Wednesday, July 1, 2009

R U Bonkers? #2

As my “homey” Andy would say: WARNING: THERE NOW FOLLOWS A FOOTBALL POST. (Though I don’t actually know squat about it, so don’t worry). The two newest and keenest guests here are the très sportif Messrs Gaw and Brit, so to encourage them here’s my first (and possibly only) post about footy.


Many people ask at one time or another “Where do I fit in??” It is for this reason that structures are created, and people are employed to impose them. Football is such a structure, and with some tracksuited goon on the sidelines shouting at you to run somewhere or stop falling over (that’s start falling over, now - Ed.) you’ve no need to question the point of your existence. Mental health professionals also know this. So, using my own experiences and still aiming to destigmatise being a pork pie short of a picnic, here’s my Fantasy Football 11, comprising only psychiatric patients or those who should have been.

(NB: My knowledge of The Beautiful Game comes from a golden 4-4-2 era when players had to walk to away games and the ball was filled with gravel before each match. I make no apology for this. Also, these days players taking the field appear to have numbers greater than 11 on their backs. They are clearly homosexuals. I neither know nor want to know what any of this is all about.)

No. 1 David Icke: Actual former professional goalie and actual nutter, bless him.

No. 2 Spike Milligan (bipolar disorder): The original Goon(-er), and so, as my memory of how Arsenal play is 1970s-based, he’d be very defensively minded.

No. 3 Ronnie Kray (paranoid schizophrenia): Ruthless psycho in central defence, and definitely a “man-marker” if you know what I mean.

No. 4 Ian Curtis (depression, not helped by epilepsy): Former Joy Division frontman. Not a great mover so stick him at the back. And with his knowledge of divisions generally he’d be able to tell me what the flip “The Premiership” and “The Championship” are.

No. 5 Paul Merton (episode of hallucinating persecution by The Freemasons): With his one straight look at the audience he always gets people on his side. He could do that to the ref, just like that slimy Cristiano Ronaldo did to our Mr Wayne Rooney.

No. 6 Paulo Coelho (his parents had him committed, age 17): Wrote a novel called The Alchemist, so we're expecting a little magic from him. Oh, and he’s from Brazil.

No. 7 Buzz Aldrin (depression): Lent his name to a video game called “Buzz Aldrin's Race Into Space” which shows how to intelligently get on the end of long balls and crosses.

No. 8 Steven Fry (major depressive disorder, allegedly): Don't get me wrong I love Sir Steven as much as anyone, but he’s seen the insides of prisons rather than hospitals so maybe he’s more bad than mad. And he’s a slacker. Dr Dilo prescribes “Football Therapy”.

No. 9 Lt. Colonel Oliver “Iran-Contras scandal” North (mental breakdown 1974): Ran naked through the streets at the time, so would be a natural striker (that’s “streaker” – Ed.)

No. 10 Morrissey (he certainly sounds a bit depressed): We need a big, magnetic No. 10, and Mozzer will do a job for us. Oh, and he’s from Manchester.

No. 11 Bill Oddie (clinical depression): As an ornithologist he’d be good on the wings - (Geddit?!!??!)

As you can see we’re going to win everything in sight. This chapter’s closing song is by the inestimable Napoleon XIV. “Napoleon” would be a great sobriquet for a footballer – better than “Kaká”, certainly - though I’m not convinced that even a number 14 shirt has an place on any substitutes’ bench.


Gorilla Bananas said...

Am I going crazy, or is Napoleon XIV a dead ringer for David Icke? Buzz Aldrin could be a pretty effective midfield anchor in his space suit, but you'd have to teach him the rules first.

Scarlet-Blue said...

Erm... I think Ian Curtis will be a bit stiff by now.

Gaw said...

What a selection, Gadj - you're clearly wasted(!).

May I make a proposal for coach? The demonically cunning spinmeister Alistair Campbell. He would not only be a crafty, duplicitous, bullying, caledonian coach (I believe these are the key skills), he'd also be sure to bring along for the team a sandwich-light picnic (nervous breakdown induced by alcohol and overwork).

SnoopyTheGoon said...

If I may suggest Stalin as the team's masseur and George Galloway as the team's psychologist/motivator, I thinks we have a dead cert here.

inkspot said...

What?! Look here Gadj, I know you're in Romania, but this new-fangled 4-4-2 configuration is only fit for foreigners. 2-3-5, with inside-forwards, is the proper way.

But you're right about the gravel.

Lulu LaBonne said...

