Coping with the blues
At around 2.30pm on Sunday afternoon a boy dressed in a blue started bawling his eyes out in our living room. Karen soothed him, rocking him gently and rubbing his hairless head, saying, “You’re okay. It’s going to be alright.”
This isn’t an unexpected scene in the Cousins household given the presence of our one-month-old son, except in this case the male who needed comforting was a 35-year-old Leicester City fan.
You’d think I’d have learnt by now how to cope with heartbreaking defeats, but Sunday’s loss in the play off semi-final was more agonising than any I have experienced.
For those of you who didn’t see the match, here’s a brief synopsis...
The blues of Leicester were playing against the yellows of Watford, a team of mercenaries who’d been paid handsomely by Sir Elton John to come over from Italy and win at football.
Six additional minutes had been played at the end of the match and nothing could separate the combatants with a place at Wembley and the promised land of the Premier League at stake.
The match looked to be heading for extra time when lo and behold Leicester were awarded a penalty in the sixth minute of time added on for injuries and stoppages. Surely this was to be game, set and match to Leicester.
Apparently not. The penalty was saved by a goalkeeper who had got out of his sick bed to play. As was the rebound, which again the ‘keeper was able to save whilst simultaneously swigging from a bottle of Covonia.
But still the referee’s full time whistle did not blow and in the blink of an eye Watford made their way up to the other end of the pitch where a convicted felon smashed in the winning goal to send those members of the crowd who were dressed as wasps into a frenzy.
Those people who witnessed the unbelievable finale to the match will be able to confirm that although my account may sound like Quentin Tarintino’s interpretation of Roy of the Rovers it isn’t that far from the truth.
Given the heartbreaking circumstances in which Leicester’s hopes of a return to the Premier League were dashed, even Karen, who rarely offers sympathy in response to football-related traumas, realised that this was no ordinary football-related trauma.
Hence, as I sat sobbing in my Leicester City kit I got my head stroked by my wife while I received consolatory texts, Tweets and Facebook messages from friends and family. It felt a bit like I’d been bereaved.
Had it not been for my son Ben and daughter Lucy I’d probably have punched a wall, roared something profane and made a beeline for the off licence.
You just don’t have time to mourn your football team when there’s kiddywinkles needing fed, watered and entertained. And perhaps that’s a good thing.
I cant believe how fast my babies are growing up. They really do change so quickly.
Just last week Lucy was obsessed with early 16th century Renaissance painters, then come the weekend the only artwork she’d give a second glance to was that of the French Impressionists.
In the same short period Ben’s poo has changed from green to yellow.
When faced with that colour scheme there’s just no time to feel blue about a football result.
And so I was left with no option than to pull myself together and set an example for my children.
Because in 10 years time I don’t want to give rise to a situation whereby Ben tells me he doesn’t like football.
“How can you possibly dislike football,” I’ll say.
To which Ben will reply, “Do you remember shouting naughty words at the television then curling up into a ball on the sofa and crying. Do you remember each of the 25 times you’ve done that in each of the past 10 years. Well that, dear father, is why I’m not so keen on football.”
Two old men are reminiscing on a park bench.
“Do you remember the year the town was overrun by kangaroos?” said Peter.
“Must have been a leap year,” said Paul.
The answer to last week’s teaser (rearrange the letters in NEW DOOR to make one word) was: ONE WORD.
Here’s this week’s teaser: Lance makes a bet that he can use any name in a song with the original lyrics that will be instantly recognisable. Yvonne takes him up on the bet. She comes up with a name that she thinks has never been used in a popular song. She loses the bet. What song does Lance sing to win the bet?