Sunday, 22 March 2009

Curva Vox

It's been a while, with much water beneath the bridge. Sadly, poohsticks remains a sore point (metaphorical poohsticks, that is, mm.).

On the morning of the Vale match - last weekend - at which I was due to host various part-time 'loids and hangers-on, I woke up unable to get out of bed thanks to a particularly agonising back spasm. My inner Danny Dire felt like the facking mankey, fer sher.

I'd been waiting five years for Darlo to visit the Potteries. Rather, I would have been had it not been for this worth-rehashing quirk of fortune.... heh - I love the way the Stoke defender just looks embarassed after Carlos Logan's goal- childish giggle, bit of wee .

Premiership, you're having a laugh dum-dee-dum, etc.

In any case, I wasn't going to be perching contentedly on any desolate yellow plastic for 90 minutes anytime soon. Therefore I had to make do with the sounds of Darlo's failings drifting in on the breeze through the open window - an experience brought to you by some left-over Cocodamol, a drug whose opiate qualities might have been handy.

Failing to attend a Darlo game taking place less than a quarter of a mile from my home was a crap experience at the time, but in hindsight I Am Not That Gutted To Have Missed This. Now we can concentrate on survival etc, with a possible trip to Rochdale into the bargain - ooh, now then.

As pain avoidance I considered the great issue of our time whilst listing to the left with the support of some pillows, a true clash of ideologies... That is:

A) Should one watch a match panopticon-fashion? i.e. in a diagnostic stylee and from a detached and elevated standpoint (such as the comparatively enormous Air Products Stand at Gresty Road), or;

B) Should one actively and deliberately seek a position close enough to lose the objectivity? i.e. placing oneself to glare straight into the whites of a centre half's eyes, attaining involuntary synching of heartbeat with the nervy symphony of studs in the 'greasy' floodlit turf.

Hmm - I should point out that most of my football is taken at a modest lower-division dose, and I would assert that there's a strong dichotomy of experience - the atmosphere of an 'end,' home or away, rarely carries to the grandstanders in the way it might do here (actually, Spangly Princess' post did a grand job as a surrogate football-going experience, though the Curva is a long way removed from the Hamil).

Actually, at the football as in any theatre in fact, I tend strongly towards the latter. Admittedly, the lack of anaytical perspective does render me as foul-mouthedly bemused as anyone when some battered old cushion (typically Julian Alsop or Leo Fortune-West, Aldo Serena if you like old-school Serie A) ghosts in at the back stick to shin a last-minute winner.

On which note I'll alt-tab to the epic 'white corridor with office plants and awkward officials' shots that are such an endearing feature of Bet365's half-time Serie A coverage - a refreshing if irrelevant counterpoise to the usual half-time hyperbole.


Shane said...

I think analytics are viable from pitchside, just as foul-mouthed bemusement is viable from the loftier positions in bigger grounds. Meanwhile (noun), don't set these two positions up as totems of competing ideologies. Where else could or would one wish to analyse events at a Kidsgrove, or a Leek Town, but from pitchside.

(thinks) I suppose there is that big hill out the back of Leek's ground. And those mature trees that overhang Kidsgrove's own theatre of dreams.

Meanwhile... said...

:unsure: ... flippancies aside, I think they're fundamentally different experiences, though I guess pitchside vs loftiness is a better terminology, wherever you sit in relation to end or sides.

Nonetheless, I do feel that pitchside lends itself to a more intimate or personal experience of football, rather than an appreciation of the big picture.

No bad thing.

At pitchside, you simply miss many of the things that happen furthest away - but still I rather like the barely justified sense of grievance that comes with the slightest suspicion of anyone falling over 70 yards away.

Actually, so much of this is redundant as I spend some much of the time watching the crowd anyway.

League of Wales this Friday night anyone?