I inhabit a strange world.
What did you do on Sunday afternoon? I bet you didn't spend what should have been a relaxing afternoon with sweaty armpits, a shaky leg and a loud, foul mouth in front of an unsuspecting television set.
Such is the life of an armchair football fan.
I say "fan" rather than "supporter". A supporter spends big money going to the matches and cheers on his or her team in the flesh. I've probably been a supporter less than 30 times in my life and then I've always been too self-conscious to swear or sing. If every supporter was like me, players would turning to their managers and, like actors, asking "what's my motivation?"
I may not be a proper supporter but I am a "fan", as in "fanatic". My waking hours are always being invaded by thoughts and worries about my team. The worry seems to have got worse as I've got older. And watching my team in important matches, like on Sunday, I am a nervous wreck.
Yesterday I was asked why I support who I do. I don't really know. It started so long ago and I was so young.
As a teenager, my dad used to go and see Charlton play, but he never really had any strong feelings about any team. He was not a fanatic. So it wasn't as if when I announced to him I was a West Ham fan he disowned me or anything. Besides, I was only 4 at the time.
It was the World Cup in '66. Bobby was the captain. Geoff and Martin scored the goals. Geoff was a "Geoff" and so was I. There was really only one team to follow.
The above is not what I remember. It may not have happened that way. But this is the only logical conclusion my grown up mind can come to. This is what I assume happened to my vulnerable infant mind.
To be continued (if you're unlucky)...
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