Posts Tagged ‘football’

Whether your the kind person who can just about run a bath – never mind a marathon – or your a grumbling old person who refuses every British past time except for the one that means you can complain about everything, it does not matter. As even the very un-enthused among us cannot deny that this summer, the summer of 2012 – is all about sport. Now I know many of you will already have you suitcases packed, determined to miss all this summer ‘fun’ – especially those of you in London, but let me persuade you…

I love sport. Not playing it – on that front I’m about as sporty and athletic as supersized big mac. But, I do love to watch it. Now I don’t mean the pretend sports – I’m talking to you Formula 1, Snooker and Darts – I mean the getting hot and sweaty, euphoric, exciting and excruciatingly painful sports like football, athletics and tennis. Those are sports.

And if ever I was in danger of thinking sport had lost its sheen, my faith was restored to me on Sunday when I watched Sergio Aguero’s shot hit the back of the net in the 94th minute to take the Premiership title. Really, I can assure you, it doesn’t get better than that. You know you are watching sporting history when a team who you have no allegiance to what-so-ever has you jumping up and down in glee.

After the dust had settled at least a little bit on that sporting miracle, and my heart rate had gone back to its steady thud, I could hear my other half mumbling on about how upset he was that this was the end of the season. The end of football for another year. And I remember staring at him in utter disbelief that he was in fact so downhearted. Why? Well because this summer is going to be the biggest British sporting summer in our short lives. Another summer like this will not happen again. It is history in the making. London 2012 will disrupt our lives, yes, but the utter excitement of hosting the world as the best of the best compete against each other is a notion that gives me chills.

Even if you ignore the fact that London is hosting the Olympic games in just a few weeks time, you still have the second best football tournament in the world – the Euros. And yes, we probably won’t get out of our group, and yes we definitely won’t win anything, but that is the passion of football. It really is about the journey. When the whole nation comes together and wills those 12 lads on (I say 12 as I am counting good ol’ Roy), there is no feeling like it. Other sports come and go, but there is no sport greater loved in this country than football. And that’s a fact I’d stake my life on.

And so, when you grumble about the delays on the tubes, the tourists wandering around getting in you way, or the huge rise in prices in all the London shops, remember this – this event is something your children, and your children’s children will ask you about, it is something that historians will talk about in 200 years time and say what an achievement it was, and it is in itself, a little piece of history. So, stop complaining, turn that frown upside down and get into the spirit of this great sporting summer!

Those awful mascots...

Disclaimer: I should just mention that I in no way condone the use of the London 2012 mascots. I think they are a scourge on the earth and that I could have come up with a better bunch with five minutes and an etch-a-sketch. That goes for the logo too. Shoddy work.

Christmas is a time of reflection. We all know that. Today however I am reflecting on something far from normal Christmas fodder. Instead I find myself reflecting on Football. I know already, right there from that statement that I’ve lost a lot of you. But then I may have gained a few of you too.

I love football. 

I always have. I was the son my dad never had – except I was a girl. I’ve been a blue nosed Evertonian my whole life. I’ve never known anything else. And I can tell you this – its a tough supporter to be. Some would say that we’re lucky, 100+ years in top flight football, trophies (even if they do have more cobwebs on them than a broom cupboard…), we’ve been winners and we’ve been losers. But we have a history to be proud of, we’re an extremely old club and from time to time there is sparks of brilliance.

So why am I moaning? Well because quite frankly, being an Evertonian is a bit like being an England supporter. Nothing we ever do is good enough. We always fall short. We can beat the big teams, but then we lose all the easy games. For years we’ve had finishes that echoed that we were the ‘best of the rest’, but its still not good enough. We have problems – we need investment, there is more money in the Justin Bieber’s sock drawer than we have in the whole God damn club. Which when you level that against the billionaire clubs like Man City and Chelsea, how are we ever going to be able to compete? We have a good manager, Moyes has done us proud for many years now. But even he only has so much tenacity in him to keep doing the same monotonous dance every season with the same flawed result, and the same tired conclusion – that we are not good enough.

