Friday, November 18, 2005

Blackmailing your child

Norm, he say:

"It is an unwritten, though binding, law of life that one does not change one's boyhood sporting allegiances..."

For some reason, it is important to me that my seven-year-old son should follow in his father's footsteps. I don't care if we live in London. I can't face him nagging me to go to White Hart Lane.

It will be hard for the boy to obey his father on this. Following Forest was easy for me. For one thing, I lived in Nottingham. And I was ten years old when God appeared to many at the City Ground. I still wonder if what followed really happened. I sometimes expect to wake up and find my teenage years ahead of me.

It would be fair to say that no other British team has ever enjoyed the kind of fairytale that Forest enjoyed in the late 1970s.

Living in London, with the temptations of Chelsea and Arsenal (technically, Arsenal are the Forest B-Team), I've placed a heavy burden on the little lad's shoulders.

I've had to take drastic steps. He needed to be lied to. Lie after lie after lie. The first step was to seize on the wonderful news that my namesake had been signed. Then, when the tooth fairy made his first visit, he didn't bring a sixpence. He brought a kit instead. With 'Evans - 8' on the back. For a while, the poor boy actually heard radio reports in which his dad played - and scored - for Forest.

The gap left by the tooth that was swapped for a shirt (that he's wearing)

Obviously, this wouldn't be enough. A carefully chosen introduction to the City Ground backfired. Cardiff were inept opposition as expected, but Forest failed even to match them. The rest of last season was spent explaining that the Championship was upside down and Forest were to be promoted with Rotherham - to the First Division!

Relegation was followed by defeats to Woking and Yeovil. A near miss at Weymouth, and now, my namesake is training with Rotherham awaiting a permanent move there.

Still, the boy tells the kids in his school that he's a Forest fan. But I wonder how long it will be before it he's old enough to read the papers. How long before he learns that his dad is a liar?

So there's no time to waste. With a tape recorder, I now have all of the blackmail material I will ever need. Tomorrow morning he will be told that he is on The Internet - singing. He'll be so proud of himself. Here it is (you'll need your PC's speakers on).

But for the rest of his life, he will know that he has sealed a pact with cyberspace. There is no going back. He will never be able to pretend that he always followed Arsenal.

Maybe I should have gone the whole hog and named him Sue?


Just Jane said...

I feel like I have ruined my 16 year old's life by indocrinating him to support Northampton Town. All that misery already suffered,and so much more to come!

Anonymous said...

How does it feel having a maneger making decisions, way out of the ordinary,, like... personal problems. Examle. Brynjar Björn Guðmundsson. A key midfield joystick for Reading soon 2be promoted 2 top level. Still this man couldnt 4 a moment think 4 a second. Loook or show will for any potential in the player. For one silly reason. Old grudges from Stoke! Sad but true.

NottFor is a well respected club here in Iceland. Sillyness like this will get you nowhere.

Best of luck


Anonymous said...

Mate it's hard to just say 'keep the faith', but in all honesty what is the alternative. I totally feel for you as I too was brought up on vintage Clough. Now I live down near Brighton, and although still follow Forest with a passion, I siimply haven't got it in me to try and force my lads in supporting Forest, mind you they are still pretty young. They often ask me what the tattoo on my arm means, Nottingham coat od arms with the words Nottingham Forest FC underneath) that gives me the platfiorm to try and explain my chuildhhod days spent watching those fantastic teams Clough put together.

Alas, they look at me a little confused - maybe I just shouldn't bother, but somehow, I have no other choice - it's in my DNA - it's a part of my default setting.

So my Londoin friend - all i can say is 'keep the faith.'


ivan said...

you bastard ... or not. What a sweet singer.