Getting so close to double figures!! I can do 5 more days to see through the 14 days, can’t I? Can I?! Sadly today’s prompt/exercises are not that helpful, as they’re all about fiction writing – which I really have no desire to do. When I did Nanowrimo a couple of years ago, I wrote over 44,000 of a story, but I can’t say I enjoyed the process.. It rather unnerved me, spending 30 days (and more than a few wakeful nights) with non-real people in a non-real place. I felt disconnected from the people around me, and more worryingly, from myself 😦 Nowadays, I read very little fiction (although I did pick up this yesterday as there was a coupon in the weekend paper to pay £9 rather than the full £20!!). I’d sooner read a memoir or a collection of essays – and to be honest, I’d sooner write them. So I’ll peck away on the keyboard for half an hour on ‘why I enjoy football’ (another item on my Day 3 list) and see what transpires…
Yesterday evening England played Kosovo in a Euro 2020 Qualifying match (at least the national team matches are still shown on terrestial TV! I refuse to pay Sky’s or BTSport’s exorbitant prices after already paying the licence fee). It was a good game (England won 5-3, so lots of goals), and live sport is exciting, as the final outome really isn’t known (it should have been all done at half-time as England were leading 5-1, but if the team makes mistakes in defence, they’re going to pay for it!) And Kosovo, playing in their first ever European Championships, played with wonderful skill and heart!
So any live sport is exciting to watch, but my love for football is as much about nostalgia as entertainment. My grandad was a lifelong Liverpool fan (as were all the family, except Uncle Ronnie who deliberately rebelled and supported Everton), and I have such memories sitting on his knee, eyes glued to the screen. In the 1970s and 80s, Liverpool won everything, and as a family, we would gather on FA Cup final day. Usually, the women were in the kitchen chattering and making snacks, the cousins would be playing in the big back garden, and the men would be watching the match. As I just wanted to be with Grandad, I would watch the football, and he was always so patient, explaining quietly to me what was happening on the screen (I was probably the only 6 year-old who knew the off-side rule!)
So football reminds me of my beloved grandad (who died when I was 13), and I have always supported Liverpool FC in his memory. There is much wrong with modern football (the wages Premier League players earn are simply obscene; ticket prices for the big clubs’ matches are way beyond the ordinary family’s budget; the FA are simply not doing enough to support smaller clubs; the incidences of rascist abuse are alarming), but the essence of this simple game is still sound: to help your team-mates to put the ball in the opposition’s net, with flair and skill and without malice. To me, as an optimist, it will always be ‘The Beautiful Game’ which can show the best of humanity with grace, skill, passion and fair play. And I’ve seen enough ‘upsets’ in my 50+ years of following football to know, on any given day, any team really can beat any other team – David can, and occasionally does, beat Goliath; the underdog sometimes does have his day – and all those wonderfully hackneyed cliches so beloved of pundits and fan alike 🙂