I am not meant to be blogging this weekend. I am meant to be somewhere in Oxfordshire, sequestered from the real world and spending time meditating on the purpose, the power and the peace available to the human race. As it turned out, I got sick and had to postpone until the New Year. It’s ok, because sometimes you are needed in the real world.
I wrote a piece about Balotelli back in the summer during Euro 2012 and it gained a notable mention and has been published here at www.sportswriter.org.uk which is nice.
I was pleased to see Balotelli nullified City’s match against Dortmund earlier this week, with the papers remarking on his sangfroid. That’s a new and rather pleasing development in his demeanour. I wonder how long he will keep it up as the season wears on…
The blog hasn’t mentioned it once. This does not mean it all went over my head. I think I have sat through most of the games, even if my glasses were only pressed into action from time to time so I could actually see events properly.
The blog hasn’t mentioned Wimbledon either, the Irish Derby or Royal Ascot (Frankel & Black Caviar if you please), or indeed the fact that Usain Bolt was beaten into second in Jamaica at the weekend. To all intents and purposes this blog has stopped writing about sport. Some people will probably be quite happy about this. I am not. The challenge is how to write about every event without breaking out the knackered superlatives and cliches. It’s hard to do. I could write this morning, along with hordes of others, about the glory of the Spanish football team, but why bother – it’ll be out there anyway and I have nothing I could add to the discourse.
We all see the same thing on our screens (if I am wearing my glasses), hear the same commentary and pundits, there’s no need for me to describe it, or imagine how it might feel to be Spanish or Italian last night, or this morning… The truth is, I have nothing new to say about any of the events I have mentioned. I thought I might have the glimmering of a conversation in my head about expectation versus reality when England went out of the football and Black Caviar ran at Ascot, but it started to turn all philosophical and I couldn’t be bothered to carry on with it. I have, for the sake of reminding myself I do like sport still, written something about Mario Balotelli. I started it last week, and it took me a few days. By the time I had finished it, last night, a thousand pieces roamed the worldwide web with similar sentiments.
Mario Balotelli was seen last night crouching on the pitch, I fancied he had his head in his hands. I know how he feels.
As Italian manager, Cesare Prandelli said, he is going to have to learn to ‘deal with it’.
You and me both Mario, you and me both.