I don't care what other people say, I think we've got a fine bunch of players at Burridge. Take Bryn Schwodler for example. With the kind of balance and athleticism available at his disposal on the left wing, he doesn't need me to tell him that he could have played at a far higher level of football. Then you've got Kristian Hewitt. Great poise and a shot with the strength of ten tigers. That’s without even mentioning Kev Willsher, Justin Newman and Jay Schwodler. All exceptional players and all on the Burridge rostrum. So yes, I know what you're thinking - how does a regular bloke like me get a place in the starting eleven? Well, it's simple - I take one mean thrown-in.
Throwing in may only take a moment to perform, but it takes a lifetime’s dedication to master. A good throw in taker is the master of disguise. He may use wild gesticulation as the necessary diversion to steal fifteen yards up field before releasing the ball. Or perhaps puff out his cheeks like a bullfrog as if to throw the ball long only to go short in the opposite direction. Yes, the master of the throw in is a wily creature, but he must continue to dominate his environment or his environment will dominate him.
Be warned though. There are people out there who’ll have you believe that the throw in is nothing more than the method of reintroducing the ball to the field of play. It’s just a throw in, they scoff. Once I hear my art marginalised as something trivial my hands begin trembling. Instead of concerning themselves with what grip to use on a soaking wet Mitre Pro-Max, never for a second failing to consider the ball’s maxloc3 air retention system, they turn their attention to violence.
Thankfully that hasn’t yet been necessary to resolve such disagreements. I just stare straight back with a pair of cold blue eyes and let my throwing in to do the talking. When all’s said and done I don’t take myself that seriously. Not with the sort of clowns who are going to bad mouth the throw in. I imagine they’re the kind of yahoos who thought that Miles Davis was just making a racket when he released Kind of Blue. Or that The Great Gatsby’s just a book.
I’m certainly not going to compare the powerful first person narrative deployed by F. Scott Fitzgerald through the character of Nick Carraway, in arguably one of the greatest literary works of the twentieth century with my throwing in, no matter how sublime it is. It’s not my place. My place is on the touchline. Standing with the ball held behind my head. About to partake in the motion that is the very bedrock to either diffusing a tricky defensive situation or the catalyst to begin another attack. I’m talking of course about the throw in.