Monday, 12 March 2007

Male sentimentality corner

I found a link today for the Youtube vid of my team, Darlington, winning the Fourth Division championship today. Here it is. My family and I are just off camera when the portly David Cork opens the scoring. I can't believe how quickly the fans are on the pitch at the end: I seem to recall a lot of people being clustered around the away goalmouth before the referee had blown the whistle and the announcer telling everyone to calm down. I think I devoted that whole period of my life to football- I was converted by the twin spectacles of the 1990 FA Cup Final and Italia '90- instead of doing productive things like reading books or learning the flute. When interviewed, most writers claim to have spent their formative years in a vaguely Proustean manner, devouring the works of Dickens/ Balzac/ Goethe. I didn't. I spent them getting into scraps with the kid from across the road, collecting stickers of St Mirren players, and thinking that Hearts played in Watford or Hemel Hempstead (I'm glad my Dad put me right on that count). As a result, vast swathes of literary realism have passed over my head, which is probably why I've developed an essentially apolitical, hedonistic taste in writers and a serious antipathy towards the contemporary humanist novel. I'd like, therefore, to lay the blame for my belligerence towards Zadie Smith and her ilk squarely at the feet of the 1990/1991 Darlington side. Corky!

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