Monday, 12 January 2015


There is this view of football...

And I can see where he's coming from. I take his point that football is really just a ball being kicked about a field and if you were to stand in a pub and listen to a conversation week in week out month in month out year in year out most of it would sound the same.  There is an aspect of it being like the same record played over and over and I can certainly take it or leave it. But still there is an interesting metaphor in football that has attracted me of late.  In football the performance of a human being (and a team) is scrutinized far more than mine is or- chances are- yours.  Every pass, every tackle, every assist, every goal and in a manner of speaking, every blade of grass covered: as work rate is measured too.  And footballers are given every chance to improve.  They have coaches and physios and dietary specialists and probably psychologists too.  Every possible method of getting an extra inch out of a team simply to beat another team that is trying to beat them.  Surely the team that wins is not the important thing.  It's being the best you can be.  Ultimately, you play against yourself.  This whole football thing has got me thinking.  What if I lived my life like a footballer?  What if I ate the right food, achieved peak fitness, had an Alex Ferguson equivalent motivating me, scolding me, guiding me in my career.  What might I achieve?  In some senses footballers get something that ordinary individuals don't get.  They get a level of focus that can turn someone not using their time wisely or to best effect into the best version of themselves.  Some children get that from their parents.  Most don't.  But still, in football we are reminded that every little helps.  And I'm toying with the idea of preparing for the launch of a new James.  James 2.0 when I am 40.  He doesn't take drugs, he exercises, he flosses, he uses to do lists, keeps accounts, takes vitamins, goes to bed early, gets up early...Sounds like a midlife crisis?  Manning up?  Typical 40 year old behaviour?

I was supposed to be writing about Man U vs Southampton watched at the Barnacles pub but I wrote this instead.    

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