Sunday, 9 December 2007

We Don't Know What We Are Doing. - Adrian Chiles

Imagine a middle aged man sitting in the Hawthorns on a Saturday afternoon in February, and there under a low, cold, grey sky this man, whilst watching his team putting in a mediocre performance, finds himself quietly gripped by a mild existential crisis.

"Why Am I Doing This?" he asks himself.

And his answer is ... Well I'm not sure really - but the book Adrian Chiles wrote to try to answer his own question is highly entertaining.

It is also incredibly dour. How a book about football in the 21st Century can include a reference to German civilians drowning in the Baltic as they fled the Soviets I'm not sure. Read the book and you'll see how Chiles manages to include such a bleak detour - one of many in a book about football which of course is essentially a leisure activity.

For me the most memorable image from the book comes from his description of his watching West Brom. fall to another painful defeat on a TV in the Match of the Day office in the BBC Studios on a Sunday afternoon. It's strange to think that I was probably at home - reading the Sunday papers and idly wondering whether I could be bothered with watching Man City or whoever on MOTD2 that night - and as I was thinking this - the show's host was tucked away in an office in West London slowly falling out of love with life.

'Tis a good book - and I don't think you really need to be a West Brom fan to get a lot out of it.