I am proud to say that I am an active spectator of the 2nd official sport of Marseille: supporter watching.
They have invaded, absolutely taken over, causing the locals shelter in their homes, avoiding the tear gas and flying bottles, somersaulting, naked, dive bomber.
Yes, the beer slugging, flag touting, chanting creatures have descended.
For me, the stranger thing is, I think that they all look exactly the same. If you take off the nylon shirts, the face paint and the novelty hats, you are left with the same specimen. A 20-30 something male, beer belly hanging over badly worn shorts, buzz cut hair around a red, sunburnt face, legs and arms tattooed, generally football themed. The further north the country, the taller and blonder they are, but they still seem to just blend into one big mob.
To stand at Vieux Port and watch is by far the most amusing thing to do. Listen to the generic chants, the horns, the unexplained group jumping. Watch the police persuade the guy who thought it would be a good idea to climb the round sign to “S’il vous plait M. come down…” And then wince when you relies they are English.
So for all these reasons, I have disowned my nation for the duration of the tournament. I shall float in the sea of not giving a f*** about football.