Friday, 3 February 2012

Day 75 - The beautiful game?

It's kind of strange when something you have no interest in starts taking up a big chunk of your time.

I didn't have to try hard to avoid football when I was growing up.  I have three sisters - there was no way my dad was going to get a look in, even if he was that way inclined. Now I have a son who is completely and utterly obsessed.  Like millions of other boys he is convinced he's going to be the next Theo Walcott and I'm not going to be the one to burst his bubble, obviously.  

Since his dad went away in November I've taken over as chief driver, supporter and motivator.  This hasn't been easy for either of us.  He's not impressed by my vague grasp of the game. 
The only advice I can give him with any confidence is, "Just go for it!" 
And I've been banned from shouting "GOOD BOY!" from the sidelines.  
Not cool apparently when you're 9.  

I get a sinking feeling just before 7 on a friday night - not just because it's football training, but because I have to take the other two with me.  Same story on saturday, when I spend a lot of the match chasing them around the playing field because they're so BORED!

But of course I do try to look keen - and when I get a chance to stand still and watch, I am really proud of him.  I love that he loves something so passionately. 

My last serious brush with football was when I worked as a reporter in Glasgow.  It's like religion in Scotland and I was way out of my depth.  I went to a lot of press conferences at Rangers and Celtic (we were always short staffed).  My game plan was to sit beside a helpful hack and do everything within my power not to draw attention to myself.

There were times when I wished I'd listened to my own advice.  I once threw caution to the wind and wore an indecently short skirt to work.  More of a bright green, bottom skimming belt really.  Hey, I was young and excited and about to be whisked away for the weekend
I was sent to an armed siege. 
Every flipping scottish journalist I'd ever met was there and they showed no mercy.

But during my Glasgow stint I did interview a few football celebs - and as far as my son's concerned that gives me some credibility.  Who knew all these years later I'd be saying a silent prayer of thanks to Sir Alex Ferguson?

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