Today is the start of the Premier League season. The real start, I mean, when Tottenham Hotspur kick off at 4pm. Don’t what yesterday was about. That Arsenal thing, that didn’t really happen, did it. Why was MOTD on last night when the league begins this afternoon?
Although I look forward to every new season with the anticipation of a 7 year old at bedtime on Christmas Eve, it usually takes a few weeks for me to build up a head of steam that will then last me right through until next May. This year will be the one where we do well but primarily I’ll enjoy the football, whatever happens. Just a privilege to be there and support the team. Don’t really care who wins the league. Europe – OK, a bonus.
That’s all bollo of course. Same every year, the identical exercise in self-deception. Something turns it. With Spurs it’s usually a couple of pathetic defeats against rubbish, occasionally the bright sparks of a fine win ignites the flames of this one true love.
This year, however, is different. Dear friends, I have made a cataclysmic error. 9 on the Richter Scale of cock-ups. The end of the world is nigh. Life will never be the same again. I have arranged to attend a family lunch. This afternoon. Chamberlain returning from Berlin with a piece of paper. Decca passing on signing the Beatles. Nothing in comparison with this unprecedented disaster.
I was consulted. This is what truly rankles. None of this family calendar clash, mainly because we don’t have one. The trip to my wife’s brother will be fun, he and his kids are good people. But I check everything, double and triple check. A cautious nature, each trip out of the house involves a ritual of rifling through pockets and mental checklists – keys money handkerchief glasses. Lately it’s got worse if anything, ever since 10 years ago I parked the car and left the handbrake off. Nothing happened – the car moved 3 inches – but that’s not the point.
But this time, this god forsaken moment frozen forever in eternity, I did not look in the diary. Convinced that we were kicking off early on Saturday, arrangements were made. Did I mention he doesn’t have Sky Sports?
Of course there will be other games but surely this is the top of the slippery slope as I begin the inexorable decent towards degeneration and senility. You have to understand that I have never done anything remotely similar in 40 years of watching Spurs regularly. I’ve annoyed friends, infuriated girlfriends and stretched relationships to breaking point and beyond, all because I must get to the match.
Soon I’ll be popping out of the house and not knowing why, repeating comments endlessly and leaving the gas on when I go out, which even for me in my geriatric state will be some achievement as we are all-electric.
So enjoy the game, you bastards. Have bloody fun why don’t you. We’re in the deepest country somewhere in Essex, so in case the texts and radio fail I’ve lined up a carrier pigeon as back-up. You can’t be too careful.