The most boring complaint in the world
Dear sirs, For some time, ever since I first discovered surreal football, I had been a fan of your output. I enjoyed your references to Baudrillard and Derrida, agreed with your analysis of the game and of politics in general, and even submitted something to your sister site, surreal politics. The only initial disappointment, frankly, was that you felt the need to justify having advertising on your site-after all, when you produce writing that is clearly not pap, you deserve to be paid for it; even William Faulkner did commercial work when he had to. When you moved to the FCF there was some trepidation on my part-would the MS paint match reports be continued? Yes, albeit briefly. Would Anthony Richardson, who joined you in your surreal salad days, also follow suit? Again, yes, albeit briefly. Would the style of writing that defined surreal football continue to maintain the same kind of righteous anger and biting insight? You know the answer to that by now. Gentlemen, you may as well just pack up the FCF now and piss off back to whatever corner of England you happen to be hailing from (and that includes the “Scottish” cunt Netherton). I normally wouldn’t bother writing to you, because what’s the the fucking point, eh? To be frank, I gave up reading the fucking thing about two months ago, only to click onto it of curiosity today and discover that you’d printed an interview with a Daily Mail journalist, which prompted me to type this missive. Not to ask you to do anything mind, because there isn’t a fucking hope that you could actually do anything worthwhile now, but just to make myself feel better by calling you a bunch of cunts. But I digress. This is the fucking depths that you’ve fucking sunk to? Sucking up to some fuckwit who probably makes up stories for a made-up newspaper, who previously edited another newspaper that made up stories? In order to bring your fucking country into a war? Was there a single fucking question about anything called ethics? Na, just some stupid cunty shit about who his favourite writer is. Like anyone who actually gives a fuck would actually give a fuck. Good work there chaps-it wasn’t that long ago that you were linking to an article in the Daily Mash that satirised some trite nonsense that was published in the Mail. But, hey, this friendly, handsome journalist follows us on Twitter, and if we play our cards right and soft-soap him, maybe he’ll give us a staff job on the Mail. Maybe, and if we’re really lucky we’ll get to take it in turns to massage his testes at lunch break while he’s using us for a footstool, drinks holder, chair, and headrest. He used to be an editor you know. I’ve been trying to recall exactly when the whole thing jumped the shark. It wasn’t anything to do with Real vs. Barcelona-you’ve been consistent on that, at least, and on occasion very thought-provoking. It wasn’t that long ago, maybe after Anthony Richardson stopped allowing you to link to his videos. Part of me thinks it was the vodcast (which I didn’t watch, because if I want to see a group of people in a kitchen talking about football, I’ll go into my own fucking kitchen), but that seems a little too recent. The decline’s been coming for a while though, and it’s a shame you didn’t see it coming yourselves. Here are the symptoms, although fuck knows how you can treat them. (A) Excessive self-regard without any fucking idea of context. Calling what’s basically an article about football a “piece” is fucking stupid. This is an example by the way. You’ve all been to a University, you understand how it works. (B) There is no (B). It’s relatively clear that you’ve all been consumed by your latent narcissism and have become a gang of cunts that think you’re actually doing something worthwhile in football journalism whereas what’s really happening is that the mainstream press has co-opted you into being the “bad boys” of the trade. That’s a pretty acceptable niche to have, and I assume it’s a nice one to fill; after all, you get people like me writing to you to complain about how big a bunch of cunts you are. And as the saying goes, if nobody hates you, you haven’t made your opinion felt. A platitude that I hope is whistling its way from one earlobe to another. And you’re right; after all, who’s writing emails to me telling me I’m a cunt? Only my parents, assuming you don’t respond. And it must be nice, in a way, to be consulted about your opinion by “proper” journalists who’re probably smirking about something else that just happened and not at your claptrap about how “Hazard is a good player, but he’s so fucking overrated; you should keep an eye on that [insert random underprivileged child’s name] from [insert random poverty-ridden place]. He’s a real talent for the future. One to watch” After all, they must be really interested in sport to be journalists on the topic, mustn’t they? Have you ever wondered why the majority of English papers are less focussed on sport as a contest of, well, sport, and instead choose to focus on things like personality, wages, celebrity/notoriety, and so on? Oh sure, it sells more papers, but it also means that they can have as little interest in what they should be covering as they want.After all, how many of these fuckers have actually ever written an interesting match report or done something that vaguely resembles journalism? Gentlemen, don’t fret. I understand that truly you value being heard more than what you say, and that while you may try to convince yourselves it’s all about the latter, really you know it’s about the former. That’s why you don’t write much on the FCF anymore, and when you do, why it’s either a repitition of words that took five minutes or else something that is written in another voice (Simon the ex-pro, for example) so you can distance yourselves from it. I know that once your pride has been wounded by the closing down of one website and the migration to another, that you face “tough” editorial decisions like, “should we sell out?”, and that your original ambition, whatever it was, has now been crystallised into language so clear that it’s a prison cell: “we want to produce a tough, no-nonsense product that will have good brand recognition going forward”. Or somesuch. It’s actually quite normal; the rage dissipates, the reason for it becomes irrational or inaccessible, and you begin to wonder why you aren’t more friendly with all these people who really want to give you a hand in the tough world of sports journalism. You don’t really have different opinions from any of them, you just thought you did, and if you do, then you can change them easily enough. After all, it’s only a little thing. It’s only a game. You sat on the high horse long enough. You can come down now. Just don’t pretend that you’re anything other than part of the fucking football+money machine anymore. Don’t post articles about how the game is being destroyed. Don’t pretend to care. That fucking game is up. All the best, Brian Fitton.