Monday, 29 May 2017

Wishing all of you at Wankers FC a lovely, peaceful summer

Game 53, 2016-17

"Once apparently the chief concern and masterpiece of the gods," HL Mencken wrote, "the human race now begins to bear the aspect of an accidental by-product  of their vast, inscrutable and probably nonsensical operations." And that was without him ever having watched an amateur football match.

HL Mencken writes to Fifa
about reforming the offside law.
A visitor from another planet might have wandered past yesterday's game at the butt-end of a league so low that there's no way out but upwards, and rightfully asked, "What on your increasingly dysfunctional planet Earth is all the fuss about?"

Well, you might patiently explain to the alien, this is what we call a game. Games are played for leisure, fitness and entertainment purposes as an escape from the daily toil. It's the final day of the season, and the team in orange, who are mid-table, are hosting the team in green that is third from bottom.

"So the game in itself has no importance," muses the alien. Correct - it has absolutely none, you reply. "Then why," the baffled visitor continues, "are the men in green surrounding some of the men in orange and shoving them, and why is everyone shouting, and why is that older
bloke in the red shirt trying to get in between them while ferociously blowing his whistle?"

I think, you reply, because it's so hot. Our planet's warming up, and humans can not cope with it. Psychologically, most of us - including the most powerful man in the world - are in denial and continue to drive our cars, fly in planes, eat mass-produced meat and generally act like it isn't happening. Physically, it causes us to melt down like two-year-olds denied an ice cream and being told instead that it's time for our afternoon nap.

"I still don't really get it," shrugs the alien, looking at its watch and thinking it's about time to be getting back to the air-conditioned space-ship. "And I'm not even going to ask why the bloke in the red shirt is now waving a little piece of yellow cardboard in the faces of some of the angry players."

Later, the referee helpfully sends the alien his match report, which goes like this: "The intense heat had a strange effect on the players of Wankers FC. In the absence of any substitutes, scoring chances or creative attacking ideas, many of the team's players began to moan, complain and dissent, and were unable to stop. The fact that they went on to lose 8-0 had absolutely nothing to do with the superiority of their opponents, and was solely down to the poor decisions of the idiotic referee. The idiotic referee would nonetheless like to wish the whole delightful squad a wonderful and peaceful summer break, and hopes that they make a full recovery."

The gods, as Mencken assumed, have in the meantime long since given up.

Final score: 8-0 (3 x yellow, all for the green team, who at 7-0 down should have had two of those yellows turned into red, but the season was dying and I could not be arsed with any more drama).

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