Friday, 3 April 2009

Putting foot to ball

It’s easy to see how you can get caught up in a game of football (aka soccer) when you’re watching it live, the atmosphere electric and some old codger in a fishing hat shouts obscenities.

I wasn’t just rubbing my hands together in anticipation – I was cold. Which explains why I was also wearing a white jacket; shamefully the colours of the opposing team. Despite the away team segregated to another stand, I still got a couple of dirty looks so of course I had to make up for my lack of team uniform with vigorous shouting and arm waving - and several rude words.

It was Barnsley versus Preston. A Barnsley home game and I was officially a new supporter. It was my first live game and boy was it frustrating.

I mean I’m no sportsperson, in fact my ball skills can only be described as dismal, but is it really that hard to kick a ball into the net? Throughout the whole game I felt an intense desire, like an unrelenting itch, to just walk onto the ground and show them all how it should be done.

It seemed to me, as a newbie to the game, that these highly paid men, who were lucky to be endowed with a couple of good genes, really just pranced around the field, some hardly breaking a sweat and god forbid if a lock of celebrity-styled hair fell out of place.

Well, it’s not rugby.

I’m just not seeing the attraction of soccer – sorry, football. For starters, the uniform leaves much to be desired. Long baggy shorts and an androgynous ill-fitting shirt. I mean, it’s not exactly top of the range sexy is it. Needless to say, it’s not like a rugby uniform, which is tight in all the right places and shows off the wearer’s assets perfectly. No, football uniforms are about as appealing as a garbage bag.

Furthermore, I can’t even see how the uniform even aids the game – it’s certainly not streamlined.

I have to admit, I was very disappointed – the game was not turning out to be a smorgasbord of talent in any respect.

At least I was able to laugh when, in a lilting chant from around the stadium, the referee was informed he was a wanker. But it still didn’t help the scoreboard.

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