As a public school teacher, I’m denied two things: a sense of hope for our nation’s future, and use of my cell phone during the school day.
Therefore, the last period bell tends to hold a certain element of impending destiny, of subtly nervy anticipation for the discovery of what updates I’ve missed in my daily exclusion from our generation’s adorable hyper-connectivity. Will the joyous news of impending nuptials or a sudden uptick in townhouse values lift my spirit? Or will a tragic death or the continued existence of Glee send me ever closer to the conclusion that life isn’t worth living, let alone blogging about?
Today was one of the good days.
When I slid open (yes, it slides) my little ticket to the Information Age, several messages screamed out to me in black Methodist-level joy:
“Seba back in Philly!”
“Did you hear??? Le Toux!”
“Are you happy? Your boy’s back!”
“Negative for gonorrhea!”
I took a moment to let the happy wash over me before composing myself and preparing for the inevitable backlash from the sea of armchair managers of which I’m a long-standing if slightly suspect member; he’s not that good. The team could’ve gotten better. He won’t fit the system. This is pandering to the fans. You still have to get that special shampoo for the other thing.
We’ve debated the tactical ins and outs. We know he’s not Robin Van Persie as far as his touch goes. We know he’s not in the prime of his youth. We know his is a very particular skill set, and does not include the ability to be useful on either end of a set piece. We know there’s other options.
But the deal is done, and as my mother often said, be grateful for what you have. You have at the very least a reasonably effective striker. You have something of a potential mentor for the attackers we’re so fond of. You have something for opposing defenses to be truly worried about. You have a tireless warrior for the cause. You have a direct injection of serious enthusiasm onto the pitch and, perhaps most importantly, into the stands. You have the beginnings of a reclamation of a spirit that always depended more on heart than technical perfection or tactical brilliance.
I hereby officially dare you, the unconvinced, to enjoy it. Rest your cynicism on the ground a moment and revel in something that might not bring a cup, but will bring a roar from PPL like we haven’t heard in a while. He’s not the Messiah of Chester, but for Christ sakes he’s a damn fine footballer and a nice guy to boot. It can’t be undone now, so just value it for what it is. Be grateful for what you have.
Of course, Mom also told me to watch out for the clap. I don’t always listen.