It has been a while since I last posted. Quite a long time in fact. It was not deliberate, but just happened for a number of reasons, none of which are particularly note worthy or relevant to what is ostensibly a coffee blog. Needless to say, I missed it and am pleased to be back.
Having just said coffee is the main subject around here, today’s topic is football. I guess, on that note, most of the coffee people, bar one notable roaster, have just surfed away to something more relevant to them and anyone left is either a football fan or simply can’t be bothered at the moment to look for something else to read.
It’s that time again, the start of a new football season with all of the usual excitement. Everyone has hopes and dreams. I remember the summer of 1976, an August Saturday morning, not unlike today, but with less rain. It was my first real season of following football properly. Football Focus had a preview of
the season and as Grandstand began Frank Bough stood in front of the old green BBC football results and tables charts. They were still manually operated in those days, clever graphics were years away. I remember as the show opened, Frank said that it was the first day of an exciting new season and at a quarter to five, the boards would spring frantically to life with details the day’s events. Earlier that morning, I had bought a new football magazine called ‘Roy of the Rovers’. It was fantastic and for the next few years, without fail, I would run down the hill to the newsagents every Saturday morning to claim my copy from the ‘collections’ pile. It could have been delivered with the morning papers, but that would have simply spoilt my excited fun. I wanted to feel that first Saturday morning every week.
The excitement is still the same for most football fans as it ever was, but things are different these days. For starters, the Premier League and Football League often seem to kick-off on different Saturdays. Oddly though, today’s Football League season opening seems more like the old days to me than next
week probably will when the ‘big boys’ including my team begin their season. For me, the Football League Championship, not the Premier League, more closely resembles the old First Division. I think it is because the lower tier teams still have a large number of British players. I love the Premier League, it is surely the greatest league on earth these days and the quality is breath-taking. It’s just that each year the start of the Football League evokes strong memories of my youth. So, when Championship tactics appear a little naïve by comparison, I just remind myself they play a brand of football that many of us were brought up on, and then I rejoice at the whole stunning other level of skill that those in the Premier League are capable of producing. I love it all. Continue reading