Saturday, 13 January 2018

Inside Football Stadium 54-50 - Blue Team 4 White Team 0

On a hunch and with a backup plan in place just in case this adventure falls apart, you venture out without any guarantee that you will find what you seek.

There's an overcast sky, and the route resembles that of another journey you've made hundreds of times before.

Approaching the presumed destination, at the assumed but unconfirmed and unknowable kickoff time, you can hear the thud of footballs being kicked.

Getting nearer to the sound, in the distance and through a fence, you can make out players in blue shirts. This must be the place; this must be the time.

Going against intuition, you try a northern gate; it's locked. Going around to the southern side, you slip through a gate along with people you do not recognise. The gatekeeper does not seem to mind.

There's a game which has just kicked off, but you're not here; this isn't happening. Someone who seems vaguely familiar agrees with you on that point, pointing out that it's 'family only' today.

You make the claim that you are family, but it comes out more like a question than a statement of fact. Everything seems uncertain.

Looking around, at first you don't recognise any familiar faces. There's perhaps 100 people at most in the grandstand, but where they've come from and how they knew to be here now, you don't know.

There are a full compliment of officials, but the balls seem flat. You think to yourself that surely the officials cost more than filling the balls with free air. But maybe air on this strange planet isn't free.

A man comes up to greet you, as if he knows you. You think that you've seen his face before, and his voice strikes a familiar tone. The environment has you doubting reality, but you play along.

You think you've seen the blue team somewhere else, in another dimension perhaps, but the team in white shirts and black shorts, you haven't the faintest idea of who they are.

In the first half the teams go back and forth, the white team relying on counter attacks, getting close on a few occasions. The blue team would've scored had their striker been possessed of a right foot.

There is nowhere to socialise, and nowhere to have a beer or some food. You can't help but feel that  this is not the way things should be, but you don't know why you feel this way.

The second half sees the blues swap over personnel en masse, and then fire four goals past their opponents.

You want to take down notes of notable performers, but many of the blue team's shirts have no numbers. Only haircuts and boots provide distinguishing marks.

The match ends, and you leave the ground and know instinctively that you've never been here before, and you weren't here today. No one was here. Even the betting websites deny the existence of this game. It didn't happen.

With apologies to Edward Packard.


  1. You need a girlfriend.

  2. If a goal was scored, and there was no one around to see it, did that team ever score?

    1. If a goal is scored but it wasn't registered on Futbol24, did it happen?

  3. Myrtleford Savoy!


A few notes on comments.

We've had a lot of fun over the years with my freewheeling comments policy, but all good things must come to an end. Therefore I will no longer be approving comments that contain personal abuse of any sort.

Still, if your post doesn't get approved straight away, it's probably because I haven't seen it yet.

As usual, publication of a comment does not mean endorsement of its content.