By Jonathan Blaustein, Sister Act
At the end of every youth league soccer game, since the beginning of time, the kids walk in a straight line, slap hands with the opposing team, and say “Good game.” It’s repeated, until there are no more hands to slap, nor games to play.
The other day, my son, Theo, had a Saturday afternoon affair. Afterwards, his friend Campbell, who played on the other team, walked down the line, saying “Bad game” instead.
Theo was mortified.
“Why would he say that?” he asked, in earnest.
“Because Campbell is a little shit,” I said, “and he likes to cause trouble.”
Theo nodded in assent. In reality, I might have used slightly more G-rated language, but Campbell is the kid who taught Theo to say “Fuck,” so his low character had previously been established. And the game seemingly ended in a tie, so I can see why Campbell was pissed off.
Here in America, we have an old saying: a tie is like kissing your sister. For us, though, a tie means a draw. It doesn’t mean a match.
Draws are thoroughly unsatisfying, unless you’re Chelsea. Then you feel justified in celebrating like you’ve just liberated Paris from the Nazis. (What’s that you say? Chelsea fans in Paris act like Nazis? Oh. That’s right. I’d nearly forgotten.)
We can now say with certainty that Chelsea are the 2014-15 Barclay’s Premier League Champions. Shall I take the high road and offer them my heartfelt “Congratulations?”
I’d rather not.
Those wankers are so unlikeable, they make Ted Cruz look like Tom Cruise, circa 1989. And did you hear Mourinho’s post-game speech? Tim alluded to it the other day, but really, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
Even though I’m used to his sour-mouth ramblings, he still managed to give me the OMG face. Rather than celebrate, or mention ANY members of his team by name, he went on a rant about how he chose the hardest league to coach in, and other people didn’t. He’s the bravest man in world football, for accepting Roman Abramovich’s billions.
Tim suggested that he was taking a swipe at Pep Guardiola, for choosing the cushy Bayern job. Not to mention that Pep was only taking on a treble winner, with the pressure to improve. It doesn’t matter.
Jose Mourinho proved once again, and for ever-more, that he is the sorest winner and thinnest-skinned-insecure-asshole the world has ever seen. Honestly, he could have sex with Karlie Kloss, and then complain that while she might be the hottest supermodel in the world, RIGHT NOW, there were supermodels in the 80′s and 90′s who were far larger cultural icons, so really, it wasn’t that special.
As to the game, we all knew it would end in a draw. And it did. Not. Very. Gratifying.
But you know what was gratifying? The 3-1 win against Hull City yesterday. Talk about a thorough spanking! More please.
It’s almost as if nobody remembers that last year, Aaron Ramsey was playing like the most in-form box-to-box midfielder in the world. That’s right: in the WORLD. People were saying he was worth £50 Million.
And this year, Alexis Sanchez has been one of the most dynamic players on the planet. His buddy, Mesut Ozil, has within him the potential to do things with a football that most people wouldn’t even imagine. (Yes, that was the third magic flick of the year, by my count.)
Now, what might happen if all three of those guys started playing to their potential, together? Throw in the in-form Santi Cazorla, and you’d be hard pressed to find a more delicious group. A core that’s now motivated, more than ever, by watching John Terry wet his shorts with joy because his team managed a draw at the Emirates.
Speaking of delicious, and draws, once again there is a method to my madness. Even when I’m so off-topic you suspect I might have ingested hallucinogens, I assure you, we’ll get to the point.
Which is this: for the first time, in our last month of Arsenal football for too long, we have a draw for our “Matchday Photo of the Month.” Perhaps it was inevitable, as the biggest theme of the season, in this column, is that kids are cute, and people like to take pictures of them. (The second biggest theme is that Steve keeps trying, but just can’t win. But more on that in a moment.)
Yes, I might not have expected that we’d get all these kid photos, but now that it’s happened, I’m not surprised. We love sharing our passions with our children, and what’s more illogical and passionate than fandom?
My son, Theo, is 7, and doesn’t fancy Arsenal much. Mostly because he likes playing sports more than watching. But Adrian Lightly’s 7-year-old son Theo recently caught his first Arsenal match at Wembley. Look at that scarf. So dashing. And the Spiderman sweatshirt? Adorable. He’s looking at the program with such erudite attention, you suspect he might actually know how to read.
But then, our very own Tim sent in this cute picture of his daughter helping him prepare breakfast before the aforementioned Chelsea match. Strawberries and cream with bacon? How do you beat that? Really?
And have you noticed that both pictures are mirror opposites of each other? Compositionally, sure. But one is in the Old World, the other in the new. One’s at the stadium, the other getting ready to sit down in front of the television.
You know what you do when you find two photos like these? You declare the contest a draw, and hope your faithful readers will understand.
So, do you? Isn’t it the fairest option? Just ask (my) Theo. He loves it when his sister deigns to kiss him. Granted, she’s 2, and typically withholds affection, but still. Maybe a draw isn’t the worst thing in the world.
Finally, we get to Steve. Always the bridesmaid. Listen, Steve, I’m happy to publish your pictures. I genuinely appreciate that you keep submitting. But if you want to win one, slow down, take more time on your composition, and pay attention to the light. If you’re not photographing cute kids, you’ve got to bring your A-game.
OK. We’re done here. And the season is not far behind. Send me some photos this month, and we’ll eke out one more column before the summer is upon us.