Mum knows best

by Mystical Mike

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

It’s what the game is missing

My mum says she can always tell when I’m lying. She spoke these child-crumpling words as I tried to blame the cat for knocking over a priceless vase from the Ming dynasty, or possibly BHS (so hard to tell the difference now a days). My reaction? Of course I did the honourable thing and went red and blamed the rabbit (I’ve acquired one of those now). This was only last week.

The thing is I pride myself on being a pretty honest sort. Sure enough I lied when congratulating an AFC Wimbledon supporter on yet another victory. I lied when telling the chairman of another non league club that my expectation was nothing more or nothing less than staying up, and I lied when I uttered the words “well we’re going to lose now aren’t we” half expecting us to win, but knowing if I actually put my confidence out there we’d only go and lose.

There are some things we’re always told it’s ok to bend the truth about, but my mum is ultimately right. She and all the other childbearers out there always know when their offspring are lying. But rather than treat this as a misapprehension of my “yoof” I’ve discovered the “Mother” of all lie detectors could be the answer to our footballing prayers.

Sat at a non league game this week, a couple of incidents, not only got the fans baying for the referee’s blood, but one lad demanding the chairman’s second cousin twice removed hand over his home movie as evidence to the fourth official.

Now, apart from the fact the match didn’t have a fourth official (just a guy who runs the line on Sunday league games and is called in should the referee’s assistant rupture a “crucial” ligament), what hope has a part-time referee got on a part-time pitch with part-time centre-forwards? The answer? Scrap the referee, and instead line the footballers up in front of their mums.

Can you imagine Dider Drogba going down in the penalty area only to be told he’ll get the decision if he can look his mum straight in the face? Or how many dodgy fouls would our top brass footballers contest if they knew they’d have to explain themselves to the woman on the touchline calling them in for milk and biscuits?

Yes, it’s the only thing for it, and it’s what football and society lacks at the moment; a good old clout round the ear and “off-to-bed-without-supper, my lad”. I for one am getting straight on the phone to Lord Triesmann, with a new dossier for “Respect”. Tell ’em to scrub those knees up Lord T, wash behind the ears and you’ve got yourself a brand new woman in black – albeit Mum’s the word.Non League Show

Caroline Barker presents The BBC Non League Football Show
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  • Darren

    Oh yes, I remember my mum coming to watch me play footy back in the day, it was always pi**ing down, but week in week out she was there. Cheering when we got a corner or a throw.

    I was talking to a very interesting old couple in their 70’s at a wedding recently. ‘The yoof of today, what they need is a good clip round the ear ‘ol’ said the lady, to which I replied, ‘do that and you’ll get stabbed’, ‘not after I’ve I’ve given them a bloody good talking to’ she replied. So naïve and out of touch, but very sweet never the less

  • Jamie Farrier

    Is this Caroline Barker’s article, or from the pen of Mystical Mike? Or is there something we don’t know yet? Funny how you’ve never seen the two of them in the same room…

  • Darren

    maybe they are like Superman? Or Superwoman?

    Where’s Mike gone? He’s vanished again! Come back mike, show your face!

  • Danny Brothers

    Ah, parents at football games…my Mum’s advice was always to “kick iiiit” or “run”…two of the vital elements of football I find!

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