CATHARSIS

By Mark Daniell
May 4th, 2007

They say never write when you’re angry.  Apparently you’re more prone to spelling mistakes such as, say, accidentally writing ‘scouser’ as ‘swine-faced mule’, or grammatical mistakes such as failing to make the subtle distinction between the sentences ‘we lost on penalties at Anfield’ and ‘they grind up babies to make sausages in Liverpool’.  But you know what? I want to write when I’m angry so it’s a risk I’m willing to take. On the one hand it’s going to make me feel better – not a great deal better, I confess, but a little – and on the other it might provide some element of catharsis in you, the reader, who probably still wants to puke.

So, bearing that in mind, don’t look to this brief piece for any analysis or valuable insight. Don’t expect excuses, player profiles or match stats and don’t even expect a bold, all-embracing perspective, a global point of view that will help you see the bigger picture and get through the tough times. This is nothing more than a good old fashioned, heart-warming rant.  Nothing more.

Firstly I heard some claptrap on the radio about the players not pulling their weight. I’m not about to bust the players’ chops.  They played hard and in a season where you lose two keepers and both centre backs, one of whom is your captain and you’re still in with a shot of winning the lot with two weeks remaining, well I don’t think there’s much room for chop-busting. To quote Kareem Abdul-Jabar in Airplane! when he’s accused of not trying: “The hell I don’t. LISTEN KID. I’ve been hearing that crap ever since I was at UCLA. I’m out there busting my buns every night. Tell your old man to drag Walton and Lanier up and down the court for 48 minutes.” Besides, I wouldn’t have wanted to take a penalty in that stadium. I believe, although this is unsubstantiated (unlike the rest of this piece) I believe that they have those arcade style change machines actually in the ground. You know, for lobbing.

The boys played hard, tried hard and were unlucky. And naturally I’m angry.  Now please don’t go and give me any chat about it being good to lose once in a while in order to appreciate the victory more… If you lose a fiver in the back of a cab do you appreciate it more when you have to get another out of the wall? no. It just pisses you off.

As to why it didn’t work or why we were unlucky… well, all I can think is for some reason God must have held His nose, cut through the rancid fog of BO and ground-up babies that hangs over merseyside and squinted at the wallowing, purulent masses beneath.  Then, in His infinite wisdom, He either took pity on them, or I don’t know, maybe He still hasn’t forgiven the Greeks for that whole Zeus and Olympus coup and wants to send them an army of swine-faced mules to deep fry special brew in their tavernas and stain the Parthenon with tizer piss. If so, fair enough, it’s not my masterplan.

And so with a heavy heart we have to face the truth that it would seem you can’t win everything; not this season at least; not when you’ve got a bunch of sweaty northerners who won’t read the script holding out for 0-0 or 2-2 draws, or giving away 2-0 home leads… yeah, that’s right Everton, you don’t escape so lightly. Bolton, Newcastle, Manchester, Liverpool… frankly the only good news is that Leeds need to win nine-nil to stay in the Championship.

You know what I’m going to do? I’m going to go out and buy myself an SUV and pump out a little CO2, maybe melt a few ice caps and flood the north, give them a much-needed bath up there, eh? We’re alright, we’ve got the Thames barrier.

(oh and before you get uppity, this is a rant, and I don’t want to hear any ‘it’s only a  game’ chit chat, if I can’t rant childishly about a game, what is there left? besides, I don’t know about you, but I feel better.)

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