science. Who just scored? Which team won? Who cares? They're just there to express a rictus of boredom throughout. Some would have you believe it's mainly females who engage in this activity, but many males show a similar disinterest due to ignorance of both football and geography. They’re called “Americans”.
Surely the experts in football all have jobs in the industry? No, because you’ve stumbled upon someone who knows every single aspect of the game. They don’t wear kit or cheer. They are here to explain the off-sides rule, the merits of the 4-3-3, and how the Argentinians always cheat.
The Sore Loser
Only one team can win the World Cup. And it’s probably not going to be you. You showed up for the 2am match and snuck beers until the early hours of the morning only to leave dejected in the cold light of day. Anyone can lose in a penalty shoot out, you say. But “anyone” didn’t. You did. Didn’t you?