It may have escaped your attention, but some time around now, a whole bunch of footballists are having a bit of a kick about in the sun and after four weeks they will decide who is best. Except if the country you support doesn't win in which case be prepared for such comments as "we was robbed". Now, I don't really follow football so as a result know absolutely nothing about it. Except one thing. Under no circumstances ever should the players of this sport be ever ever allowed to speak in public. Maybe whisper it to an English speaking interpreter who can elucidate or at the very least speak English. Allow me to demonstrate from a radio interview I heard on the radio today. To set the scene, Johnny Sports Saunders, esteemed Radio 2 sports presenter explained that some player had been injured in an incident with one of his team mates during a routine training session, friendly fire if you will. The ensuing comment by the injury causing player went something like this:
"So I said to him Sorry mate, there was nuffink I coud do about it and he said "It's alright mate, there was nuffink you could do about it".
It's absolute poetry I'm sure you will agree.
This blog, however, isn't here to moan or rant about the world cup, the never ending TV coverage, the pubs being turned over to World Cup venues, those bloody silly flags on people's cars, football results taking the news headlines or a million and one other irritations. In fact, I have to thank the opening of the World Cup for such a clear drive home today.
Then, of course, at the other end of the spectrum there is the school and grass roots sport. Remember back to your school days. If you can. Were you the 'jock', always chosen first or the bookish one left till last? Or worse, if the games teacher knew you were always picked last he may elect you as one of the team captains in a kind of inclusive patronising type of way. Now the dilemma. Would you pick your equally bookish mates and risk humiliating defeats or the athletic kids and risk alienating yourself from your mates? I went to a rugby orientated school and wore glasses. The two don't go together well and my rugby career was put on hold for some ten years until I wore contact lenses and went to play for a team where the pitch was flooded for half the season and frozen solid for the other half. I never really did get to grips with the rules either. Many games the referee would be shouting "Number four, your off-side in the ruck" or words to that affect. It took me about three seasons to sort this out. The first season was just realising that I was number four and resisting the urge to respond "I am not a prisoner, I am a free man". Still bookish. Or at least slightly surreal.
Football was another game altogether. I was quite a good defender or goal keeper when I was allowed to stay on the pitch but apparently kneecapping isn't in the rules.
Essentially though, I have always been better at solo sports so I don't embarrass team mates. I was a good cross country runner at school but my real sport has always been cycling, you don't have to rely on a team unless you are proper good and know what you're doing. Which I'm not and I don't. In fact, some people have commented that I am half good at cycling, so I am now the proud owner of half a bike. My good lady has bought me a unicycle as a birthday present but it has taken ages to get it delivered. Therefore, this weekend, I shall be mostly making a tit of myself and causing injury.
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