I'm assuming there's no women on the team 'cause there's none mad enough to want to kick a bit of leather around. I reckon Amy Winehouse, Yayoi Kasuma, Louise Bourgeois, Jo Brand, Sinead O Connor and Pope Joan would rather do tag wrestling.

Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

You left out Gazza, who's eminently qualified on all fronts. Jo Brand could be the team medic, having once been a psychiatric nurse. And you have two notorious homos on your team, one of whom is also dead. Alistair Campbell - yessssss. Who needs pork pies anyway? Egg and cress sandwiches are de rigueur in my hamper.

Brit said...

Wot, no Dick Madeley? First name on the teamsheet; I'd have him as captain.

I like the way you've numbered them 1 to 11. Very quaint. I take it Buzz Aldrin is playing 'inside right'.

I can give you the name of a good cheerleader.

Madame DeFarge said...

I never knew that football was so complicated. I fear that my only contribution would be to bring on the oranges at half time. Or pass round the hot pies and bovril.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Bananas, David Icke could be Napoleon XIV if he just took himself more seriously. But I feel Buzz is a "luxury player" and would be effective only really in a weightless environment.

Scarley, wasn't Ian Curtis - may his soul rest in peace - always a bit stiff?? A good game of footy might have loosened him up a bit.

Thanks, Gaw :-) Campbell would indeed be a suitably scheming, bullying bastard for a role in the modern game. And at least he'd be our scheming, bullying bastard.

Snoopy, a cynic might say that Stalin showed impeccable logic and sanity is his method of securing a place for himself in the world. Galloway believes he's a cat, so he's admittable, but this doesn't suggest that he'd have great motivational skills.

Inky, I told you I didn't know nuffing! The 2-3-5 ("Pyramid") is indeed a more noble configuration, but easily morphs into the "Danubian School" style which "relies on short-passing and individual skills", which none of the players in this team have.

Lulu, regretably, there are women mad enough to want to kick a bit of leather around. They're called "Soccer Moms" (aren't they??) or "Daughters of Fathers who'd rather have had Sons".

(Pope Joan???)

Daphers, ahhh, how could I have forgotten Gazza - mad and brilliant in equal proportions! Notorious homos and dead people are always welcome on my team, but I'm afraid Jo Brand, adorable though she is, was on the other side of the needle and so counts as The Opposition.

Brit, why Richard Madeley?? That Judy Finnegan looks like his mum, admittedly, but I can still see the attraction. However, John Portsmouth Football Club Westwood is clearly mad - Portsmouth are, like, rubbish - so he's welcome to be our cheerleader :-)

Madame, "oranges at half time"??!? Back in my day you chewed on your own shinpads for a bit of nourishment. But pies afterwards, certainly... and Wagonwheels.

Lulu LaBonne said...

I had always thought that Jo Brand had mental health issues as well as being a mental nurse, therefore being on both sides of the needle so to speak - but I could be wrong there.

Pope Joan, must've been mad for letting herself get popified, the other chaps thought she was one of them and got all upset when she had a baby during a procession.

Kevin Musgrove said...

I'm glad Inky picked you up on 2-3-5. I can see Ronnie Kray as your right-back and Alistair Campbell as centre-half but Milligan's tempermentally a winger, not left-back.

The caseys would not just be filled with gravel, but wet gravel. As would the penalty area.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Lulu, Pope Joan is certainly an interesting selection - for either this team or for the Vatican - and as a left-footer (can I say that?) might cause the opposition defence some confusion.

Kevin, wet gravel would definitely feature strongly here, and there's nothing like having it kicked into one's shins to snap one out of one's petty self-obsessions. "Caseys": that's a delightful bit of vernacular that I'd never heard before!

The Jules said...

I would say that sounds like a mad line up, but my local team is Forest Green Rovers, and half of them think they're tractors.

The other half don't comment because they're useful for towing stuff.

Gadjo Dilo said...

The Jules, welcome to you. Forest Green Rovers sounds like a charming, bucolic, football team, whose players, I'm imagining, all have tousled hair and bits of straw sticking to them. Do you shout "Come On You Tractors!"?

Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

Your post reminded me of a wedding I went to once in Redcar, of all places, between two "clients" (they don't like to call them patients) of MIND. Many of the guests were also clients. Harold was on top form, I caught him chatting to a chap at the bar, who was eagerly describing his manic depression. Harold took a long slurp of his pint and said: "Ah, you just wanna forget about it mate".

The blind drinking with the deaf.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Ah yes, that's the attitude - play it down the whole time and it will go away. Can be true of some things. Whnen visiting my uncle in Middlesborough we used to go to Redcar a lot - amazing what one did before the advent of cheap foreign travel.