Thursday, June 17, 2010
There is something atavistic about football. I refer to the world game, what we call soccer, from a strange elision of the words "association football." Watched from high above as commentators do it seems sublime and geometric. Up close it is both more vicious and more elegant. When I was writing about it I disliked the detachment of the press box (free food and drinks notwithstanding) and always watched from ground level, where I could feel the atmosphere and hear the verbal abuse. Otherwise personable chaps became something different on the field, willing to destroy and (worse) embarrass their opponents. And afterwards they'd be chums again, ordinary blokes like someone you might see working in a bank.