Recently I was able to attend a game football at a big modern ground with a reasonable fan base and watch a team that had played a bit of good football at times in the games previous to the one I witnessed.
I had been visiting Wellington, the capital of New Zealand at the time I attended the fixture, and had been there for a few days hanging out looking at how structured and orderly the city had become in comparison to previous incarnations of culture I had seen there. It was strange at times but strangely comfortable.
We had planned to go to the football for weeks and had previously decided we must ready ourselves for the yelling and cheering by imbibing large amounts of liquid refreshment in a lovely old bar near the Beehive.
After all sorts of theorising football around the tables as we did our best to entertain each other we made our way to the ground.
There may have been herbs in the air on the way to the ground and I was perhaps under the influence of an intoxicating substance other than the alcohol when I arrived at the gates to procure the tickets.
The people were all caricatures of themselves, there was a hum of anticipation but it was not buzzing. This was something which was quite an important factor in the events to follow.
People milled about, talking, smoking, shuffling along in strange lines that went through areas where everyone could quite comfortably walk without lining up.
We made our way to our seats, with refreshment. The ground was a picture when we went in, and the stadium looked contained as a structure, well constructed.
The game started and it was, unfortunately for the crowd, played very unimaginatively by both teams. There was no doubt they were both reasonable sides because both had played some good football in games previous.
The crowd had been influenced to a large extent by the weather and many had stayed away. The crowd that did show were visibly impaired by the weather, restricted by large coats, hats, and bags with supplies.
I enjoy playing football and watching the game played to a reasonable level of competency. The game had all that, but because of the apathy of the crowd, the team's never really got going enough to really play any really good attacking football.
Something almost started a few times but then it would fizz out like the atmosphere did after the opposition scored. The Phoenix were trailing soon after the half and chasing the game. The half was reasonably stale until a few chances near the end and one particular chance that was missed right on the whistle.
The crowd were nonplussed. It was strange leaving the ground, the disappointment and swirling of colour and sound. I was in a slight state when I left the game, I think I had accidentally drunk some sort of strange concoction.
The city rolled before me like a living thing, the crowd's chanting slowly quieting in my head. Football was the winner on the day, I forgot to say.
We walked through the city to Ghuznee St and had some beers.