Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Finding the hidden stash of footballing cocaine

As if planned, all of the Premier League weekend scores have combined to underline my reasons for not watching the English table anymore. I don't even know where Aston Villa lies in the standings. The thing is, 6-0 football is the stuff of toddlers. I know I'm now Mr. Entertainment when it comes to discussing  the end goal of the football machine in Europe, but games that have been well and truly decided by half-time don't exactly draw in the neutral. As unexpected as TFC's trouncing at home to the New York Red Bulls, it was at least kind of unexpected, as was Toronto's win at home against Cruz Azul. So, as the broken record goes, say what you want about MLS...

There is something vitally missing from this year's professional start-up in England. It's like the pre-DVD days when you'd watch the next season of a really great show only to find out the producers have dropped half the narrative threads and hoped you wouldn't notice.  What happened to the supporters trusts getting involved with their clubs to prevent the debt monster from swallowing everyone whole? Or pressuring the coalition government to allow more fan involvement in the decision making at the board level? Or the growing disgust at the complete lack of competitive parity in the Richard Scudamore's Premier League?

Maybe it's easier to cast these things aside and just watch the football while pretending that nine-hundred 6-0 results is just the fluke opening of another rip-roaring stunner in the top flight in England. Or maybe all the whiners have long moved to the Championship or the Blue Square or gone on a happy Ryan Air jaunt over to the continent, a la EFW, and a horde of new fans have simply come to take their places. Or maybe, like me, they've switched top flights altogether (I'm going to watch La Liga this year, although it's on the level of the SPL in terms of title predictability).

Since the end of the World Cup, I've been accused of being a bit curmudgeonly on the football front, but really it's just crankiness due to boredom. Daniel Taylor has been reduced to talking about "vibes" at Man City, Barcelona are a bunch of jerks, and try as I might, I have absolutely no interest in MLS right now. Meanwhile, everyone else seems to be going in the opposite direction. I am in endless wonder at the regularity and quality of entries in my Twitter feed, and I am in awe of the number of new, quality blogs rising to the surface even as the older ones die down. You all seem to have that big stash of football cocaine and aren't willing to share it with me.

I think it's the long arm of the Spain Holland final. My most recent issue of When Saturday Comes is still sitting here on my desk, unread, because I don't ever want to have to think about that game again. It was horrible, and I feel we're all still in collective shock about it. But I am going to persist through it, and beat it, and I hope Spain is the answer. So apologies in advance.


Jeremy said...

Germany, not Spain. Germany, my friend. That's where you'll find unpredictable results and compelling and quality action.

Parney said...

I'll second Jeremy's recommendation.

Nice to see you back - I thought you had died.

Gareth said...

A bunch of jerks, maybe, but a bunch of jerks who are awfully good at playing soccer. They're worth watching simply because they're probably the best club side of this generation, even if you do hate them (for whatever reason.)