Why Do I Bother?

Why do I bother to get up at 2 a.m. to watch a game at the weekend, or 5 a.m. during the week, when I’ve got such a long day of work ahead?

Why do I bother to read all about it when so much of it is incorrect, biased or founded in something less than hatred but high in ignorance?

Why do I bother to buy the shirt when I only wear it for the match? I’m too old to wear it at any other times, unlike my friend Clint. In the five years I’ve known him he’s only not worn Liverpool colours twice, once at a wedding and once dressed as Fred Flintstone for New Year’s Eve.

Why do I bother thinking that, with 15 minutes to go and 2-0 up, I can please my daughter by letting her watch Dora the Explorer before taking her to daycare, and upon my return find we’ve lost 3-2?

It’s not a question that is difficult to answer. I am a supporter. All the time, not just when we are winning. Not just when the kick off time suits. Not just when there’s a league position to fight for. But all the time. Including those when it is a 3.30 a.m kick off at Stoke in their dimly lit Britannia Stadium and I go in to the city to watch it in a bar on the Mall where there’s no commentary only duff-duff music, and my companions are the drunk and the disorderly, and Zed from Police Academy.

Those who aren’t fully absorbed in Anfield folklore or love for the Liverbird, or those who with 10 games of a disappointing season still to go decide to give up until next season, won’t understand. Sorry you missed the successful semi final against our city rivals and therefore you’ll miss the final too. Unless you think there’s a chance that we’ll win and you fancy a night out. But it’s not a club where it’s hardcore support or nothing else. It’s a club where loyalty means we don’t give up.

I bother even if the season yet to conclude has been disappointing. But it’s also been thrilling and exciting, frustrating and agonising, strangely compelling and may yet be quite fulfilling. Hearing that in Europe’s top five leagues Liverpool have spent more time in the opposition half this season than everyone apart from Barcelona makes great reading. Perhaps though, the Premier League table does not.

But statistics can skew your thoughts, ‘Oh what might have been!’ But should it be ‘Oh what a bright future!’ And not one that starts with the new season but one that can start now. Have the foundations of a title shot been laid? I bother to watch and see if they have. Whether the medal winners include Adam, Downing or Gerrard depends on many, many factors. But all those players will aid us, even through failure.

I bother by watching the road to Wembley, and then almost blowing it in the final. Even if winning the Carling Cup was offset by an injury to Lucas, the result of not winning the trophy and retaining a fit Lucas may be a higher league placing. I can’t quantify which is better. As Liverpool fans we don’t want to be reminded of being trophy-less for another year. But how long will a low league position affect us? For some it’s enough to make them give up. Well, at least until next season.

I bother because there is that sense of improvement that triggers something within me. Seeing Henderson and Coates in our squad, the ever-improving Carroll and the scintillating Suarez, whose potential for goals, from world class to Sunday park style, keep me gripped. Why give up on that?

Next season, it may not be the familiar sound of the ball hitting the woodwork that thunders out around the stadia of England, but of nylon being strained by leather, and groans being replaced by cheers. And if not, I shall still be here this time next year reminding myself of why I am committed to the team with the Liverbird upon their chest.

I bother because of the belief I felt when Rafa was our manager. While I didn’t always understand his team selections or tactics, I always knew he did. This gave me the belief that the club was changing for the better, in turn providing me with the enjoyment of expectation. Before the 2008/09 season got underway a title challenge would have sufficed for me. But to challenge and play some of the brightest football since 87/88 gave me, and thousands of others, joy. It bought me a deep love for every player, apart from the headless chicken and a portly ponytail.

I bother because the club has cast out the evils that flowed through its sacred body and a brighter future is lighting up L4. I am excited by this and want to see the upward curve gather pace and peak higher than ever before. I bother as I’ve been on this road trip for nearly four decades. The last patch of black ice didn’t throw me off in to the bushes and the current season won’t see me change direction either.

I bother because the club could have fallen apart under Hicks and Gillette, with Purslow and Hodgson being the last legacy of our beloved club and a disintegrated Anfield disappearing down the Mersey, through the Irish Sea and out in to the Atlantic like the rusting wreck of a once great liner. My Saturdays would then be Toys ‘r’ Us and Tesco. That’s no replacement.  There is no replacement. It’s not like picking up a new girlfriend, without Liverpool there’s … what?

I bother because of the simple things. Every time I see red I smile and think of Liverpool Football Club. It still means so much to me after all this time, and will forever more.

And when I am close to completing my journey from dust to dust and ashes to ashes, I hope that my children are following me in my Red footsteps, just as I did my father’s. As I head in to the earth, through the curtains or even get cast to the wind, I expect to hear the badly sung strains of You’ll Never Walk Alone by friends and family. They understand why I bothered.

So as we head into the final week of the season and another day at Anfield south, I fully understand the tingling sensation within. The expectation, the being out with my mates, having a laugh, having a shout, a jump, a hug and a sing, maybe even the odd tear. Hoping to see Liverpool score, ball hitting the back of the net, giving me in an instant that unique feeling.

That is why I bother.

Through the dreary draws and the early mornings I hope to hear the sweet silver song of the lark, and see the golden sky of a pleasure I enjoy beyond some people’s comprehension.

That is why I bother.

This piece previously appeared on The Tomkins Times in April 2012. For further grown-up views and intelligent discussions on Liverpool FC, please visit http://tomkinstimes.com/

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Comments
One Response to “Why Do I Bother?”
  1. Smogdog says:

    No money, no glory, no trophies of days gone by. Why do we Bother? Because it’s in our Blood….We are the real fans of the football league….c’mon Boro..c’mon Boro……..Smogdog

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