Football Hooligans use unruly and destructive behavior to take away from their teams performance on the field. Like the sun itself, it is awesome as long as you personally stay far away from it.
Okay, first of all we here at Cracked take a firm anti-murder policy. However, some violence is okay (as long as it doesn't involve us on the receiving end of a beat down). Football Hooligans are crazy. They are so committed to their teams and their local society that they are willing to destroy anyone who opposes them. This kind of devotion is sometimes called "nationalism" when applied to countries and sometimes called "celebrating an NBA championship" when applied to Detroit. The thing is that most football teams around the world weren't started by rich guys to make money, instead they were a social organization for members of an ethnic, economic, or religious group that served as the community focal point for that group. So when fans of the rich club run into fans of the poor club in Rio, they fight. When fans of the Catholic team run into fans of the Protestant team in Glasgow, they fight. Sometimes it stretches into the bounds of nationalism when Italian fans take time off from fighting each other to turn to fighting English fans. So the fights aren't really about the games... it's kind of like how to women the Super Bowl Party isn't about the game, right? However, hooligans don't spend the match hanging out in the kitchen discussing people they secretly hate. Instead Hooligans spend the match trying to find someone to beat up.
"Punk Tried to Get Me To Buy Yahoo Stock!"
As noted above, Hooliganism is sometimes an outstretch of socio-economic factors that lead hooligans to lash back at society in the only way this beaten-down caste can. Of course other times its just about beating the hell out of someone for fun.
"We came to watch football and kick ass, and frankly the football got boring"
Many clubs have organized hooligan organizations attached to the club. These groups are called "Firms" and while they're not official branches of the Football club, the owners of said football club realize it would be financial suicide (and possibly real suicide) to try to stop these groups association with the club. These firms sometimes actually schedule the fights with other groups. That's right, they call each other up and plan where and when to fight. It's basically schoolyard fights to the infinite power. There is even a code that says 1) no weapons unless weapons were previously agreed upon 2) Once an opponent is unconscious you quit beating them. Of course these rules are only followed when you're winning the fight, if you're losing its time to pull out the guns and knives.
While many claim England created the Hooligan problem, today hooligans can be found everywhere. The biggest surprise is that these guys can afford to travel to follow their team. Below is a fight between Croatian and Serbian fans at a game held in Switzerland in an attempt to cut down on fan violence. I guess stadium attendants with Swiss Army Knives weren't enough to deter the violence. Even mini corkscrews don't scare these guys!