The Diary

Cod Almighty | Diary

“They told us to write about what we knew, and what we knew were idiots.” - Killdozer

16 September 2020

Well, hello. Who is that masked man, sidling up to you in the restaurant and offering you several paragraphs of purest balderdash? Could it be BOTB diary, the man with the cracked nib? Well it could be anyone, frankly, because "masked man" doesn't hold the air of mystery and suspense it once did. And yes, it is me. What an anticlimax.

In some ways it's been a normal start to the season - no points and no goals - but this season is not normal and whatever happens now will ever change that. Instead I'd like to talk briefly about an extraordinary interview with Chris Doig in yesterday's Telewag. The obvious stand out is Doig's claim that he had no say in his move to Shrewbury, and was informed he was going by Hurst. Apart from this making him seem little more than a human horse ("the farmer just pushed me into the horsebox, then dropped me off in a different field and said this is where you'll be grazing from now on - I really didn't have any say in the matter") it also suggests an underbelly of ex-players and coaches so desperate to get a job in the game that they will forfeit any semblance of self-determinism. This is understandable in a way - football, as some may have noticed, is a great game, and many of its participants are ill-prepared for any other career - but the image it presents of hordes of middle-aged men clinging to the coat-tails of those still involved fills me with bitter tears for the lost ideals of masculinity. Did you like that last sentence? You did, didn't you? I'm going to keep it in. Hehe.

Another gem is that he and Paul Hurst had "an open relationship". In football terms this presumably means that if Chris sneaked off for a bit of fitness training with another manager in the early hours of a Saturday morning then no more was said about it. Well, it could mean this, although I suspect in reality his words were simply badly chosen. But again, it's revealing. He talks of his four-year relationship with Paul Hurst. Not a partnership, not even a working relationship, but a relationship. It seems that football is such an intense sport in which to be involved that fellow players and managers become surrogate spouses, not physically of course, but in an emotional sense. If we accept that football is a ritualised and (mostly) harmless battle, it becomes even more understandable that strangers should become brothers. Doig's time at the club was fun and we achieved much success, and I wish him well.

What else? Well, we sold less season tickets than there were spaces available, so we* are going to Blundell Park*2 to watch the mighty Mariners in action!*3

*Season ticket holders
*2 subject to the whims of madmen
*3 please note, action not guaranteed

Of course, more lockdowns might be poking their odious little heads above the horizon, so those brave 1,200 purchasers may find themselves seriously out of pocket before the home season ends or even begins. Brave and worthy souls all. Let us pray. UTM.