Sunday, June 18, 2006

Play Red

Once upon a time I used pity football referees.

Poor guys. They make a living on the sidelines of action. Almost-ran ageing men scampering around with whistles and tiring lungs. They huff and puff and try to catch up with the ball and where it'll be sent next. Is it football? Is it theatre? Complex questions to be answered throughout the game. It’s a hard job with lousy returns. Eye-full of spit blobs from disgruntled players. Boos and jeers from rowdy fans all over. No part of the glamour. Not even the paycheck. It’s a job that no sane mind would willingly take.

That was then. This is now. A change of mind was always on the cards.

Today I understand the equations. It's crystal clear. I recognise the most powerful men on the field, I envy these red card-totting devils. The players might have the glamour but referees hold the strings to cut short their fame. Piss our men off and oops there goes your next game. Talk out of turn, roll around a little more, take your own time, stick your elbow out of line. Challenge fate. Bring out the colour red. The whistle blows and out you go.

The biggest names, the richest players, all at the mercy of these card-wielding outsiders.

Give me that kind of power any day. Let me be the outsider in this game.

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