Saturday, May 26, 2012


EPL Has Beens Visit Jakarta

So we have the EPL All Stars in Jakarta for the weekend. In a masterpiece of timing their visit coincides with the national team hosting Inter Milan and tomorrow has the domestic biggy...Persija v Persib.

Why the hell would anyone wanna see a bunch of middle aged, pot bellied men hugging each other, enjoying their own private jokes and occasionally condescending to toss a wave or a thumbs up to the paying, braying, fan. Especially with two real games on the agenda?

These sorts of things have been popular in other parts of South East Asia for several years now; fans are that desperate to get close to their heroes, or even their dad's heroes, or even some player they have never heard of  but he once played for their favourite team so that's close enough, eh?

Hell, I'll even admit I have a couple of times been to see a 5 a side or 6 a side, in London and Brisbane, but those competing were players of that era, players I was of course well familiar. Even picked up Franz Carr's autograph...see, knew that would have you swooning.

But to go and see the likes of Ray Parlour and Paul Merson or even the legendary, the positively iconic David May now? Nope, no thanks.

The players treat it like a holiday; the organisers treat it as a chance to show how they can organise, the sponsors treat it as an opportunity to rub shoulders with famous people and hope some of that allure rubs off on them. And the fan? They get to cheer and clap hands on cue.

It all seems so 1970s, so Communist kitsch. Who needs to holiday in North Korea when the EPL Masters are in town and you can partake in your own choreography.

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