Friday, 30 March 2012

On standing around and watching Football

I don't know about boys. My upbringing has left me careful to generalise everything, but I've always found myself more comfortable hanging around girls, because generally, they're a lot nicer. Of course, this means that I haven't gone out and make an effort with lots of guys and consequently found a lot of the nice ones (though almost all of the guy friends I do have are amazing,) but I nonetheless find that girls are generally the superior sex. They're certainly a hell of a lot less lazy than we are.

Maybe if girl's ruled the world of football I'd be put in goal less.

The Easter holidays have arriveth'd, and PE lessons stop... with it, football. The problem is that it started in the first place. I'm not a raging muscleman and it doesn't take much to beat me in an arm wrestle but that doesn't mean that I'm unfit, and by all accounts I usually love PE, and always make a conscious effort to get in the game and be useful no matter what I'm playing. I have a lot more fun doing it. But football, I don't get any fun out of. Like I talked about in the last post, I just don't have any interest in it - consequently, I'm also missing the skill in it. I can hardly kick a ball to a person standing a few feet away from me expectantly, let alone drop-kick it to the other end of the field, possess it, tackle it, or dribble it.

Not liking the sport is a pretty big impediment to my general enjoyment and ability to play it. But the other is because somehow, I always fucking end up in goal. This is what got me onto boys vs. girls at the start, because naturally, in the quaint and modern integrated society we live in, only boys do football. At this point I must add that many of the boys in my PE class are actually very nice, great sportsmen, and they look out for team members. Those are the guys I love being captained by. But I'm not always that lucky, and I usually end up in goal at least once a game all the same.

"Just say no," said Chris when I talked about him with dilemma. So I've tried it a few times... but the problem is, everyone is so caught up in the game, everyone so determined to be the star player, the master shooter who expertly penetrates everyone's defences, that noone ever voluntarily goes in goal. The most important fucking position in the game. Which gets relegated to a guy who hates football. Several times I've tried flat-out refusing to go in goal and not been listened to, which means I end up sinking back, and before I know it I'm running to defend the goal anyway because noone else is.

Occasionally I save the ball, but most of the game consists of the ball either going into the goal or going past the goal, both with the end result of me sprinting out to try and stop it, run to scoop it up, try to pivot in the exact way that I don't slip and fall with my non-studded trainers, then run back because I can neither throw the ball that far or kick it back.

It's shit, but it's not always that bad. Goal is the most passive position besides your basic fall-back defender who is the goalie's buddy (and generally, if they've got enough time to stand and gaze around thoughtfully at the team then either they're a shit defender who doesn't care but doesn't try like I do, or you've got a fucking amazing team that won't even let the ball near our end.) But really, being in goal gives you a great vantage point. I don't know much about football, but I'm not stupid, and from where I stand I can see what our team or their team are doing well and where we're going wrong. I can see which are the players to look out for, when our team aren't marking closely enough, or when we're not getting through because there's nobody up field. And so I find myself constantly shouting advice, praise and consolation at the other players, (because, sport regardless, I'm usually relegated to goal, from which point I can easily do so.) I don't do this so much around the better players for fear of patronising them, but sometimes if there's something really obvious - "Guys, we need defence," "Someone mark Jacob," - they listen. Always nice.

It's not so god-damn awful that I want to complain to the world about it, and it's over now. I hate the sport as much as I did at the start of it, but it could've been much worse. I don't remember getting a goal - I may have got one, I never know - and I saved a few... made some okay moves here and there... it's not my sport, but I survived.

Good enough for me.

~Love Leonidas

1 comment:

  1. I also find the way football is played in schools ridiculous as, like you have said, goalie is, arguably, the most important position in the game (which you just lost) yet it is almost always given to the worst player on the pitch, the equivalent of leaving a doddery old man armed with a twig to guard the crown Jewels ( a terrible anology I know). Furthermore there is virtually no organisation or positions, as in professional play, as most players spend the majority of the game running mindlessly after the ball, they then, once they have obtained it, attempt to score from halfway accross the pitch with the accuracy of an american bombing raid (thank you Jeremy Clarkson) and complain about how 'close' it was to the goal which it missed by several hundred meters before making the goalie go to collect from the other side of the field.


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