So it’s that time of the year again – Ice collects on your windscreen, you spend that extra few minutes showering since you’re scared of the cold lurking outside, and any venture outside
So it’s that time of the year again – Ice collects on your windscreen, you spend that extra few minutes showering since you’re scared of the cold lurking outside, and any venture outside without gloves is unheard of. Winter has arrived and is set to stay. For the most of us football fans, it’s understandably quite the task to sit frozen solid on a small, hard, plastic seat to watch two teams battle it out on the pitch, and that half-time cuppa can never come soon enough.
The thought of playing sport at this time of year may be greeted with ridicule by some of us, but as the keen sportsmen (and women) would tell us, it’s not long until those winter jitters are swept away, and instead sweat – actual sweat – accumulates on the brow and your body actually gets warm.
Watch any football match on television, and if you can find a single person (goalkeepers, for now, excluded) that isn’t visibly sweating then I will personally hand-deliver you a Christmas present. Personally an early morning run, the cold air snapping at your cheeks as you briskly jog on, or a cycle ride down the promenade in Bournemouth is something I genuinely look forward to. Once you brush away those initial feelings of cold, and you realise your body is actually doing the complete opposite of turning to ice, sport in the Winter is actually one of the most exhilarating times for me.
Set your minds back 12 months ago if you will. Remember when footballers started wearing snoods? Those scarf-turned-body-warmers were all over the Premiership, regardless of the amount of criticism snood-wearers would get from the media. As soon as March came, snoods were quickly nestled away in closets or, as I prefer to imagine, burned in a mass fire on the training ground.
Well, turns out they’re coming back. I saw one last week, in a Championship match, worn by a starting player. I don’t want much for Christmas, but right now all I really want to ask for is for the snood to stay firmly out of football. Snoods don’t make you more of a man, they don’t add skill, and professional athletes cannot honestly believe that added warmth for three or so minutes will be a game-changer – heck, the name even sounds soft.
Footballers who warm up properly should already be warm – this including their muscles and their body temperature. Gloves are acceptable when you’re throwing a ball, or breezing down the wing experiencing just as much of a challenge shrugging off the ice of your fingers than you are the full-back – but what do snoods bring to the game?
The beautiful game has been around for centuries. If snoods were needed, they would have been worn decades ago, not in the 2010s. We can all but pray they don’t return.