As I write in November 2017 it’s a strange UK I inhabit. Somewhere in the back of my mind I’m aware that for decades to come political science students will write essays about this period; future play-writes set comedies or tragedies (dependent on your and their perspectives) during these years. These are ‘interesting’ times but while switching on the TV to watch our political establishment in meltdown and switching off social media after witnessing the rest of us at each other’s throats, certain beliefs that I already held have become clearer and more solid. One of them is something quite simple: football is good.
Yup. That’s what I wrote and I meant it. It is good. To watch, to play to think about and discuss, it is a benefit and a jewel within our culture. Not the only one. I’m not dissing books, I have no problem with opera but they don’t need anyone to stick up for them. At least in the arena of culture, football often does. And since I’ve been asked to write for this blog, that’s what I’m going to do. By that I do not mean that my rambling musings will always be celebratory. They won’t. But even when I am casting the fit and proper test over some chap, club, channel or controversy it will be as a fan. One thing that’s impossible not to notice today is that when the game makes the jump from the back to the front pages, it is always two conversations that are instigated: the one taking place between people that know football and the one everyone else is having. I intend to situate my postings in the former debate.
Of course football isn’t perfect. Some of its good is offset by hooligans, by con-men and financial mismanagement and perverts who wheedled their way into something beautiful and sullied it. Despite all of the above, for me, it still comes out ahead. So funny or serious this will be a safe place for football-lovers to gather and point out the errors my failing memory throws up, dispute among themselves my opinion of their teams and pretty much disagree with me about everything. I can take it – if no one likes me I don’t care. The web-boss tells me there is going to be a comments section so fill your boots.
After that lofty opening it is almost inevitable that these posts degenerate, probably quite quickly, into what pizza I’m eating while watching Match of the Day and what effect it has had on my stomach Sunday morning. Entropy is built into existence. I’ll fight it but you have been warned. Until Predictor Leagues sign me up to Weight Watchers and show me the digital door I’ll be here writing about football.