1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 By Janus,
I think we all have ambivalent feelings about tradition,
No matter how young or old we are –
Some rituals we studiedly want to keep,
And some we want to throw away with the bathwater;
But no matter how old, jaundiced and cynical I get,
I do love the outset of a new football season –
What a delight to read the end of July News and Journal,
And find, within its page, a small red fixture card,
For Forest Green Rovers (GM Vauxhall Conference),
And what a delight to read elsewhere,
That 39% of some questionnaire’s respondents
Admitted to taking at least one day off during the World Cup,
And what a 1950’s Beachcomber equally useless statistical discovery,
To read that someone has computed that the World Cup,
Yes, the World Cup, cost the British Economy £391 million,
(Which seems to link somehow with the 39% mentioned earlier,
So, presumably, somewhere along the statistical line,
There is a profit minus wages link type scenario here,
Thereby confirming traditional Marxist theories of surplus value –
Who said “ The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists” was redundant?)
(And see how more and more people are defining themselves as working class,
With a traditional 2 fingers to modernity and “the end of history”)
And its nice to find Wimbledon in the Carshalton District League,
And see its true supporters rejecting American style franchises,
And it’s reassuring to find Montserrat and Bhutan,
Like Wimbledon, find honour in the taking part,
Rather than in the winning,
(O tempora! O mores! Oh Corinthian Casuals! Sic transit Gloria!)
And when you go on your holidays to Greece,
It’s nice to find that all the 5 flights’ worth of tattooed young men,
All arriving simultaneously in their England football shirts,
All queue nicely waiting for their luggage on the one slow carousel
At Zakynthos airport, on this island where a café boasts a sign,
“Every Saturday Night is Greek Night”.
And it’s good to discover that you still stare in awe
At the clear constellations of the Mediterranean heavens,
And drunkenly talk about how the light we are seeing now,
Is how that star used to be at the time of the Battle of Hastings sort of thing,
And it’s good to find an English voice on the radio on the season’s first day:
I heard the the Bundesleaga scores first, and then Division 1,
Including some team called Watford Town, until tradition was reaffirmed,
With the avenging of our 1911 FA Cup Semi Final defeat,
By beating Barnsley at home 3-1,
With the retro named Sam Parkin scoring a hat trick on his debut,
(With a name like that, he could have played in the 1911 game)
And all the while the bells of the goat herd tinkled on the hills behind me,
Don’t you just love the Sound of Music?

Source: https://footballpoets.org/poems/tradition/