Football and me
I do not like football.
I find the topic tedious and boring. Unfortunately an opening gambit in conversations in a pub or wherever is to ask about The Match. Did I watch the match last night? Am I going to the match? My blunt response that I don’t follow football is then met with a stony silence. End of conversation.
I started off being indifferent, but by secondary school I had grown to hate the subject. The fact that I didn’t “follow a team” was met with derision and contempt and in some cases by total disbelief. When I had progressed through the hoops of secondary school, third level [where football wasn’t such a hot topic for some reason] I ended up in the Drawing Office in RTE I was firmly told that I had to follow a team. Football was to be a standard topic of conversation so I had to join in. I was told to pick a team from the English Premier League.
I don’t know why, but I said Arsenal. It was just a name that came to mind. No other reason. If I remember correctly the other main teams that were followed in the Drawing Office were Liverpool and Manchester City. Anyhows Arsenal beat the shit out of those teams and rose to win some major [or The Major?] trophy of the season much to the disgust of my colleagues. Football ceased to be a conversation piece from then on.
Now that I have survived the world of office politics and life is a lot quieter. The only keen football follower in the village knows my distaste for the topic so it’s never mentioned. Great. I can ignore football and everything to do with it.
Now there is a great fuss over Gary Lineker and his fucking Tweets. Apparently he’s not going to present some programme or other and the meeja are going into meltdown. For fuck’s sake! He’s an overpaid wonk who the world seems to hold in high esteem for some reason. I’m only aware of him because of those tedious crisp advertisements which I found particularly annoying.
The BBC didn’t like something he wrote? Big fucking deal. So what?
Sack the cunt for all I care.
I used to watch a lot of baseball and football (the kind with the pointed ends). I quit watching when teams of both sports threatened to strike for more money. They already pulled down more in a year than I would see in a lifetime. I haven’t watched either one since.
Ah, football and football. Or should I say soccer and American football which are different animals [I could never understand either!]? I agree about the money. No player of a game should be paid in the millions. It’s obscene.
What did you do grandad? (generic grandad that is) “Well, I fought for Queen and Country, I was fired upon by the enemy, and I prevailed to keep you in a life where you didn’t have to fear the enemy.”
Or; What did you do grandad? ” I kicked a ball around a muddy field for no reason that is discernable to an intelligent being and was given a huge amount of largess for the privilege. But I will cheerfully let the enemy in through the front door”
One of these is a hero…
I remember once walking down the main street in Dalkey [just south of Dublin]/ There was some World Cup match on and Ireland were playing. Every shop was shut and there wasn’t a single person to be seen It was a Marie Celeste moment – not a single sign of life.. However passing any pub you’d be assailed with a blast of hot air and a roar of the crowd. It was surreal.
I think that the reason that you picked Arsenal is all down to the first four letters of that team’s name.
From an Irish mouth that “r” rolls off the tongue as if that single letter had extra syllables. Much more satisfying than the colonial “ass” or as they pronounce it, “ess”.
How liberating it would be to shout that out at moments of stress.
Sometimes followed by ” an’ all “
That could be the answer. Though I have vague recollections of Eric Morecambe making some joke about them in the Morecambe and Wise Show which stuck in my head.
Hah! I just found this online -‘ “Arsenal!” (said by Eric), dating from a sketch in which Eric is an incompetent ‘Mr Memory’ unable to remember anything without unsubtle prompting from Ernie. It developed into a running gag, so that whenever Ernie coughed, Eric would shout ‘Arsenal!”