S is for...Squad
Last weekend Cowick Barton FC finished the football season and won Division 7 of the Macron Devon and Exeter Football League. Geeeeettttttttttttt iiiiiinnnnn!!!
This season I started playing football again for the first time in ages. I’m 33 now, I was 32 at the start of the season. I think the last time I played football regularly I was 16? I literally have no idea. Put it this way, even if I was 16, 17 or 18. It was fucking ages ago.
I partly gave up football because I was going off to Uni. I partly gave up football because I was sick of losing so often. I partly gave up football because I didn’t like the culture; ‘lads, lads, lads!’ and it often being about just getting pissed. The reason being...ultimately mate, alcohol does not improve your performance. Plus yeah, when it comes down to it I’m a bit of a lightweight. I partly gave up football because I was more of a pacifist when I was younger. Which isn’t great when you are trying to play a competitive sport. I partly gave up football because playing it would trigger some bad memories which meant I couldn’t perform at my best, and I was just easily distracted in general; my head wasn’t fully in the game. I partly gave up football because my eyesight is shit and I had to wear contacts, I still do. But back then contacts were fucking rubbish and uncomfortable to play in, and would occasionally come out during playing. It was just a pain in the arse. I partly gave up football because I was sick of coming home battered and bruised and never feeling healthy. Man, there’s lots of reasons. Basically, I hadn’t developed myself enough to sustain playing football on the day to day. I couldn’t spin all those plates at once.
But it didn’t stop me playing sport altogether when I stopped playing football. If you’ve read any of the other stuff I’ve written, you’ll know I’m big on basketball. I used to work for a leisure centre and I worked at the University of Exeter Sports Park for a few years. I’ve always had a bit of sport in my life somewhere.
But this entry is about squad.
Now your squad could be your family. It could be your friends. It could be your work colleagues. It could be the people you are working with on a project. It could be your sports team. Whatever way you want to look at it, we are all part of loads of squads. Pretty much, whether we want to be or not. Society? Massive squad.
Urgh, when you really start breaking it down we all fall into a whole bunch of demographics that you could call squads. But thinking like that just starts to get a bit boring to me. I mean, some of it is interesting. You can find some interesting stuff there; interesting stereotypes, cultural trends and things. But it does make looking at life a little bit dull. You know, I’m a white(white squad) male(male squad), with brown hair(brown hair squad), who is 5’10”(5’10” crew), with size 8 feet(size 8 feet unit), born in 1985(1985 massif), who has a cat(has a cat club), whose favourite colour is orange(fav colour is orange United), with blue eyes(the blue eyes foundation for blokes with blue eyes). I mean, how far do you want to go?
It can be tough sometimes being part of a squad. But hopefully your squad supports you, and you feel like they support you. Maybe that’s the most important part of being part of a squad; that you demonstrate your support for others, and then they support you in return. Right? The support is reciprocated?
But who goes first? Who does the supporting first? Does it even matter?
To some of us it does. We’ll often say it depends on the situation and who is involved. Which is fair enough.
But I think you’ve got to see past the whole, “I’m not making the first move” thing. You’ve got to support others even if they haven’t done whatever you think they should do to justify getting your support. It doesn’t matter who is older, more skilled or experienced. Just support your squad. If that means going first, then go first.
That’s called leading by example. It’s called being the bigger person. It’s called setting the tone, setting the standard. It’s called taking one for the team.
Trouble is, some people hate that; someone else setting the tone. Especially if you are younger or less experienced. Some people think you’re egotistical. They think you’re only doing it to further your own agenda. Which you might well be, and good on you for doing so. But chances are that isn’t the ONLY reason you are being the way you are. Chances are you are doing it because you get it, because you know how to be part of a squad. You understand what is required of you. Some people just hate being supported by other people. Which I’ve struggled with at points, for sure. I’ve just wanted to be independent, and do things on my own, for myself. Plus we all know that some people aren't genuine, and only support you to take advantage of the opportunities you create for them, only to then fuck you over later.
I think part of the issue is the way someone demonstrates support towards you. You might interpret it as the exact opposite of support. You might just not like, or get, their style of support. People are funny, and express themselves in so many ways. You might think someone is taking the piss when actually that is there way of showing you support. I always try to make a point of being cliche and blatantly obvious when I’m showing support. Because then there is no ambiguity or confusion. I’m supporting you. Take my word for it, see if I stand by what I said. I’ll probably look you dead in the eye just to prove my point. And yeah...oh look, I really meant it.
Anyway, squad. We are all part of one or several. However you want to look at it. I tend to look at it like; Human race at the top, and subcultures coming off from that. I look at it like that by the way, because that’s the right way to look at it. We are all part of the human race squad. Pretty obvious really.
Where as I know some people look at it like Human Race at the bottom and other subcultures above that. As in certain social groups are better or more important than others. Which, and I’m not being funny mate, is just fucking stupid. Because it’s a subculture. ‘Sub’ meaning below. Which is why we can happily call those people that think they are better than you...pricks.
I like being part of a squad. It’s cool. It’s tricky and exhausting at times. But when you find a squad that is on the same page as you, and gets you, and supports you, it just makes things nice. It feels great.
Make sure your squad knows you appreciate them.
Up the Barton!!
Who doesn’t love a good quote?
“What matters is getting the best out of the squad you have.” - Claudia Ranieri
Songs to listen to now:
Team - Lorde
Better Together - Jack Johnson
The A Team - Ed Sheeran
Goon Squad - The Attractions
Together - Martin Garrix, Matisse & Sadko
Togetherness - Fischerspooner
Together - Marshmallow
Lonely Together - Avicii
Especially for You - Kylie Minogue & Jason Donvovan