Which brings me to my point.

Money is football. 

I hate to say it. I really do. But it is unfortunately true (Hey that rhymes…). For decades now we’ve watched footballers get paid ridiculous amounts of money for what is essentially just kicking a bloody ball round a field. Compare that to the men and women who die protecting their country who are on £17,000 a year – it puts it all into perspective when you see these men getting paid £40,000 a week. Crazy. It seems we have put a far lower price on peoples lives. But we live with that fact, and we have done for years. It has only been over the last ten years however that the whole game became just about money. Now I’m not saying if you have the backing of some Arab billionaires, or some Russian mafia types (allegedly…) that you are guaranteed to go out and win every trophy. It takes a lot more than that. But it helps. It takes a hell of a lot of work to do well in this country in football. You need a great manager, a great club, a great squad made up of some pretty special individuals, and enough capital to do all those things… That is where Everton fall short. We have a world class manager – even if at times this season he’s been challenged. We have a 133 year long history. We have real passionate members of a squad. But yet we linger in the bottom half of the table… and we went two matches without a shot on target. Now that’s just embarrassing.

Goodison is older than my Great Grandad's slipper...

I’m not asking for us to be bought by some outrageous, rather sketchy billionaire. Because honestly, I would rather be in the state we are now with no money, then with dirty money. But I am asking for the people on our illustrious board, to do something. Don’t buy that new Bentley you so desperately want this Christmas, give it to Moyes so we can actually bring a striker into the club who actually scores goals.

Remember this:

This isn’t your club.
This is our club.
We’ll still be here when your gone.
We don’t serve you, you serve us.
We haven’t spent 100+ years in the top flight for us to go down because you lot won’t get off your backside and do something.
Remember why you are sat there.

Show some respect for our club and do your job.
Or give up your seat for someone who will.  

Excuse me a minute… while I rant.

Now you might be forgiven if you’ve checked out my last post, that I am some sort of feminist. I’m not really. I feel the same amount of distaste and disgust at any form of sexism as your average female. But that doesn’t mean to say that out and out sexism, especially the mean, backwards and disgusting kind that women so often come across, doesn’t wholly offend me. And it happens occasionally that you stumble upon instances that really get under your skin. And for me that is often casual sexism.  For instance, I’ve been settling down to my last day of the season, looking for places online to listen to the game. When I came across this. “For men who love to talk sport.” Why? Why did they have to make such a point as to exclude half the worlds bloody population? I love sport. I am a massive Evertonian, and I love watching athletics. And from time to time I follow Rugby League.

But what should I expect really. I clicked on the link, and across the top of the page it had in big letters, “On now; Stan Collymore.” What can I expect from a organisation that employs a known woman beater. Not to mention their notorious recent contract with lovely and utterly disgustingly vile sexist pigs Andy Gray and Richard Keys.

I honestly pity any woman that works for talkSPORT. Get out while you can ‘love’.

This sort of casual sexism is common however. And it does go both ways. Sheila’s Wheels is an insurance company solely for women. Which shouldn’t be allowed. I contest to anything that excludes people solely on their gender. And the same goes for race. The long and short of it is I don’t like being told what I can and can’t do. The Yorkie ad campaign was a real annoyance of mine. And I swore I’d never buy a yorkie again. And I haven’t. “Its not for girls.” Well fine, I won’t spend any of my fucking money on it then. Good luck selling a chocolate bar – when you’ve excluded the sex who are the biggest buyers of chocolate. Women love chocolate. How is excluding them going to sell your shitty product?! Snickers have recently done a similar campaign with an A-Team theme. Mr T rides in on a big tank to any man who isn’t ‘being a man’, he then chucks snickers at them and tells them to ‘Get some nuts.’ While I enjoy the clever play on words, and I wouldn’t say this campaign is sexist (unlike Yorkies) it still is marginalising a huge chunk of the market.

*Sigh* I guess casual sexism, and racism will be around for a long time to come.