My United wrist-band (worn as a pseudo-tribute to Hargo), my United footy socks, my retro 80’s United cap and my awkwardly ill-fitting red jumper cut a clumsy path to my bed. I imagined I must have petulantly shrugged them off about 11 hours earlier. The scene complete with shoes on my cat’s bed suggested my legs had clearly been well and truly plaited by the post Champions League final attempt to drown my sorrows. Sorrows as we all know are pretty good at floating, they are practically fitted with their own life-jackets. Ontological anxiety was eating away at what was left of the pickled brain cells. ‘F*ckin jumper’, I thought, before I buried my head in the pillow and hoped for sleep to rescue me before I sent in the para(cetemol)troopers.
I’m an equanimous sort as a general rule, so was slightly perturbed to be so troubled by my choice of clothing for the previous evening. I don’t wear caps, wrist bands or that ‘f*ckin jumper’. They live in my wardrobe, rarely seen, let alone adorning me on one of the biggest social events of the year. But the week leading up to the Champions League final, fully aware my local would be waist deep in Barca fans and ABU’s, I felt the compulsion to “nail my colours to the mast”.
I now know that my choice of wardrobe on that fateful day meant that United lost the final to Barcelona 3-1. Yep you heard right. I am to blame for the result in the Champions league final. Feel free to send me your tirades of vitriolic abuse, claims for reimbursement of match day tickets and/or packages of poo. Of course with that kind of talk you might expect I have a good chance of getting thrown in the loony bin … but wait…
A large number of us have behavioural patterns that could be described as superstitious. Some in a more overt sense – wearing a pair of ‘lucky’ underpants, others more subconsciously. Philosophers try to teach us that a huge amount of societal behaviours have been built on superstitions and many of these have been passed on through religious teachings. At United we currently bear witness to one of the more gratuitous showings of a superstition when Chicharito plays out his ritual on the centre circle prior to kick off, praying to his god. We also see players kiss the ground as they take to the pitch. We have seen players come out the changing room last. Peter Beardsley apparently used to put chocolate buttons in his socks. But if they don’t score or their team doesn’t win or if they get injured do they still do it? Yes, they do. Why? Because, like all of us, footballers are ritualistic. We find inherent comfort in things we’re familiar with. Challenges to our individual and collective routines are not all together welcome.
What if the players weren’t to do any of these things? What if I hadn’t worn red? It’s easy to presume if you aren’t ‘overtly superstitious’ that absolutely nothing would change. But I challenge this assumption by suggesting this: If these acts, albeit potentially one in an infinite number of acts occurring in any one second that are embedded on our universal time line don’t alter the said time line in at least the most minute of ways then you are purporting that our existence is controlled by fate. We are all on the same time line travelling along it, powerless to make any decision that hasn’t been pre-destined for us individually and as a result, collectively. Scientists argue entropy is the single most powerful ‘invisible’ force governing our planet. Put simply all particles naturally shift towards chaos. Suggesting, and I agree, the theory of fate is nothing more than another fallacy similar to the superstitions people subscribe to.
Scientists now say that there are more particles within us than in the whole universe. I personally can’t get my head round that without needing a bit of a sit down with a nice cup of tea. But that belief alone is enough to suggest to me that we have power to influence more than we assume through the energy force given off by our physical entity and this is the point where I finally bring this hippy nonsense to its conclusion.
We are energy forces. That’s all we are. Family members, cats, cars, Xbox’s, fish tanks, cheese sandwiches, everything, all just bundles of particles with their own energy force. Our interactions with things on a microscopic level are particles with their own energy banging up against each other. Our collective energies along with everything else form the earth we live in. Every slight alteration in your own individual energy force has an impact, although minutely, on the collective energy of the planet.
If I choose to wear that f*ckin red jumper again that decision will alter the outcome of everything that follows. The problem I have is I’ll never know which way it changes the outcome or by how much or how little or if it’s for the better or worse.