Bill Shankley’s famous quote about football being more important than life and death is about to be come worryingly prophetic as the fat cats that have ruined the game lobby endlessly for the season to be reopened so they pour more cash into their already overstuffed wallets. Never mind that thousands of people crammed into a stadium to watch 22 overpaid twats kick a ball around a patch of grass is going to inevitably result in thousands of people dying. And a lot of those people will never even have attended any of the matches. They’ll just get infected. And killed.
It’s been interesting as well as refreshing to see an absence of sport from television. Speaking for myself, it’s highlighted just how much this inconsequential trivia is used to stuff viewing schedules. Without sport it’s become all too apparent just how low quality regular programming has become, dominated by property shows and soap operas of questionable standard. Strip out the games and endless waffle from overpaid so called ‘experts’ and there’s really not a lot left, is there?
It’s not all bad news though. At least we’re going to be spared the Olympics, Wimbledon and Euro 2020. More endless cock waffle and totally pointless flag waving served up for the plebs.
1900 years ago, the Roman poet Juvenal coined the phrase ‘bread and circuses’ to decry the “selfishness” of common people and their neglect of wider concerns. I suspect that if he was writing today then he’d refer to ‘footie, burgers and Starbucks’ instead but the message is the same.
As long as the masses have their trivia to keep them in line, then the bigger issues will fall by the wayside. Who cares if a few thousand people die as long as we get to finish top of a table that just ensures the obscenely rich get even more obscenely richer and the poor get fleeced to watch. Coronavirus has given us the ultimate modern gladiatorial combat. The difference is that instead of being killed in the arena, you get killed in a hospital bed.
Never mind. I’m sure the BBC will blame it all on Brexit and the wicked Tories…