My Greatest Fear #55: The Hooligan Sucker Punch

Tonight I was walking with a few friends to get dinner. It was a chilly evening, and I was wearing my Manchester United jacket. I realized as we walked that one of my greatest (completely unfounded and irrational) fears stems from this jacket.

I got the jacket as a gift for being in a wedding party years ago. While I don’t exclusively root for MU, I’m happy when they do well. Mostly I just like the jacket.

In 2011, I took a trip to Ireland. Before I departed, I asked an Irish friend if it would be okay for me to wear my Manchester United jacket there. I figured it would be fine, but I had heard stories about the level of passion embraced by football fans in Europe (particularly in Ireland and the UK).

To my surprise, my friend said that my fears were valid and that I shouldn’t wear the jacket!

So ever since then, even in the US, I occasionally have a passing fear that a random stranger–perhaps after a few beers–will throw a sucker punch at me just because of my Manchester United jacket. Granted, nothing like this has ever happened to me, not even close, but it continues to be a passing thought.

Have you ever seen a passionate sports fan take things too far?