Football is Life!

It's been a while since I've written anything. Part of that is because of lockdown ending and being preoccupied with work, while another aspect is the dour situation that my football club finds itself in. At the time of writing, Arsenal sit 14th in the table ahead of the North London Derby at the toilet bowl; a game I'm absolutely dreading! As a school teacher, I can only imagine the taunts my students will give me should that lot be victorious. 

The main talking point this week has been the return of supporters to the Emirates on Thursday, where 2000 lucky souls got the privilege of attending a live football match for the first time in nine months. My Mum and Dad both rang me and asked if I enjoyed watching a game with supporters back and the added atmosphere and purpose that brought. No. 

For some context, it's necessary to point out that I live in an area of the country that is currently in tier 3 of the government's covid system, meaning that I cannot travel into a tier 2 area. This meant that I couldn't apply for tickets to the Rapid Wien game, despite desparately wanting to go. It also meant that I had to experience what felt like the entirety of my social media feed sharing images and messages about their experiences, leaving me yearning for my taste of normality. 

I'm glad that many got their fix, I really am. But not being able to go while so many others can really hurt, and it will continue to hurt for as long as I am stuck at home watching in front of my television. On Friday, I had the painful job of removing myself from the ballot for the Burnley game for the same above reason, another stark reminder that although elements of the world are returning to a semblance of normality, so many locations and individuals are still stuck in this bizarre and abnormal world. 

Many would read this and argue that it's just football. In a way, they would be right. However, to me and millions of others, football is something which shapes life from both an emotional and physical level. We'll get back, of course we will, but until that time much of my life will feel hollow and incomplete. 


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