21 days without football – delirium officially sets in

If you read a newspaper or for our younger readers an online media source during the festive and new year season it was hard not to escape a concerted doom-fest; a collective end of year gnashing of teeth about what a rubbish 2016 we had and just how bad 2017 could be. TLF however thinks there might be a cure; TLF is changing the calendar.

Mr TLF, currently masquerading as Mr SGTLF (spectacularly grumpy) has less ambition; he has merely vowed that he is ‘not doing January next year’. In the interests of kicking out against this post-truth world TLF should point out that’s nothing to do with an attempt at a dry January or any other pleasure-denying resolution. Rather a rubbish week involving a sickly car, unanswered emails, a lack of archery club action and first hand witnessing of an FA Cup humiliation (OFFICIAL teaser – more on that football debacle next week), and thus the month of January or Wulf-monath as the Saxons used to call it (FACT!) is written off.

TLF is happy to keep January on the payroll, even if it did get off to a slightly grim start with a defeat for the Mighty Saints and the inflicting of armchair torture in the form of a televised bore-athon draw for Lesta City. Rather the TLF plans are more about realignment, so that a year can be properly judged on what really matters – the football. The ‘calendar year’ will be binned and replaced by the ‘football season year’. It’s been done before – admittedly not since October 1582, but some traditions should be revived.

As a Foxes and Saints fan it is hard to completely roll my eyes about 2016 in the way that your average soppy, leftie likes to. For every USA election or referendum result, for every rise of intolerance thinly disguised as ‘telling the liberal elite where to get off’ and for every time experts were written off as irrelevant (an expert medical person to treat my illness? I don’t think so – jumped up educated fool! Bring me a snake oil salesman to nurse me back to health post-haste) there was Leicester City – Premier League Champions (no really) and St Albans City FC joyous relegation escape, led by a proper gaffer. So if you talk about 2015/16 then TLF can be nostalgic and cheery, happily burbling, “yes it was brilliant, amazing…best year ever. But look at 2016/17 – Brexit, Trump, Lesta flirting with relegation.”

Like any good theory I have just tested it. And the holes have been highlighted (everyone’s a critic these days…but NOT an expert), from a Mighty Saints perspective, 2016/17 hasn’t looked too shabby so far and a first ever foray into the Champions League is not to be snuffled at. Of course if the Saints’ slump continues and the European tour ends with abject humiliation at the hands of Sevilla then the theory might be back on…..But for now TLF will embrace the Gregorian and just accept that like every other year 2017 will have some good bits and some sh1t bits, like all years before it. And maybe some of those bits won’t even involve football.
Pope Gregory Fox XIII

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