Friday, January 11, 2008

We'll Go To Tel For This

God, hasn't this blog gone to hell recently.

It's like one of those jerry-built, Victorian-era football grounds (Swansea's Vetch Field, perhaps), which once-upon-a-time-once-a-fortnight lovingly housed tens of thousands of huddled working class sorts with all their hopes and dreams and flat caps, but is now a disused ruin, weeds strangling floodlight pylons, dry-rot attacking the directors box.

An elderly security man - once on the ground staff, he remembers the day Bobby Charlton played here - unlocks the padlocked gates once a week, to check that vagrants or squatters haven't taken root in the once-sacred terraces along with the weeds.

A bit like that, except a blog, if you know what I mean.

However, the cyberspace local council will have no hope in trying to sell this shambling old arena to a metaphorical supermarket chain (like Bolton's Burnden Park, now an Asda, for shame!). Nope, the TSA toilets might stink, the pitch might evidence a pronounced slope and the uncovered corner terrace may be crumbling - but no internet property developers shall turn us into another soulless social networking site.

That analogy stretched like poor old Mike Teavee on Willy Wonka's chewing gum stretching machine, let's move on to the Republic of Ireland manager's job!

What? You'd rather read another laborious, meandering metaphor designed to show off the writer's impeccable football luddite credentials, when really he's never drunk Bovril in his life? You people are weird! Well you do hang around sports blogs which are uncannily reminiscient of jerry-built, Victorian-era football grounds, which once-upon-a-time-once-a-.....

Big Sam, King Kenny, Gerry the Frenchman: they're all incidental, cameo characters in the epic costume drama that will come to be known as El Tel: The Oirish Years. Actually, if you've not grown weary of grandiloquent metaphors - it is Friday after all - the saga of the Irish manager's job is really a metaphor for life: a series of pointless meetings, tedious lies, forlorn hopes, and looming with crushing inevitability at the very end, when naught else remains, is death, or Terry Venables in this yarn.

And I leave you with the thought of Sir Edmund Hillary, having passed from a life of the most tumultuous achievement, being ferried to the afterlife by the aforementioned Venables, a cackling celestial cabbie, rabbiting about "that Benazir Bhutto what I had in the back a few weeks ago"....


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