Sunday, 17 June 2012

Cheltenham vs Crewe, League 2 Play-Off Final: An alternative view

"PARA! PARA! PARADISE! WHOA-OH-OH OH-OOH OH-HO-HO!"

Never before have the words 'Crewe' (a railway town within the unitary authority area of Cheshire East) and 'paradise' (a place in which existence is positive, peaceful and timeless) existed harmoniously.


Until now.

That, my friends, is the collective power of football, Chris Martin's vocal cords and Wembley's 7,000 loudspeakers and DSP units. All hail the DSP units and their optimised architecture! Can I get a 'woop woop!' for this particular kind of specialised microprocessor? Yeah!

The above two-paragraphs-and-copied-and-pasted-Coldplay-lyrics, dear reader (which, incidentally, is how Kim Jong-un referred to his father on formal occasions before his untimely passing), is my roundabout, incoherent and subject-avoiding way of introducing the highlight of the football calendar: the League 2 Play-Off Final, which on 'Black Sunday' May 27th was contested by Cheltenham Town and Crewe Alexandra. 

For the benefits of word economy, I’ll probably gloss over the events between 3pm and 5pm. You won't be missing much, really - but ooh, goodness me it was hot! And the stadium is just lovely, you know, the views from everywhere are stunning. You really get that whole 'Wembley experience', walking up Wembley Way and taking lots of photographs with friends and family. And everyone was so nice, apart from that mature [very old] man who hit me with his stick every time I stood up. And the water that cost £2; actually that was a bit annoying. And when Crewe scored; yeah, that was a bit of a slap in the face. And when they scored again, I suppose my shoulders sank and my tear ducts awoke from their summery slumber. And when we missed that one-on-one, that was a bit shit. And when we had two shots cleared off the line. OH SWEET JESUS IT HURT; IT HURT SO BAD.

As the final whistle blew, I turned my back on the Crewe fans' euphoria and traipsed back to the concourse with its corporate potatoes (the smartly-packaged deep-fried edible kind, not this kind) and inside-out plumbing. Then I heard it. I'm going to copy and paste it again, because it takes literally seconds: "PARA! PARA! PARADISE! WHOA-OH-OH OH-OOH OH-HO-HO!"
Others turned their backs, too
All those smug railwaymen, women and children gleefully jumping up and down to the dulcet tones of Coldplay's anthemic post-Britpop [quick, think of a good word… shit] anthem [sorry] as their team lifted the coveted League 2 Play-Off trophy. It was sickening. Did they not realise I had been to Crawley on a Tuesday night in February (which is approximately a quattuordecillion times worse than the clich├ęd equivalent of a November evening in Stoke) when it was minus four degrees? Minus four degrees, IN THE CELCIUS CHOICE OF METEROLOGICAL MEASUREMENT.

No, of course they didn't, the puffed-up bastards. 

And now I'm going to copy and paste some more lyrics from the popular song 'Paradise' by British alt-rock pop group band 'Coldplay' to emphasise how I felt at the time.

But before I do, I suggest you take a deep breath, sit yourself down and brace yourself for an emotional journey like no other: 

Life goes on; it gets so heavy; [I like this line, because it's kind of profound, yeah? Like Chris Martin knows how I feel, but is telling me at the same time that there's more to life than a League 2 Play-Off Final. He is such a nice man.]

The wheel breaks the butterfly. [I don't like this as much, mainly because I don't understand what it means and it has no relevance to anything apart from wheels and butterflies; two things that try to avoid each other at all times. Which admittedly Mr Martin may have been getting at.]

And so lying underneath those stormy skies;
She'd say, "oh, ohohohoh I know the sun must set to rise".
[See above. Also, if I was to be pernickety, I would prefer she sang the 'oh, ohohohoh' bit rather than say it, otherwise it might sound like a stutter, which would ruin the obviously intimate moment.]

As Friedrich Nietzsche once said, "My idea of paradise is a straight line to goals". Praise be to the German philosopher for that seamless link. Let's give it more mileage by moving on to my idea of paradise [caveat: in a footballing sense. Do you really think I'm that sad? Do you?!]: Cheltenham Town - League 2 winners 2012-13. You heard it here first.

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