Modern Life Is Rubbish.
Every morning I wake up and once I cough the tons of phlegm off my chest, which no doubt has been caused by the 26 years of my life not smoking, I start my 20 mile long commute to work. This is basically one stretch of single carriage country road, with no overtaking opportunities and numerous tractors stuck at 20MPH and lorries stuck at 40MPH. If I`m incredibly lucky, on the way home I`ll get stuck behind the ramshackle truck that sticks to 15MPH, carries spring onions on the back of it and refuses to pull over even if the queue behind it becomes so long and so irate that you feel only a organised public witch hunt of said driver would truly make it obvious of how much we hate him.
I`m not writing this to complain about my A44/B4084 woes, however much it may seem. It`s because about halfway through this journey, I drive past a house which has an Aston Villa flag proudly flying from the top of it. It`s not particularly a big flag. There`s no reason why it`s there - it just is - it`s a family stating that they are Villa fans and they don`t care who knows.
And I really like that. Not only because it`s a Villa flag, but because it`s a bit a symbol for exactly how I feel about football at the moment. The landscape is a dull and dreary affair, with the same corporate logos moving flying down the road with it`s over priced goods and impatient followers behind them, but just standing out is the claret and blue flag.
Now I`m not saying everything about modern day football is terrible, apart from Aston Villa because they are great. Certainly not. But in these days of over priced match tickets, kits and pies, of poor refereeing regularly effecting the results of games, of over saturation of the game with newspapers telling us what the Manchester United squad is eating for tea but ignoring the efforts of teams that are in the same division as them - Villa are at least trying to battle against it.
Put it this way, we may not have the best team, but I`d rather be a Villa fan than any other club at the moment.
My girlfriend is a Liverpool fan. She goes to home games regularly. She`s a proper fan, supporter or whatever you want to call it - not one of those who when you ask who they support say 'Liverpool' but wouldn`t know that Kevin MacDonald played in one of those most successful sides.
She went to purchase tickets for the forthcoming game against Chelsea, and on top of the £5 booking fee, the tickets were £45 each. That`s nearly £100. That`s right. £100.
And then you compare it to Villa. This is a team who finished above Liverpool last year, and have started much better so far this season. Tickets were available for £15 in some areas. It gives you a bit of pride knowing that, yes, football is a bit crap nowadays, but Villa, where they can, are trying to keep it as cheap as possible. Even when prices get a bit more expensive on certain items or tickets - there is a feeling that rather than trying to rip us off, as some clubs appear to do without even trying to hide it these days, there is a justification to it.
So whilst we may grumble whilst leaving the ground after games like the Bolton one, I think it`s only fair to once in a while stand back and be grateful for the club we have.
How`s that then? Some positive thoughts after writing an incredibly depressing first paragraph.