In a startling development that could have far-reaching consequences virtually nowhere, West Ham United Football Club have been described as “Too boring to write about” by no less an authority than Scott Tracey, renowned expert on deep tedium and soporific prose. Mr. Tracey, proprietor of a “fansite” known as “The Game’s Gone Crazy“, has finally broken cover after literally too long masquerading as a serious writer about the East End club. “I’ve given it up,” he states dolefully, “there’s just no mileage in Hammers stuff any more. Nothing’s really happened down the Boleyn for years, they just bob up and down between the top two divisions, regular as clockwork, like one of them metrodomes or summink. Yeah, it’s like watching one of them nodding dogs in the backs of cars, innit. Eventually, you just drop off to sleep.”
Scott is downcast by the bombshell moment of self-revelation – “I’d always fought the ‘Ammers were, y’know, quite interesting.” – but he is not entirely discouraged. “What I’m going to do is write about other clubs. I know just as much about them as I do about West Ham – nuffink – but what’s the internet for? I can usually find something interesting about Leeds, or Spurs, or Leeds, or Sunderland, or Newcastle, or Leeds, Leeds, Leeds….” he trails off, looking confused and stares into space for a moment. “Yeah, I can always do stuff about Leeds….”
The realisation of West Ham’s essential tedium came as quite a shock to Scott, and initially he was defiant. It was only when he sat down in earnest to write something fresh and interesting about them that he finally had to admit the awful truth to himself. “There I was,” he says, the memory clearly upsetting even now, “Sat there, with all the posters of the Greats looking down on me, sort of, you know, inspirating me, like – Mooro, Hursty, Petersy …….. Brookingy – all of them guys, and I realised they were all gone, all disappeared into the past. And like us literally types are always saying, the past is a different county, innit.” He pauses, ponders, takes a sip of Sunny Delight. “And then I knew that I’d have to spice up my site a bit – write about things that mean a bit to people out there in the real world, and even in the East End too.” Scott shakes his head, sadly. “So, that’s what I done. I’ve writ two bang tidy proper insightly things about Leeds just this past couple of days. I’ve got this joke, right, where I call their manager Father Brian. It’s well clever, proper satiric, and it winds up them Norverners so that they read my blog and comment and stuff, and I’m minting it with the ads and that. Cushty.”
It’s a sad tale in its way, and perhaps a fair indicator of the way in which there really are only a limited number of truly newsworthy stories these days, outside of the Premier League top five at least. Independent authorities tend to confirm Scott’s experience, finding that websites who devote their output to football’s traditionally “controversial” clubs garner many times the number of hits of those who concentrate on less fashionable outfits like West Ham. Some feel that the identification of the Upton Park club with a respectable but dull individual like Sir Trevor Brooking is asking for trouble in a medium where tedium is tantamount to a slow death. Efforts have been made to look into the ‘Ammers’ ‘Istory for more charismatic personages, only to draw a blank.
Scott hasn’t given up all hope of being able to return to writing about his alleged favourites as the season goes on. “It’s looking like another relegation fight,” he admitted, “and they’re always good for stirring up a bit of interest. And if we do go down – as long as Leeds don’t go up – well, we’d play them again and we’re always a bit more interesting when that happens. Not that I’m obsessed with Leeds United!” he added, hastily. “Perish the fought, mate. Perish the bleedin’ fought.”