With grinding teeth and knitted brow

Dad’s acting even stranger than usual, if that’s possible. He’s sitting in his chair staring off into space one minute, the next he’s pacing around. He goes out into the garden and stands with his hands on his hips looking up at the sky then down at me before stomping off into the kitchen. He opens the fridge then closes it again. He returns to his chair, his brow knitted and the industrial sounds of his teeth grinding together the only thing breaking the silence, apart from the ticking clock he keeps glancing at, and the occasional grunt he makes after viewing the time.

I know what’s bothering him, what’s making him tense, because I feel it too. The butterflies are as present in my stomach as they are in his. I share his tension, his fears, his pure emotion. We wait…dad and Bones, as the world turns and the clock ticks,  ever onward, counting down to kick off.

Yes my friends, that’s right! Today is the start of the Premier League season here in England’s green and pleasant land. Forget the Olympics, forget the European Championships – mere distractions – this is it, time to get down to the important business.

Mine and dad’s team have had a couple of dreadful seasons but with a new manager coming in there is a whole new feelgood factor, me and dad are clinging desperately to the hope of qualifying for European football next season.

There is nothing like footy to run you through the whole range of emotions – the greatest highs and the deepest lows. Screaming red-faced at the television, cheering and yelling in triumph or sitting head in paws mourning defeat.

Dad used to treasure having a season ticket but he can’t go anymore and that sometimes makes him a bit sad. We’ll be watching a game and he’ll say to me: “Look Bones, that’s where me and my mates used to sit, just behind the dugout.” Or, “That’s where I used to stand with the lads when they still had terraces.”

The game won’t be on television, dad will go to the pub and watch the results coming in, sometimes we listen to the live commentary on the radio. We’ll watch Match of the Day tonight and extended highlights on Football First; tomorrow we’ll watch other teams play live on tv.

Me and my dad love football, it’s just absolute torture waiting for 3 o’clock.


12 responses to “With grinding teeth and knitted brow

  1. Oh, sweet Bones that clock does move reeeeeealy slow when there is something coming up we are real excited about. I likes to play football but I don’t watch it with Popsy, I do whatever Mumsy does. Popsy LOVES football and he watches it all the time. You and your dad enjoy the football today. Hugs and nose kisses

  2. As I began reading this, I feared that that was where it was going. I feel for the rest of your house… I used to hate the weekends, filled with Grandstand and Match of the Day, and James Alexander Gordon. Actually, now I hear JAG reading the results as I go to sleep, on the BBC World Service, and it’s strangely comforting. Like a lullaby. It’s so much easier to listen to when your father hasn’t subjected you to hours of painful footy! Hope you have a great season! 🙂

  3. I sometimes listen to the games on the BBC on the net and used to watch them on ESPN when I could. Of course here they call it English League Soccer… LOL…. Hope your team does well this year! I used to have penfriends in Manchester so I would follow United… I loved seeing the activity in the stands with the banners, the chants, the songs and everyone dressed in their team colors… its a event for sure! 🙂

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