Footyspeak is a therapeutic lingo that promises its pundits beyond the boundary truly magical moments of release and revelry.
As an incorrigible addict who regularly indulges in this popular parlance (I have a very husky, albeit sexy voice every Monday morning), this vociferous vocalising verges on a vernacular that offers profound insights into the psychology of us all (and not always of the favourable kind!)
Like Dr Jekyll and My Hyde, we sane, sanguine individuals metamorphose into obstreperous ogres, our entire demeanour distorted by nothing more than an erroneous free kick. Other times we erupt with manic madness at a goal that puts us in front at the final siren. We become strangers to ourselves, unbeknown in other social milieus when we unleash a torrent of angry and aggressive abuse (expletives deleted, of course, there are children around) across the fence to the three wise men with a whistle.
This horrifying hysteria is heightened by our dark, sadistic impulses as we scream out to ‘bury’ our opponents, massacre them and rub them into the ground, our ‘killer instinct’ alive and thriving in the great colosseum. We’re consumed by a malicious intent that for the five days of the rest of the week we would otherwise condemn, our nasty cruelty in full flight. But the ugly aggro we vent (no racial bigotry allowed) has a positive perspective too, believe it or not, allowing us to escape from our overload of angst and anxiety and purify our psyches for the week ahead. It’s a refreshing therapy in a safe and secure environment that enables us to let go and purge our minds of all extraneous matter that bedevils us at other times.
The players of course, can’t really hear us, the umpires are deaf to our venomous diatribe and all surrounding us are engaging in exactly the same scenario. There’s a real communion of souls where we rejoice in victory or despair over defeat. It is our refuge and we all come together like long-lost friends, though we’ve never even see each other before, with football the great leveller with its unique language that lolls somewhere between a bold babble and articulate absurdity. And of course we don’t really mean any of it- it’s just harmless hyperbole that provides us with comforting solace for a few hours. It’s therapy to exorcise our demons in a way that lying on a couch doesn’t even come close to.
With a bit of colourful and creative imagination we’ve constructed a universal lingo that unifies us in togetherness – win or lose.
By Paulyne Pogorelske