Michael Shepherd

Rookie (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

Sicker Soccer - Poem by Michael Shepherd

The £10,000 a week defender can’t quite
catch the £20,000 striker who's got
the ball at his nimble, expensive feet, the stadium yelling
fit to raise the roof – what does he do? why,
he pulls the striker’s shirt, of course…; the ref, the commentators
remain silent. We, we were told off at nursery classes,
for pulling little Johnny’s shirt… I mean, for Pele’s sake,
what is this about? ! ..

then at the end of the game (one side’s got to win,
you’d think the fans are like they used to be,
paid good money to watch a good match)
the managers spit out their gum, pat each other on the back
whilst walking away, and not looking each other in the eye…
none of that love of the game stuff, the sparkling eyes
of those who love their sport, shaking hands
with a worthy opponent…ha…

and as for cricket – ‘sledging’ – can you believe it?
making sneery remarks to the batsmen while you stand in close…
never happened when sport was something you
enjoyed, loved to do, enjoyed the challenge and the company…
‘oh it’s all in good fun’… yeah?

tennis, being one-on-one, ain’t so bad; psych yourself up
but put the venom in your shots; but then,
when the match ends, run up to the net (or so they
used to) , eyes meet, shake hands, a few words? not
so often – shake hands without making
eye-contact, off to thank the umpire who's
up there out of reach…

it’s like some sorta natural law: when sport is a game
like life, the game’s the thing, and well-played, sir; pay
your ‘sportsmen’, your mercenaries, in the name
of ‘popular entertainment’ and big business, and
something disappears, as revenues increase;
how long before poetry becomes
a ‘spectator sport’ with a World Slam League out there
and TV rights?


Comments about Sicker Soccer by Michael Shepherd

  • (11/27/2005 6:13:00 AM)


    Fair comment, Amber. It's just that over my lifetime I've watched that 'playing for the sheer joy of it' under more and more pressure from money, to turn games into more like an angry fight... and those off-camera incidents do happen. And managers get sacked in a season, just because their team isn't up to scratch...I wouldn't blame the players except occasionally like Roy Keane... (Report) Reply

    3 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (11/24/2005 6:29:00 PM)


    it wos OK.
    but how can u pay out these people.
    myolder bro is a profesional soccer player, and like he says when u put on that jersy u are not out there to look good you are out therer to have fun and reprsent your contry. whitch is very true.
    u say that they dont have that gleam in there eyes, u watch it on the television. i have been to so many premeship games and i see all these people running out onto the feild with a smile from ear to ear. dont go payin the sports man and wimon because you have never been in there shoes. they have worked their whole lifes to get to where they are and if they did not really like the sport they would have given up b4 they even go a chance to represent anyone. if they did not have a love for the sport they would have never been selected for it...

    but yes some people do walk of the feild with angry, sad lloks on their faces. but then again i would too if i had just list a major game and dissapointed all my fans.
    soo many peple look up to sports stars these days so if they do lose the people who look up to them feel like they have lost a little aswell.
    no one wont to feel that way

    xoxo
    (Report) Reply

  • Ernestine Northover (11/7/2005 3:04:00 PM)


    That's a clever write, Michael, isn't it sad that sport's ended up like this, and how can they now call it 'sport' when that's the last thing it is. It's like watching horror, comedy, drama, violence, cruelty, bad manners and anything you'd like to ad all thrown into one big cauldron, and we are supposed to admire these 'stars'! ! ! ! Where will it end? Sincerely Ernestine. (Report) Reply

  • (11/7/2005 9:57:00 AM)


    Jeezuzz - think what he could do with swimmers, surfies, masseuses... (Report) Reply

  • (11/7/2005 8:35:00 AM)


    probably not long at all.
    I heard about a guy whose business is to rent out pro basketball players' FOREHEADS for ads.
    (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Monday, November 7, 2005



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