BY FEARGAL BRENNAN
It’s official. Football has fallen to the hipster regime. Thousands of mini-beanie wearing foot soldiers have wandered into pubs and stadiums across Europe and secured their alternative position.
Football has never been so appealing to the non-mainstream, there are hipster football clubs, wacky kits and a bottomless pit of online football chat.
This summer the eyes of the football world will be on France and Euro 2016, and our hipster friends will be there in force, swigging jam jar Negroni’s and quoting Bret Easton Ellis.
Here are 9 things you are likely to find a hipster up to in France, (previously named Gaul as our ever so cool friends will remind us), this summer.
As we have all come to realise, hipsters love drinking beer that no one has ever heard of, it is a rite of passage. If it includes the words ‘pale’, ‘craft’ or ‘independent’ expect a hipster purchase frenzy.
France is the land of the stubby, little green, wrapperless bottles of non-descript lager. A perfect summertime drinking fare for hipsters wanting to ensure they are still doing their bit for their small brewing continental cousins.
2. Not stay in city centres
City centre hostel? No chance! No self-respecting hipster would be seen dead staying somewhere as mainstream as the centre of a city during the tournament.
Maybe a brief, top knotted appearance could be made at a fan park on match days, but mixing with the hoi polloi? No way man
Expect Air BnB to be pillaged for abandoned vineyards turned artisan flats by fellow hipsters. “What’s that, an apartment on the outskirts of Marseille that used to be a hat shop? Book it!”
3. Go to cheese markets
Days between games at an international tournament can be an ideal chance to explore your surroundings and take in foreign cities, deep in tournament fever.
But sightseeing and people-watching is not for the hipster, they like organised, yet off the cuff, alternative activities.
Local cheese markets, street poetry and selfies with graffiti art will fill the days of no fixtures for our hipster comrades.
4. Wear old-school football shirts, but just for the irony
Everyone enjoys a retro football top, either for fashion or as a slight middle finger to the price of modern kits.
But for hipsters retro is dead, they prefer wearing aged clothing, but not for nostalgia, but for alternate fashion.
With England fans expected to litter French towns with 1966 and Euro 96 replicas, the hipsters are likely to again opt for the unusual. Keep an eye out for Denmark ‘92, France ‘98 and Greece ‘04 replicas in the race for the most unexpected tournament attire.
5. Eat mussels from recycled baked bean cans
Anyone who frequents any UK cafe with any regularity will be well aware of the current trend of placing food items into any number of random recycled containers.
Burgers on chopping boards, kale out of an old ashtray and anchovies from a matchbox (ok I made that one up), it is hipster culinary paradise and urban France has caught on.
Mussels from baked beans is just the tip of the hipster iceberg, and anyone looking for Parisian tips check out this link, https://foursquare.com/top-places/paris/best-places-hipster
6. Complain about the lack of players from ‘smaller’ clubs at the Euros
Upset with the mainstream nature of much of professional football, hipsters have constantly sought to find clubs to match their subcultural ideals.
Clubs such as La Liga’s Rayo Vallecano, Eibar, Athletic Bilbao and Dortmund of the Bundesliga have become staples in the hipster camp.
The performances of Bilbao’s Aritz Aduriz and Eibar’s Borja Baston could well fail to convince Vicente Del Bosque, much to the annoyance of their hipster followers, both real and on Twitter.
7. Impart knowledge on the Icelandic and Slovakian teams
No one loves random knowledge more than a hipster football fan, and why chip into a conversation with David Silva’s assist stats when you can eulogise about one of Europe’s lesser lights.
Both Iceland and Slovakia are set to make their European Championship debut this summer, much to the delight of those seeking an underdog to follow.
Both sides also earn some extra cool points for having Gylfi Sigurdsson and Marek Hamsik as their creative talismen, both of whom are significantly under appreciated at club level.
8. Talk about ‘sick’ past French Premier League stars
As we’ve already established hipsters love to push the stories of those lesser known, or remembered, individuals in the football world.
And a tournament in France offers a chance to stroll down Gallic memory lane, and chat about those Frenchmen who never reached the heights they should have.
Watch out for homilies about Nicolas Anelka, Fabien Barthez, Youri Djorkaeff, Christophe Dugarry and Steed Malbranque, and how they would all be great guys to split a croissant with.
9. Pay no regard to the weather
Despite what is likely to be a scorching summer in France, with plenty of fans taking full advantage of the chance to turn a lovely shade of pink, don’t expect the cool kids to join in.
Hipsters pay the weather no respect, so anticipate plenty of jumpers, beanies and denim jackets.
At a push they may stretch to fashionably turned up chinos or if temperatures get over 30C they may consider taking the kitchen scissors to a pair of Levis.
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