clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Aston Villa are a cancerous team playing in a cancerous environment

The similarities between 'the big C' and Aston Villa are stunning and sad.

At the foot of the dark cave it stands tall, nostrils aflame as plumes of smoke pirouette into the sky. There is a sense of dread and overwhelming feeling of worry. The valiant Knight steps forward, but is crushed and burnt within an acute cone of fire.

As his skin melts inside the roar of the flame and binds with the earthly soil beneath him, you might think he was a fool to stand up to such a beast.

No Knight can stand alone against that dragon, cancer.

I did not expect or want the news I received today. For so long I had supported someone close to me in a similar struggle only for it to land on my doorstep with a member of my family being diagnosed with the ‘big C'.

There have been two big cancer diagnosis in my life this year within my family. It just happens right? It's just a thing that seems to have happened this year and done in Bowie and Rickman among others. Cancer has obviously always existed, but it's strange that all of a sudden - bang - it's front and centre in your life. All it takes is a sudden visit to the doctors and there it is, in your life. One wrong turn and it's bad news.

In a way, it's a macabre sense of beauty. Our bodies in such a desperation to repair and replenish itself can cause cell structure changes that actually harm us in the long run. That's why rags such as the Daily Mail have a huge list of the items and objects that can cause cancer, simply because anything that can cause a cellular change, can cause cancer, even if that item or object is in fact helping you.

Cancer can also be a slow burn. It's not a sudden suicide or loss of blood to the brain, it's not an obstruction of the arteries or an encounter in a dark alley. Cancer is in most cases the marathon. It's almost a natural indicator of 'time to go', however heartbreaking that may be. A simple, sad and slow slide. In other cases, it can be fast, shocking and aggressive, it can happen unexpectedly.

Now, I don't want to ruin my articulate and wonderful writing here, but if you read between those lines, you might notice I was speaking about Aston Villa FC and relegation as well as the news that had came to me hours before the Tottenham match.

I'm not here to weep or worry, or ask that people support me or even my family - I've accepted this news, but that didn't exactly make Sunday easy. All I could think of was if I saw them enough or if I made them know that I loved them. You know? It was almost exactly what Elis said to me the other day 'I'm going to a Villa match this season because I don't know when I'll see Villa in the Premier League again'.

Instead of undergoing chemotherapy, removal surgery, homeopathy or a plant based diet detox - we just get angry, emotional, distraught. Sixty minutes into the match, the fans turned on want away owner Randy Lerner again, there's simply no one else to get angry at anymore. Aston Villa FC will never die, but the current spectacle of watching a match at Villa Park is indeed a cancerous experience - watching fans walk out, argue and be pushed around by heavy-handed stewards isn't a place where a love for the club can be reforged, but a place where only hate and anger can flourish by burning inside the soul and being regurgitated at players, the board, other fans and the situation at end.

I don't think I want to go to Villa Park anymore. I never wanted football to be an escape from real life - in fact, I've always seen it as an attachment and flavourful add-on to life - but in a time when I needed it to be that escape it turned its back.

At the edge of the precipice, a lion stands wounded. The tales of loss after loss are marked into its wounded skin by scores of arrow punctures and leaking wounds. Those who have sided with the creature beg for mercy and pray amongst themselves that it may rise to be the symbol it once was to so many. That brave, proud and prepared lion stands ready to fall. Maybe it's best to let it fall, pass away from the impact and find its own rebirth - instead of dragging the same old tired corpse out to be fed on by everyone else.

Because that, my friends is certainly no fun to watch.