Everything's the Worst: Where's My Teddy Edition

Laurence Griffiths

Shifting uneasily in a dingy local internet cafe somewhere in London, ETW thinks it is time to have an early October fireside chat and share a true story that has rarely been told.

A childhood generally holds many memories of differing qualities and sharpness respectively. Without delving too deep in the recesses of your mind, try and think of one particular childhood attachment. There is a particular brutality in the separation between a growing child and the very thing that represents a stage of one's childhood. ETW remembers that common childhood item...the teddy bear. Of course, the little bear was affectionately named "SuperTed" after a popular children's television show in the 1980s. Creative indeed.

This friend held great value as ETW would discuss many things with SuperTed and opinions were shared in a fruitful friendship. SuperTed was the type that you'd get to appreciate as the years trundled by. You'd go off to school and leave him in your bedroom that you had to painstakingly tidy up over the weekend. What would you see when you got back? A room that remained unsullied and a friend awaiting your return with unmatched calm. Such patience and consideration is a rarity in relationships. Naturally, a deep friendship blossomed.

SuperTed was a hero and always came to save the day. He was popular with my siblings and cousins. When friends came over, there were sneaky attempts to coax him away from loving arms into unknown territory. Yet he remained steadfast and my loyalty deepened in sight of his own. Over time, the one I could always count on couldn't quite be counted on anymore. He'd leave a fluffy mess in his wake and age was not kind to his powers. His time was coming up and one day I'd have to leave him behind. My parents would continually point out that he was no longer the solution but an increasing problem. They didn't know him but I did.

Eventually, after a ferocious altercation with the overlords of my domain, SuperTed absorbed the ferocious anger of a sulking young ETW. His head was cleanly ripped off. Your eyes have not beguiled you. His head was cleanly ripped off. It wasn't gradual or planned. He didn't do anything wrong that day but furious frustration would lead to ceaseless compunction. Maybe there was no right way to end such a prolonged and proliferant partnership. One with so many mirthful memories. One with all the warmth of a sumptuous bowl of rice pudding on a bitter winter's night. Accursed actions of youth.

Heroes age and people change but the relationship between ourselves and those we deify has always been one of exchange. The truly worthwhile ones anyway. Our support makes them feel loved and spurs them on while that thing they do on the stage we give them brings us joy or perhaps a diversion from troublesome days. The moment we treat those who have given us such sterling service with regrettable disregard is the day when football loses what remains of a battered soul. Even when they experience difficulties because they can no longer do what they once could, we should try to avoid hasty and pointed remarks. If a better solution is elsewhere then that should be explored but it is not what is done but the way it is done.

King Kenny returned and for a while it appeared that he could do what he did before. Unfortunately he could not and while a change may have been merited, he never deserved the disrespect that was aimed in his direction. He was and always will be a child of the club. Steven Gerrard is too and while he's winding down, it would be wise to remember that he's a rarity. When he's gone, we might be asking for something that we know we'll never be able to get back. Luis Suarez remains a different case and his recalcitrance over the summer, misguided or not, has altered the glasses with which many now choose to judge him with. Suarez's unpredictability on the field provides the club with a resource to potentially grasp an opportunity to build a sustainable future. In crude terms, the player remains a commodity of considerable importance.

We possess things and lose them as time erodes their lustre. We create relationships and try to cultivate them with whatever tools are particular and available to us. No condition is permanent but as fans, surely we can find some via omnia to enjoy the remaining time we'll share with a club legend and star player. The clock's ticking.

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