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The stupidest thing I have ever seen (on a football pitch)

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Case Studies
Many of the blogs I read are boring. I have been asked to contribute a blog and I have spent a good amount of time thinking about how to make it relevant to the job I do and ideally how can I write something so profound that it changes the face of recruitment, as we know it. I was really looking for my Jerry Maguire moment (it is a great film, if you have not seen it you should watch it, in particular for the scenes with Rod Tidwell but it also responsible for launching the career of Renee Zellweger so swings and roundabouts on that one.)

After much deliberation I came to the conclusion that in reality, there isn’t anything I can say about recruitment that hasn’t already been said by thousands of weirdly sensitive consultants who fly off the handle at the mere mention of criticism on linked in…instead I will just tell you about the most stupid thing I have ever seen (on a football pitch)

From the ages of 8 – 12, I played for what was possibly the worst Sunday league team of all time. We literally got beat every single week by at least 10 goals or more, on more than one occasion the referee would ask me (I had the honour of being captain) if I would like him to stop the game early as he felt losing 32-0 might hamper our confidence going forward. To be honest we didn’t care, we were playing football with our friends every week and most of the lads we played against where at least 2 years older so we were learning with every game. Mainly what we were learning was what it felt like to be kicked up in the air by a 13 year old with a beard and fag breath, but still it was good fun.

Due to our stellar reputation in the area, we tended to attract players that may be classed as “footbally challenged” i.e. could not kick a ball and got scared when the ref blew his whistle too loud (same kid every week…bizarre). As you can imagine I saw many funny things here, some embarrassing, some brutal and some just weird but by the far the most stupid thing happened in my last season with them.

Our “Manager” (aka one of the dads who hadn’t completely given up on us by waiting in the pub until the game had finished) insisted on playing his son week in in week out, even though it was obvious to everyone that he hated football, physical contact of any kind and loud whistles (it was this kid I mentioned earlier.) Anyway, one week, the manager’s son takes a ball to the shoulder (yes shoulder) and goes down injured. He is a bit upset so gets up and starts walking over to his dad (our manager) on the touchline. His dad, sensing an opportunity to stop the game and give us a respite from constantly conceding goals, shouts to his son to go down if he is injured.

Not a bad plan but what happened next was incredible…taking his dads advice a little bit too literally, this kid stops walking over and instead goes down to the floor and begins to army crawl over instead. Bearing in mind he was on the other side of the pitch, this was quite an undertaking. The game literally stopped as both sets of players just watched him crawl over; this lasted at least a full 5 minutes, quite a long time if you think about it. No one said a word and I swore I literally saw the moment in his dad’s face where his soul died a little. What’s weirder is that the kid didn’t seem to notice that everyone had stopped playing and was looking at him (if he did he might not have cried the whole way over which gave it a bit of an uneasy Saving Private Ryan vibe.) Looking back, it probably would have been nice for someone to go over and help him, but hey, this was the cutthroat world of mid-nineties amateur football.

Moral of the story…do not do anything that is so stupid your friend will write about it in a work blog 18 years later because he forgot it was due by Friday afternoon and had to write something…
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