Game 20, 2016-17
Yet again it's a gorgeously warm weekend, despite the first yellow notes of autumn. My game's south of the city, across the river and then five miles through the forest. The whole world's out doing normal Sunday afternoon things. Couples cross the foot bridge holding hands, on their way to an art gallery or a museum. Others lie by the water, reading books, unpacking picnics, drinking a beer. In the woods, people are dog-walking, bird-watching, horse-riding.
|Where John Keats might suggest spending|
Sunday afternoons (with a fat joint).
The strong smell of weed hits me before I see two young men finishing off a joint and flipping the tab end away. That's something else I wouldn't mind doing on a day like this. But hang on a minute, I'm already at the ground, and these young men are walking in there too, just ahead of me. One of them stretches out his arms and runs on to the field like an aeroplane. His friend laughs and then they make their way towards the away team's changing room. Well, maybe today's game will be all relaxed and mellow fruitfulness.
Yeah, right. It only takes 13 minutes before the first histrionics. Three away forwards are behind the home team's defence. One of them receives the ball, and he's the only one of the three to run