A football game can be a great day out, especially if the rival teams both play well and your own team wins out in the end.
But sadly there are a significant number of assholes around, a small yet significant minority, who like to use and abuse football for their own ends - as a tribal and often drunken event - instead of treating football as a sport that can be enjoyed on a family basis.
To illustrate the point, the BBC reports that two men were arrested recently for posting anti-Semitic tweets following Tottenham Hotspur's match with West Ham on 6 October 2013 - in which they referred to Hitler and gas chambers (see post below).
Apparently, the two men were a 24-year-old from Croydon and a 22-year-old from Wiltshire and these two have been followed by a 48 year-old from Canning Town (East London) on 5 December - also arrested on suspicion of inciting racial hatred.
'What is up with these people?' - I ask myself every so often, but I know the answer already because we have the same kind of lunatic behaviour up here in Scotland - where gangs of young men like to indulge in the hateful baiting of rival fans.
Name and shame them, I say - ban them from football grounds all over the country, let their employers know what kind of people they really are (if they have jobs that is), encourage the police to make their lives hell - and if that doesn't work, start sending them to prison for a decent spell.
The 'Y' Word (27 September 2013)
Should it be a criminal offence for a 'Yid' to call him or herself a 'Yid' - which is a slang and insulting term for a Jewish person?
I think not - in the same way think it would be crazy to criminalise the way in which some young black people seem to find it funny - or perhaps empowering in some way - to describe themselves as 'niggers'.
Now this whole controversy has taken off because of of the vile behaviour of football fans - especially away fans visiting the home of Tottenham Football Club which has a has long enjoyed good relations and support from the local Jewish community - many of whom are concentrated in north London.
Apparently the rival away fans regularly taunt the Tottenham supporters with the use of the word 'Yid' in their songs and chants - as well as using a 'hissing' sound in malevolent mockery of the last sound that the victims of Hitler's final solution would have heard - as they stood awaiting their fate in his gas chambers.
I was shocked when I heard about this 'hissing' behaviour, I have to admit - and wondered why the football authorities have not done more to stamp this out - especially when grounds these days are all seated and are covered extensively by CCTV.
Anyway, some of the Tottenham fans have responded to this provocation by reclaiming the word 'Yid' and incorporating it into their own songs and chants - which has drawn the ire of the Football Association in England and certain parts of the Jewish community.
Which I can understand - although it seems to me matters would be made much worse if a Tottenham fan who is not using the word in an offensive and derogatory way, were to be prosecuted for his/her behaviour - while these vile 'hissing' football hooligans are allowed to walk away Scot-free.
So while I would encourage Tottenham fans to drop the use of the 'Y' word - the real question for me is why the football authorities, clubs and the police - haven't made much more of an effort to clamp down on the people who are setting, quite deliberately, out to cause such hurt and offence.