Football Cartophilic Info Exchange
How often do you see something new that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up instantly?
How often are you so suddenly taken aback that you forget to breath?
No, its not a Tango ad!
I stumbled across this blog by chance: http://cartophilic-info-exch.blogspot.com.au/
Ding! The hairs shot to attention ready for something dramatic. I had no idea what that dramatic something might be though! I also had no idea what Cartophilic meant or why this blog might be an exchange. I was left stunned and confused.
(Just in case you are as ignorant as me: cartophily is the hobby of collecting cigarette cards)
What I did see was this stunning image:
Was it the colours that struck me? The cider? The fact it was old? Or the pure joy that can be felt seeing these gents from 116 years ago doing what I and you do, playing football. The truth is I still have no idea.
What I can tell you is that I went straight to the exchange link and saw that I could buy Top Trumps. A Price Check followed on Ebay and I was just about to become the new owner of 10's of Top Trump packs when for some reason, I hesitated.
I'm not normally known for hesitating.
Not that I won't buy them all still, but I am confused about my interest. I need to spend time on this site. I need to indulge. I think ebay put me off as I'm not interested in buying junk. I think I'm interested in the history, not only of football, but how us fans, and myslef in particular, are so strangely in love with the game.
Yes I use to play Top Trumps in the 70's and 80's. Yes I use to buy the sticker books and collect the cards when I was 8 or so. And no, I don't still have them. Sadly.
What strikes me now is the wonder of why,as a child, I spent my time being consumed by football? My dad liked sport as much Clinton likes Trump. My brother showed as much interest as a dead rat in a tampon factory. Yet I would spend hours on my own happily sticking stickers into books and analysing cards mutiple times to find each & every Top Trump's weakness.
But I digress, this is all for me to explore later, on my own. What I want to impress upon you is how absolutely fabulous our sport is and has been and how it can be enjoyed in so many ways.
Who would have thought football card from cigarette packets from yonks ago could excite a tired old middle aged man so much! Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! :-)
If you know of any other long lost strange love of football, or any sport for that matter, please let me know. I would love you to share your own confused excitement! I don't want to be the only one!
Thank you Cartophilic Info Exch for surprising me. It doesn't happen often anymore so it is especially appreciated!