Football. The state of it. From the bloated corruption of FIFA to the hypocrisy of supporters that change direction more often than a dizzying Vlad Chiriches. Everyone hates everything. If you dare like something you're tagged a hipster and mocked. Sky Sports is the snowballing bubble of sp*nk passed on from one super rich football club to the next whilst the great unwashed deride the billions of pounds shared whilst obsessing about the Champions League. Football. The ****ing state of it.
Can we do anything about it? How can we save our game and enrich our experience? I'm afraid we can't. At least not until we enforce radical changes that will over time terraform this desolate footballing planet back to a unsullied state without these modern ills.
Where do we even start?
I believe we need to first look at the disparaging difference between the footballers and the supporters. The two binding forces of football. Those that represent the club and those that are in essence, the club.
If football is going to change then the supporters have to be the first to adapt. We need to be focused. Our perceptions and expectations have to be cleansed. Thanks to social media, the collective online fanbase has no filter for their thoughts. It's instant, communicated within seconds of being processed from brain to finger tapping on mobile device or keyboard. There is no cooling off period. The 'don't think, then share' culture is dominant. There still remains the occasional puncture to the bloated gut of Twitter. A sharp slice that bleeds a momentary outpouring of happiness, usually in the form of the name and shame ethic, digging up a Tweet from a year ago that displays a contradictory statement to the one being shown currently. Social media never forgets.
There's nothing wrong in this you might say? We all make mistakes, especially with Twitter. We all commit to statement, influenced by heart or a miscalculation of the brain. It's part and parcel of being a supporter. We always want to be right or associated with being right so we throw ourselves at something and pretend it never happened when it turns out the opposite. Then we try to casually associate ourselves with that opposite. Ego rules. Tribes exist within tribes. Everyone knows best and everyone is wrong except for you.
This has to stop.
This breeds a dangerous community of fundamentalism, spiteful thought-terrorism that harms the club and attempts to belittle and silence the ones that wish to embrace the tentative hope of progress and success. Online or at White Hart Lane, these people are the ones that aid the uncertainty. The angry ones and the permanently happy-clappy ones.
It's time for them to be made accountable. It's time to label them for what they are.
Just because you're no longer restricted to pre and after pub drinking on match-days and you can now be heard constantly, all hours of the day, doesn't mean you should be allowed to get away with your bile. The solution? Amputation. If you're name and shamed and the difference between your opinion is either criminally vast to your previous stance or you never dare criticise the club/coach/chairman/players or you burst veins with your constant belittling and self-deprecation to the point where you actually believe it all... you should lose a finger. One at a time for every crime committed.
Say for example you are pro-Daniel Levy and then a year later constantly single him out as the reason for THFC's lack of progression - you must be duly punished. Say you come out in support of a coach that just got spanked 5-0 at home just because you really really really wish he'll be success because he's so God damn trendy....punished! Say you just slag off the team win, lose or draw because you're incapable of breaking character thinking it's a weakness to display the trait of joy....PUNISHED!
Yes, most would end up with two stumps thumping the keyboard in rage, hardly any difference from today to be fair but just a touch more indistinguishable and therefore less likely to be noticed. There would be less polluting and passive aggressive bullying of those normal salt of the earth supporters that retain feet on ground, the same supporters that remember what football used to be about; a call to arms, belonging, pride and pomp...no matter what. The new stadium, which will hopefully include a safe-standing terrace at some point in the future, will also have to include new age boxes to cater for the supporters that end up with no limbs (as the punishment can continue after all fingers have been lost).
Ego is the link from fans to the players.
On the pitch we need to seek to remove the vanity driven ambitions of the modern day professional footballer. The money clubs earn from TV rights and sponsors allows the existence of ridiculous contracts the players can command, even including tax pre-paid by the mega-rich owners. It leaves us - the common man and woman and child - paying extortionate prices to watch a millionaire be half arsed. We go home with fish and chips. They go to a private VIP booth with short skirts and magnums of champagne. The disenfranchisement has to stop.
We do so by stripping away their on the field egos. You know how you might wake up one morning before work with a massive spot on your head? One of those crater sized monstrosities, yellow in colour. Burst it and it becomes a bloody mess. You get to the office and you find yourself over compensating because you're so self-concious. The logic being that if you deflect peoples attention away from your forehead you can make yourself believe the spot isn't there. Even if everyone else will always see it.
How can this psychology be applied to the players?
Easy. Simply get them to play football in completely transparent shorts. Health and safety will deem it impossible for them to play with nothing on below the belly and above the knees and cellotape is a dubious choice to hold things together. I've tested it during an afternoon in the local park and it's nigh impossible to run around with a football at your feet whilst your manhood is tied in the Buffalo Bill position. So the next best thing to flapping appendages is viewable ones, behind plastic see-through sports underwear. If we could see every players manhood, the deflection the players will have to deliver will be monumental.
Players with little ones will want to play out of their skin. That wasn't a circumcision pun. The ones with above average family jewels will seek to avoid under-achieving. If God blessed you with something bigger than average then there's no excuse to under-perform. You're alpha male. The little ones will always try harder, the bigger ones will be more creative rather than just think their presence is enough to put smiles on faces. It's a win win situation. Off the field it opens up a wide range of new merchandise for the club shop. Puts a whole new spin on Cock and ball.
They'd be no vanity driven b*llsh*t because all the supporters can see the players winkles. Like the man with the hefty spot on his face, the players will have to push beyond the boundaries of standard expectancy to get the supporters staring at the ball on the turf and not the ones above.
I know what you're thinking. Neither suggestion is plausible. Amputation would lead to financial concerns with rehabilitation and there is no doubt the transparent underwear will be plastered with sponsorship brand names that will probably be carefully placed to disguise any potential blush.
So we are stuck with the status quo. Progressive, radical thinking will once more be pushed aside and ignored. It's easier to complain about something than it is to stand up and make a difference. It's easier to mock the ones that desire change. The state of football remains one that belongs in a swamp rather than on freshly cut grass.