The Battle of Manchester

This isn’t a sports blog, but I must briefly note what a thrilling thing the English Premier League has been in recent weeks, especially for the people of Manchester.

Man City used to be so bad and so unpopular that an old joke ran as follows:

City Fan calling the stadium ticket office: What time is the match today?

Office manager: We are flexible — what time can you get here?

Now of course they are a worthy rival to the fellows at Old Trafford.

Reckless prediction: At the end of the season, I think United will be on top, even though I could easily see them losing to City on Monday. I figure that if that happens, City will let down emotionally and fall to one of their remaining two opponents (most likely Newcastle United).

Author: Keith Humphreys

Keith Humphreys is the Esther Ting Memorial Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University and an Honorary Professor of Psychiatry at Kings College London. His research, teaching and writing have focused on addictive disorders, self-help organizations (e.g., breast cancer support groups, Alcoholics Anonymous), evaluation research methods, and public policy related to health care, mental illness, veterans, drugs, crime and correctional systems. Professor Humphreys' over 300 scholarly articles, monographs and books have been cited over thirteen thousand times by scientific colleagues. He is a regular contributor to Washington Post and has also written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Monthly, San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian (UK), The Telegraph (UK), Times Higher Education (UK), Crossbow (UK) and other media outlets.

8 thoughts on “The Battle of Manchester”

  1. “City Fan calling the stadium ticket office: What time is the match today?”

    “Office manager: We are flexible — what time can you get here?”

    As a long-suffering fan of multiple perennially awful teams, I am going to get some great use out of this joke.

  2. I don’t know a single City fan that isn’t a degenerate, but I only know one City fan… Now if only Arsenal can self destruct like Tottenham and Chelsea, Newcastle can have a (probably short lived) crack at Champions.

    1. I don’t know a single City fan that isn’t a degenerate, but I only know one City fan

      Very good : )

  3. Keith, Help me out here – I just don’t get it. I am always amazed when I find an intelligent person actually caring about this kind of stuff. I have known more than a few so I recognize it as a blind spot of mine but still—–. I would love to see a post from you explaining this sports obsession that so many have. I used to view it as nutty but harmless. However, lately I have been seeing it as more nutty and less harmless.

    1. Michael: I am not sure why you find it strange that intelligent people would be drawn to sport.

  4. We lived in Manchester in 1995 and 1996. In 1996, according to my neighbors, Man U did ‘the trebble’. Won the league, won the FA cup, and City got relegated…..big difference this year. Also, how dumb were United to sell Christiano Ronaldo….

  5. I am happy you’ve been able to root for Manchester City. I am enjoying this season’s Premier League play in a different way. I have been a fan of Queens Park Rangers since 1974. I watched them play Coventry at their home stadium on Loftus Road in London. QPR joined the Premier League this year after being in the Championship League. QPR is currently struggling to stay out of the relegation. It has been fun to watch them struggle and root for them as an underdog. Go Rangers! 30

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