Sunday, 20 July 2008

Dear Facebook, There Appears to be a Problem.....

Dear Facebook,

There appears to be a crucial flaw with your otherwise excellent networking website. Despite numerous friend requests over the last three months and watching over the mini feed display on my profile like a hawk, I’m still yet to receive confirmation that I am friends with xxx (name removed for legal reasons).

Not that I need a computer screen to verify my friendship with xxx. That would be ridiculous, because technically we’re not friends. Our bond runs much deeper than that. I think you’ll find that the three and a half minute conversation we shared in the queue at the taxi rank will testify clearly to that.

Having not seen each other since that unforgettable April night, the opportunity to act upon our animal desires for each other has been most cruelly delayed. It is only a matter of time, but your sloth like approach to what I imagine would be a basic computer generated administrative task wears my patience thin.

Would you deprive me access to xxx’s photographs, which serve as hundreds of visual clues to xxx’s address. Well, it appears that you would. And what sort of backward draconian world do we live in if a man cannot salivate at xxx in a bikini during her all inclusive fortnight in Cancun?

Well, it might be the world you choose to inhabit, Facebook, but let me tell you, it isn’t mine. And thank goodness, otherwise I wouldn’t have discovered, through much diligent covert research that xxx works for a firm of solicitors in Basingstoke. And although xxx has yet to return the five messages I've left on her voicemail since last Tuesday, I know it's only a matter of time. Afterall, the world of solicitors is a very busy world. Something that perhaps you should take note of, Facebook.

I'll remind you that it is you that needs me, not vice versa. I would prefer to see xxx's photographs via the conventional way, but when I'm forced to break into her house to firstly find those pictures and then parade around her lounge in her best lingerie, I will be placing the blame firmly at your door.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

People Have No Idea Of The Dedication Required To Warm The Bench.......

If you‘re team's got more than eleven players then somebody's just going to have to be substitute. Now a lot of people will try and tell you that if you’re stuck on the bench then you’re wasting your time. Well, I’m here to tell you that's all a load of old rot. Now take it from me, you won’t get the full benefits of being a substitute if you’re just some Johnny-come-lately, sitting on the bench once or twice a month. You have to be dedicated. Then slowly, game after game, month after month you can learn some valuable lessons. And I should know, because when I was fourteen I was a substitute, for an entire season.

I remember that cold January wind like it was yesterday. And why wouldn't I? It was a memorable day. The gaffer took me to one side in the changing rooms, asking if I'd brought my football boots. I was glad that not having played for the last eight straight games hadn't destroyed the motor neurones required to put the only piece of equipment required to play football in my kit bag. Had I got my boots? Do bears shit it in the woods?

The gaffer told me to give them to Michael Edwards. The little scamp had only gone and forgotten to bring his. No sooner had those words left his lips my heart sank and for a terrible moment my confidence was crushed. Embarrassment and shame engulfed my very being. I can’t convey how delighted I was when I realised that yes, I’d given my size six Pumas a damn good polishing during the week. I couldn’t imagine how humiliating it would be to hand over my filthy boots to a fellow player. Michael Edwards had forgotten his boots and as far as I was concerned he didn’t deserve to wear them, not if they were muddy.

I may not have played that day, but nobody could deny that I’d made a valuable contribution. And it wasn’t as if I never featured in games. I remember badgering my parents to come and watch. My persistence culminated in them witnessing a cameo appearance away to Stubbington. Our seven goal lead may have led many to conclude that the game as a contest was over by the time I was introduced to the field of play, but I still like to think that I contributed to the victory. More than that, I was just glad I didn’t let my parents down in the three seconds I played that day.

I mean, anyone can become a first team regular, expressing themselves in a game that allows the individual to totally forget the inhibitions that haunt their everyday life, but being substitute, week after week, game after game, offers so much more. What with your self esteem being shattered, you barely notice the assistant manager stamping all over your brand new Adidas torsions. But he doesn't do it because he hates you. Hell, no. It's just that he's a hopeless alcoholic who loathes not only himself but also his very own miserable life, held together by an endless stream of desperately poor decisions that he’ll no doubt continue to make until his dying day.

And what better way to help him cope with the realisation that he will see out the Autumn of his days accompanied only by acute liver disease, than letting him intentionally tread mud into the finely threaded white canvass of your trainers. Once the season drew to a close we had our annual end of season do. And I'll tell you for nothing that nobody else walked away with a five inch plastic footballer stood on a wooden plinth. No they didn’t. Don’t tell me being a substitute is a waste of time. Hello, managers player of the year anyone? Yeah, of course you’re always going to get the cynics. People saying that the manager felt guilty about leaving me to rot on the sideline for an entire season, even though many of the games where won by half time. Well, whenever I’m faced with these slurs, I only have to gaze into the empty stare of the plastic statue still stood on that wooden plinth. I rest my case.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

The rumours are true....

