Monday, 3 October 2011

Size does matter

Subject A: "Do you love me"
Subject B "Of course I do"
Subject A: "Why do you love me"

I'm guessing that a few have you may have found yourselves in this position before, either in the guise of subject A or B. I'm also willing to go further and suggest that some of you may have broken into a fit of excessive perspiration and nervousness as you struggle to find an answer. Well shame on you. Do better!
It could also be prudent to examine that question when applied to your "other" significant other. Football.

The game of football has many intricate nuances that we can all appreciate and admire, but what about what we really love. Your manager may have introduced a defensive midfielder into your team to neutralise the attacking threat of the creative opposition, but has he brought your goalkeeper off the bench and put him on up front to try and get a goal? Well Stuart Pearce did when he was Manchester City manager, and i bloody love him for it! (that and lots more besides of course)
The point I'm trying to get to here is that the vast majority of football fans initially find their love of the game in the playground. As children. Wildly chasing a ball around the playground in a sunny delight fuelled madness pretending to be their favourite player (Lee Sharpe in my case.)
But somewhere along the line, on the way to the miserable, inevitable drudgery that is adult life, something changes. We feel a kind of social obligation to treat football as an art form, and give more presidence to tactics, formation and football politics. I say that, as important as those things are in enjoying watching your beloved sport, there must also be a hell of a lot more room for some edge of the seat style action that reminds us all of just why we love this game so much. 
And of course, their can be nothing that describes that better than the big score!
I think we all know what I'm referring to when i say "big score". 3-0 is a good win, 4-0 is a great win, but 5-0 is a BIG win. If you tell a pal in the pub that your team scored 5, not only does it come with a sharp intake of breath or a chuckle of appreciation, but it even comes with it's only unique lexicon. 
" We smashed them 5!" or "They shipped 5!"
The lovers of the big score have been somewhat spoiled this season, what with the two Manchester teams sharing 13 goals between them in one day, and Fulham and Chelsea doing something similar recently to beleaguered QPR and Bolton sides respectively. 
Of course, This is not at all a new phenomenon. The true glory days of the big score must be reserved for people who are old enough to remember the glory days of the original BBC vidi-printer. Nothing can equate with the sheer giddy pleasure you experience when your team has scored so many that it requires the score to be spelt out, as to stop the viewer rubbing their eyes like a cartoon Garfield that's just seen a fresh lasagne placed on the window to cool. 
There are of course times when the big score can mutilate like a radioactive super hero, into a GIGANTIC score, and of course, these are all the more satisfying!
The best known example of this is probably the behemoth Abroath 36 - Bon Accord 0, a score line which can very generously be described as a bad day at the office for the Bon Accord boys. But here is something that you may not know......
That particular game took place on 12th September 1885. A mere 17 miles down the road on the same day Dundee Harps were entertaining Aberdeen Rovers. Actually, Aberdeen Rovers were probably the only people in the stadium not being entertained, as they lost by a mere 35-0 ! No chance of either of games being shown last on Match Of The Day that night I'm guessing?
So the plea is this. Keep your eyes peeled this weekend for a biggie! Examine with forensic detail, delight in the increasing exasperation of the beleaguered defenders as each goal flies in, and simply enjoy it for all it's worth, like you were a kid again.