Football, The Game of Life

By ORDIA Akelo

I am among the throng of women who just cannot, shall and will not understand the hype surrounding football that keeps the menfolk glued. I just refuse to understand, but my refusal does not mean that I fail to learn a thing or two from this glorified game.

From the available pieces of information I have been able to gather over the past few years, I have been informed that one club has been a sore loser for quite some time and that they were able to break their curse just recently. What amazes me though is that this team enjoys a wide loyal fan base locally and internationally. Even more amazing is that the fans have been faithful to the club through the mainy rough tides that have punctuated the clubs’ journey in football.

One time I got curious and asked a fan what it is that keeps them clung to Arsenal despite it recording losses in most of the matches it plays. His answer; their style of playing.

Now at this point I was confused. Given their poor record it was clear that their style of playing was not working, why then did they still support it? Anyway, I would like to believe that there is more to it than just their style of playing, but it got me thinking of the truth that lies in the belief that perseverance does pay off.

For Arsenal, they had experienced a dry spell for years without end. That did not stop them from playing though. They still put on their boots and strapped them up whenever they had a match and walked into the pitch head held high, always optimistic of a win. Despite their dry spell, they went for practice and spent huge amounts of money, buying and selling players with unmatched confidence. In the end, it is clear for all to see, they have in their custody the FA Championship cup, a testimony that however long it takes, with determination, hard work and perseverance there is nothing under the sun that is impossible to posses.

We too have our dry spells, at times we think we can only endure for too long and we give in to despair. What we do not know is that it is always darkest before dawn, at about that time you choose to throw in the towel just the time the doors are set to open. Arsenal stands as a testimony today that if we want something so badly, however long it takes, with the right amount of dedication, we shall surely posses it.

I am sure that in the event the club did not enjoy such a wide fan base they would have easily given up. It pays to believe in yourself, but something that will give you the force to move forward whatever the prevailing circumstances is knowing that someone, and in their case so many people believed in them and were looking up to them to perform their best. Even when they were in no position to give the desired results, the fact that the fans were still there for them was a greater boost.

I may not be any wiser in matters of football, but from this small yet big episode in the series of football I have learned that life is indeed a like a game of football. We are players on the field, we have to score goals against our opponents in each match and the fans are always out there cheering. Some are rooting for you, others against you. All in all, at the end of the game the spirit that lies within us will determine whether we will be able to stand up against our opponents in the next match or we will cower to the shadows of defeat.

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