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Bullshit & Ignorance

We’ll keep the red flag flying high

Swindon Town FC badge. A shield rimmed in gold with a red steam train at the top, a gold football in the centre with band running diagonally through it which reads Swindon Town FC there is a harlequin pattern on the rest of the shield with two red and two white squares. The top left square is red with a white robin in it. The bottom right has the date 1879. Beneath the badge is a scroll which reads Salubrita et Industria

I can’t remember, but I have a feeling the only times I’ve talked about football on the previous incarnations of sites I’ve hosted on this domain, it was with reference to the England team and their variable levels of success in major tournaments. I do of course also support a club team, my home town team, Swindon Town.

I have been a fan ever since the day, when I was about 5 years old, that I opened a packet of Panini football stickers and was treated to a glittery foil sticker. The logo on the sticker had a bull’s head on it and my young impressionable mind was thoroughly impressed. Right up until my older brother smacked me upside the head for showing any kind of delight at the Oxford United badge. I then received a balanced and fair explanation about how the pox were a blight on humanity and must, must be opposed at every turn. I didn’t really understand a word of it, but Swindon wear red and I liked red so I was okay with that choice of team instead. Also there was a train on the Swindon badge and trains were cool, Thomas the tank engine was a train not unlike the one on the Swindon badge so yeah, I was sold.

My career as a member of the ‘Barmy army’ started slowly, with me being taken along to a handful of games a year, until I was sufficiently self-sufficient to buy my own tickets, then I started attending games more and more regularly, until I was going to more or less every game home and away. Good times. Then I got a job that required me to work on Saturdays and fucked that right up. But anyway, I supported the team and followed the results wherever they took us, even if I couldn’t be there in person, I’d listen to the games on the radio or watch them on TV on the rare occasion someone deemed a game involving Swindon to be TV worthy.

During my time at University, I discovered after a couple of weeks that a new friend I’d made was one of the dreaded pox. This person I had been drinking with almost daily for weeks was an Oxford fan…and yet he seemed to be a human being, too, and a fairly likable one at that. We decided to stay friends anyway rather than stabbing each other with broken bottles and things, since that would have been awkward during seminars and lectures. We kept our rivalry good natured, restricting it to the occasional smart crack and the fact that when we played pool in the pub, I was always the red balls and he was always the yellow.

Why, you may be asking yourself, the fuck is he rambling on about supporting a League 2 football team on this here interwebs? I will answer that question:

Well, aside from the fact that this is my blog and can therefore write whatever the fuck I want on it (you cheeky bastard), I am giving background so that the following ramble about more recent football related things has some context. So there.

Right. Where was I? Oh yes, Virginia. That’s why this came up you see. I now living in the far away land of America, where people think football is that silly egg-chasing game where they all dress funny and spend a lot of time standing about and every now and then someone throws a ball and they all run about for 10 seconds, fall over and then stop and stand around for a while again. Wait, I need to give more background I guess, since some people are not familiar with the fortunes of STFC for some reason. The 09/10 season saw Swindon reach the League One play off finals. We all got a jolly fun day out at Wembley (that’s a big stadium in London in case you are unaware) where we were shit and lost to Millwall. Boo. No promotion for us but a good season anyway. 10/11 Season was a total disaster. We went into freefall and despite being promotion contenders the previous season, ended up planted firmly at the bottom of the table. This brings us to the 11/12 season (That’s this one, what has just started okay? following me so far? Good). Having got shot of a couple of hopeless managers, the chairman stepped down and a new fella, Jeremy Wray (Not the professional skateboarder), took on the job. The board then appointed Paolo Di Canio (PdC) as our new manager. This is an interesting choice for the following reasons:

  • Although he was a superb player in his day, PdC has never managed a football club before.
  • PdC is quite happy to tell the world that he’s a fascist. He has told the media before all about how he admires Mussolini. He has been fined on a number of occasions for giving the ‘Roman Salute’ to fans during games.

I believe a minor sponsor withdrew their sponsorship as a result of the decision to appoint him. However, a high profile former player, particularly a controversial one like him has generated a buzz about the club. Early concerns about his lack of experience seem to have been allayed as the pre-season campaign progressed.

Right, back to where I was before I forget and ramble off on a tangent. I’m living in Virginia where football is the silly egg chasing game. The match coverage on the BBC radio stuff seems to be unavailable overseas via the intertubes, so I am left with text-reports on the match. I created a twitter account just so I could follow twitter feeds related to the games and other news about the club. Watching the game via a text feed on the BBC website reminded me a lot of playing football manager games. I feel a bit like I’m playing Champ manager or something, only I’m only watching a demo or something, since I cant do any of the things myself. Despite everything, I’m still having a lot of fun following the club this season. I may not get to see a single minute of a game this year but I will still keep the red flag flying high.

Comments (0) | Football — King[Fu] @ 06:59 on August 8, 2011

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