Well, just got back from Burridge's first pre-season get together and I just have to say how great it was to see the guys again. None more so than Lee Fielder. Back in the late nineties before he broke his leg, Lee was a regular little goal machine in the Southampton League. And by jolly, he was so fast. Let me tell you there was more to his game than just out pacing the last defender and scoring goal after goal. He'd work his socks off too for the team too.

Take it from me, you really wouldn't want to be a full-back when Lee Fielder's on the opposition. God help you if you're dithering in possession of the ball because he'll hunt you down like a dog with his selfless running. Burridge gaffer Pete Lyons put us through our paces as the rain fell down in icy sheets. It kind of reminded me of some of the desperately inadequate showering facilities us park level players are faced with.

You know how it is, you've put in a hell of a shift in at centre back, which incidentally, isn't your favourite position. Not that you're going to complain. Truth be told, you couldn’t if you wanted to, what with lungs feeling like they’re on fire. So you clean yourself up. Off to a six foot square shower room shared by anything up to six teams, who've been sliding around on pitches littered with dog shit. Don't tell me that football's glamorous.

Now I know I should have been paying better attention to Rich Allan who I was supposed to be marking, but what with the heavy showers and the presence of Lee Fielder I got sidetracked. Now listen up, because what I’m about to say to you comes from a 100% card carrying heterosexual. I know I may have got a few of you asking questions during my crimpled maroon flare days, but if you think Fielder's got it going on in the game, you should check him out in the changing rooms. I mean sheesh, is Fielder seriously hung or what. Damn, I’ve seen smaller dangs at the Grand National. That’s right girls, in those shorts lurks a monster.

Sure, Lee’s had a few conquests over the years, and frankly my mind boggles at those poor girls who probably had no idea what they were in for. What with him being only five six and having pretty small hands, there’s really very little evidence to suggest what’s hidden in those pants of his. So girls, if you’re reading this, yes - the rumours are true. Take it from me, if it’s that big while flaccid after being suffocated to death in cycling shorts over ninety minutes, God knows what size it’s going to get to when he's running the full gun through you.

Saturday, 5 July 2008

I'm not being funny, but....

Not long now before the start of another new football season. You’re burning your fingers on the very fag end of youth and by the time that first game kicks off you’ll be looking back over your shoulder at the period of life known as your twenties. When you hit the big three-zero, getting pissed out of your mind on a school night ceases to be the actions of a young man living life in the true spirit of rock ‘n’ roll and instead becomes the lonely descent into alcoholism by a sad bastard. Or so you’ve been told, but does that bother you? No it does not.

Everything in life has turned out just fine. Had you been asked five years ago where you’d wanted to be in the summer of 2008, it’s fair to say that you may not have said working in the high flying world of specialist recruitment. Where people who don’t meet their targets are shuffled out the door to rot, but that’s life - always full of surprises. Okay, it’s the kind of profession that a few years ago you would have said was reserved for only the most depraved scum sucking capitalist whores. But hey ho. Morals and ideals aren’t going to pay the rent are they, Mother Teresa?

Of course you still have your friends, although you haven‘t seen much of them lately. What you have to realise is that they have their own lives. Their garden fences aren’t going to creosote themselves. You could tell for yourself that they've done a fine job on the garden, when you peered over the brick wall through the trellis panels, seeing them laughing and joking with tall drinks in their hands. Without you. I'm sure they'll call you soon. Of course you’re too polite to flag this up, you’ve matured, (you have grey hair). You’ve moved on financially as well, (instead of the one crippling credit card debt, now there’s three). Not to mention you’re free and single, (lost and alone in a pit of self loathing, hoping a painless death will save you from old age spent eating a diet of cut price baked beans in a badly heated bed-sit).

Not that you've been short of things to do during the close season. Thank goodness for the television. There was enough excitement in Turkey’s Euro 2008 games alone to at least delay the desperate feeling that eats away at you. Telling you that your entire life hasn't amounted to anything. Yep, you really can’t wait for the coming football season, because the number of seasons you have left are getting fewer in number, which can't be said of the amount of tears you cry into your pillow during those long nights.

Looking back (bringing back the blog)

I haven't posted here since 2012 – that’s five years of not blogging. The blog is/was about Burridge AFC, the football team I played f...