I don't pretend that it's something I really understand. Being our national game, there's a kind of expectation, I think, that you have a level of passion about it all, but I can't quite shake the feeling that it is, essentially, only a game.
The friction between local teams is the most gritty. Birmingham City v Aston Villa. Newcastle v Sunderland. Manchester United v Manchester City. The competition between these teams often frames the spirit of a whole city. You're either one or the other, bit rarely neither, and never both. Pubs are given over to one side or the other, and woe-betide anyone who fecklessly crosses the line. It's a deeply ingrained and passionate competition.
Liverpool city centre has seen something of a transformation in the last couple of years, culminating in the opening off a large and swanky new shopping centre called Liverpool One. It's typical of big city centre retail developments of the last few years; a big glass roofed beastie full of the same high street retailers that are in every other city centre development in the country.
But this week we got wind of a new tenant there. Everton FC have opened their official club store in the centre, selling everything from pencils to limited edition, framed, signed shirts. A sea of blue and white.
And the shop name?
That's right. The official Everton club store has the address Everton Two, Liverpool One.
And so the rivalry goes on ...