Thursday, May 15, 2008

What Not To Wear

Last week it Sligo Rovers' shorts; midweek it was the U-23 international sides' hosiery. Our problems with clashing clothing make for frustrating reading; although not nearly as frustrating as being forced to wait for almost twenty five minutes while both camps argue over the wrongs and rights of who wears what.

Already, men are in danger of achieving homo erectus status in both the home and the workplace as we find ourselves continually submerged into a politically correct world which prevents us from behaving like ignorant schoolboys when we feel the need. One of the last bastions - fading fast - is the secure anonymity offered from within a crowd of football supporters.

There existed a time when my male work colleagues discussed ad nauseum the minutiae of whatever football had been broadcast on TV the previous evening. No football? Golf, even cricket FFS. I can handle tennis; the ladies game is well worth any red-blooded males' afternoon, regardless of the prevailing outdoor conditions.

Strangely, the more football that was available, the less people seemed to watch it - an unscientific observation I know. The creeping disease that is the soap opera began to take a grip; Coronation Street replaced ManUre; Eastenders stood in for West Ham. I must point out that we were still in the dull ages of eircom League presentation here and live eL games were non-existent. Constant ear bashings from me stood no chance against the commands of the Remote Control Queens.

In the meantime we have been - and are - trying to attract families to football. In truth, we won't turn anyone away - Cork City are exempted from this - but families usually contain females. A natural progression follows.

Fashion & celebrity bestride lowbrow television nowadays - the indolent masses absorb shiteloads of the stuff. This obsession has produced a spin-off; fashionistas make comfortable livings off the back of clueless dressers. You need to wear this sort of top, that length of shorts - stripes not hoops. You can't put this colour with that - it's a fashion no-no.

It has been alleged that referees have been receiving instructions from Trinny & Susannah - the high priestesses of 'What Not To Wear'. Be afraid, then be afraider - next they will be telling us what to wear when attending matches. The 'I'm wearing this because it hides the sauce and beer stains' school of fashion will be mercilessly washed away by a tsunami of taste and wardrobe essentials. You have been warned. Our match officials will be striding onto the pitch with all the bodysway and swagger they can muster. Seductively waving the matchballs around in synchronised movements - forget about mascots. Elegant poses will be struck by lineos as they hold their flags aloft. Referees will be demanding better twirls from those players whose shirt numbers they need to note.

Whether or not they will have time to hone their observational skills remains to be seen - or should that be unseen? Referees, like great artists, see the world through different eyes.

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