A Soccer Life of Loss

7 Jan

let-l

What does it feel like to win every week? You’re a fan of a big club. At the end of the season you look at the league table and see a big number under the “W” column. You’ve been fed a high each week throughout the year. And like a junkie, you can’t give it up. On game day, you awake with a buzz. You pay for the thrill, you buy the dealer’s strips, you jump around like an elephant’s ejaculation every time your team scores. You become fat with joy and on the odd occasssion you lose, the next week’s win pushes you to a greater high.

What does it feel like to lose every week? You’re a small team fan, the stadium is nearly empty, a few shouts sputter out like a sloth’s ejaculation. You look at the “L” column growing by the week. Loser. That’s the strip you wear, if you’ve been dumb enough to buy it from the decrepit club shop. You’re not even laughed at by winners. You’re ignored. It’s not even a joke. It’s nothing. And that fits the number of goals your center forward has scored recently. And each week you return, not like those junkies herded into the packed folds for the winners. You come back out of loyalty, and the most destructive of all the ingredients in Pandora’s box – hope. That’s your dope. It’s always duff. And you numb. And you’re resigned. And maybe one of your players brings fire, and cheer, and runs with the ball and scores. And then he does it again. And soon he’s on the front cover of the match program, featured, and you chant his name, and converse excitedly with the scattered few around you. And then he’s gone. Purchased by a bigger club, to sit on their subs bench, at wages ten times more than the coins your club can offer. You eat the crap meat pie from the food hatch.

You see an old man next to you. He’s been coming for years. It’s a slow death. His obituary goes unwritten. He leaves behind his team scarf. It doesn’t end up in the charity shop. The family throws it in the bin. His grandson doesn’t want it. He supports winners. He doesn’t need grandpa’s withered scarf. Full of holes. Like his team’s defence. It smells of loss, musty with pointlessness.

It’s rubbish being a loser. But you keep coming back. There’s always something to be said about trash.

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