We here at Pub Talk have decided to expand our ranting to include more subjects that interest us…and hopefully you as well. Besides our normal topical banter, the editors told me I had “carte blanche” on whatever topic I wanted to discuss. So I chose, among other things, the world’s greatest sport…football! (No, not advertisement plagued football we americans play, the real football!) Join me each week as I blather on about my favorite sport!
Can one man’s ambition really change the contemporary thinking of a worldwide sport? If not, than Blackpool manager Ian Holloway is certainly giving it a try.
For decades, small clubs have gone out against the giants of the sport with the horribly boring idea of sitting their entire team inside their own half with the hope they could fend off the usually inevitable for 90 minutes and earn a scoreless draw. Sure many a minnow has succeeded with this agonizingly dull tactic, and a few have even won a game or two like that, but is that really what we want out of our team?
This season, Ian Holloway brought his incredibly undersized Blackpool into the English Premier League, perhaps the toughest, and certainly most expensive, league in the world. I for one expected little, and many football pundits wondered only half-jokingly if little Blackpool could earn even a single victory during their campaign. But so far, with half the season completed, Mr. Holloway and his band of so-called misfits have proved us all wrong. And they have done it with only one noticeable trait we all failed to take in to account when prognosticating this past summer…ambition. Pure, exciting and wonderfully refreshing ambition!
With 21 games played so far, Blackpool have 8 wins and sit 10th in the league table. That might not sound like much to us, but for a club with probably a third the resources of most of their competition, it really is. But what’s more, they have gone after every game to win it and have attacked each Goliath with confidence. Along the way, they may have just rewritten the book on how to play as a minnow among sharks.
I suppose there is a chance that Blackpool may yet be relegated back down to the lower leagues. And even if they do manage to stay in the top flight next season, the odds will once again be stacked against them. But no matter what happens, the example has been set and football world has had its collective eyes opened. Play with ambition, strive for better! And you too will become the stuff of legend!
By Dave McBride