Fox (n): carnivore of genus vulpes; crafty person; scavenger; (vb) to confuse; -ed (adj): to be drunk.
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Wednesday 28 September 2011

A delusional game.

I KNOW I'm a girl but I can't be the first person to point out football would be more enjoyable without the footballers.

Hookers, vanity hair transplants, dodging drug tests, roasting sessions in which women are treated like meat and all of it paid for by earning the kind of money-per-minute which would put an oil pipeline to shame.

And topped off, in pretty much every case, by the intellect of a village idiot.

Last night Carlos Tevez, whose transfer to Manchester City was worth a total £64million, refused to play 15 minutes of football on the basis he hadn't been brought on earlier and didn't like Manchester much anyway. By comparison, £64m is the same amount of money recently offered by the US government to the Horn of Africa to help alleviate a drought affecting millions of people.

For that kind of money I would do anything the Man City manager wanted, up to and including baa-ing like a sheep on national TV for the full 90 minutes. I'd even do extra time.

Not long ago I was in a top-end bar when a Premier league footballer who shall remain nameless came in with his mates. He was fairly ugly, wouldn't take off his baseball cap inside, and wore a watch nearly as big as his fat head. Within 30 seconds a dozen girls had swarmed to his side, grinding in his lap, giggling at his comments and two of them even put on a faux-lesbian show. They weren't hookers, but might as well have been, and it was only half-eight on a Wednesday.

It all leaves a nasty taste in the mouth, and that's why even though if anyone asks me who I support I proudly tell them I can never be bothered to watch the overpaid thick louts unless we get into an interesting final of some kind.

I've been in Africa and Asia when there's a big win and seen love and devotion for a sport which can unify the whole world pour through the streets as grown men hug and cry and sing. I was working on a local paper covering possible 'hooligan trouble' during the 1998 World Cup and was watching the England-Argentina game through a pub window with a police patrol when Michael Owen had his amazing run to goal. I swear the roof lifted right off the pub with the crowd's roar, while me, the local inspector, his sergeant and four constables jumped and screamed outside then did the can-can down the street.

Football can be a beautiful game. I just think it would be even better, and less amoral, avaricious and stupid in so many ways, if we sent 22 labradors onto the pitch to run after the ball.

Either that or we start paying the players in dog biscuits.

I don't think he'd notice.