Today is a day set apart from others in both significance and import. A day for the wearing of colors, for displaying favors and uniform, a day to admit and roar allegiances, to recognize the influences and events outside our immediate purview that control greatly our condition, hopes and dreams, feelings of pride and worth beyond that which we are generally liable to advertise or admit to others,or more significantly to ourselves.
Do I refer to a day of almost universal rest and recuperation, or perhaps to a day of solemnity, worship and spiritual celebration, renewal and reawakening, maybe a day of sporting conflict, of tribal emotion, of guttural thought, expression and display, or perchance my referral is to a heady mélange of this fallacious holy trinity.
From my very personal and individualistic perspective I favor the mélange, that delicious thick Mulligatawny soup, with a substantial dish of manna on the side, that fills my stomach, heart and soul to brim and beyond with an undeniable abundance of pride, satisfaction and comfort, that exponentially, even if momentarily, improves and enhances the moment and in doing so completes me.
My first clear recollection of television, the apparatus that to all intents and purposes bridged the divide between our yesterdays and our todays and tomorrows, was sitting with my family watching the England football team win the World Cup in year nineteen sixty-six, a moment that is branded indelibly not only upon my core but upon my nations. The moment Bobby Moore, England’s skipper, raised the Jules Rimet trophy above his head was accompanied by a tidal wave of pride, elation and unadulterated worship throughout the populous. Just four years later that same individual players dejection following defeat in the semi-final of the very same tournament shattered those a nations hearts and minds to such a degree they have yet to recover fifty years later.
Sport has a hold on humanity unparalleled by any other activity. Bill Shankly, Liverpool Football Club’s most famous manager, best summed up the truth of this phenomena in these words, “Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I assure you, it’s much more serious than that.”
Every Sunday, Association Football, ‘Soccer’, is the single most participated in and spectated activity in both the United Kingdom and most of globe. The ramifications of those matches, the results, carry a weight far beyond simple exercise or mild interest.
Sunday was, is and probably ever shall be a day based around multifarious human needs, namely spiritual enhancement and empowerment, rest and recuperation, physical and visual stimulation, or most beneficially a feast encapsulating the trifecta. However you choose to spend the day do so in the happy understanding that your time will be echoed by the vast majority of humanity, solo and in chorus. All will in some form or other worship, hope, renew, commit, belong, love, hate, live or even die.
This seventh day, this day of rest remains a constant, a seeming genetic commonality no matter the manner of celebration, the local or distant geographic position, modern or primitive culture, rich or poor economy, even transcending the relative position withing the lunar calendar.