(Bill Shankly 1913-1981)At what point do you realise you have an addiction and may actually need to do something about it. I’m not talking about something that could slightly derail my life like smoking crack, eating my own excrement or listening to John Creedon. It’s far more serious and likely to deprive me of friends, career possibilities and the ability to procreate…an addiction to football. I realised I hit a new low within the past few minutes, I was meant to meet some mates of mine for a bite to eat locally but instead I stayed in at home to watch a 90min documentary about how Adidas make footballs. Not special footballs like ones that will reduce my carbon footprint, cure cancer or destroy Lindsey Lohan, no, normal footballs and specifically the one used in the World Cup Finals last year.
It was actually quite interesting, ya see they’ve completely revolutionised the way footballs are made and have done away with the traditional panels and stitching you see here….
And have instead developed a new way of merging the elements of the ball so that its one continuous unblemished structure. The benefit is that the ball travels through the air quicker and makes it harder for the goalie to stop it.
You should see the amount of tests that they put the balls through, they have a big washing machine type of contraption that they use to test who durable the ball is. Essentially over 4 hours they can inflict upon the ball the stress and wear and tear of one year of standard play including water damage. It was fascinating.
What’s really worrying me is that it’s just another sign of my every increasing decline into football dependency. Just last week I bought a 4-disc documentary on the history of Brazilian football. That’s fine you may think but the shagging thing is in Portuguese. I’ve even seen myself go to more and more eircom League games, that, for those of you not in the know, is like having your wedding reception meal in Wimpey’s. Phibsboro, Ballybough, Inchicore, Belfield and Bray have all had a visit in the last month. 2 of the 5 shelves on my book case are three deep with soccer books; the definitive history of football, the A to Z of every player to play for Liverpool, and Warners Brothers attempts to kickstart football in the States in the 70s are sitting on my desk at various stages of being completed. I wouldn’t know which of my signed autobiographies to save if the house went on fire. How do you choose Best over Maradona or Pele amongst countless others? I’ve even come to infect other people with my addiction. Someone Living will vouch for that, his young lad has more Liverpool DVDs and books on loan that Dublin Corporations network of libraries.
Does anyone know a good helpline?