It’s wednesday evening, I’m bored and I’m thinking about QPR. Honestly, I wasn’t really thinking about QPR but boredom, for me, invokes creativity and what better way to utilize my bordeom, then to write about a team that is the true, constant antithesis of boredom itself.
So, the season so far. It’s been a wild ride, as the cool kids say. We started off the season as a team in blue and white hoops, we progressed as the same (with a side of bright Red and Black for cheeky nights out) and we now find ourselves with only a few weeks to go as beholders of the same blue and white hoops, despite our annual change of corrupt betting sponsorship at around the mid-February mark. I’m quite impressed with that consistency to be honest. We are rubbish at holding things we can’t hold a lead or players or money, contracts, fans, managers, owners, attention and pretty much anyone and everyone whose surname is Smith, but we’ve managed to hold on to our colours successfully – in my eyes, a massive win.
The phrase ‘consistently inconsistent; gets thrown around quite a lot in regards to QPR and I would call it a reasonable description but in my eyes a more apt one, especially for this season, would be ‘consistently existent’. It’s hard to find positives to say about QPR sometimes, but my mantra these days, in times of doubt, is simply to just ‘be happy that QPR exist, because if we didn’t, I’d have a lot of spare time and money, and who needs time or money when you can have misprinted QPR away shirts from a season we finished 16th and only bought because the site had a FLASH SALE and you’re a sucker for a pretty graphic. [On an unrelated note I have a number of QPR shirts from the last few years up for sale. DISCLAIMER: They may or may not have ‘Washington 9’ prominently printed on all of them. Prepare to be disappointed. All proceeds will go to the ‘Sam Taylor in the Community Trust’ AKA the ‘Paul Smyth Federation for Victims of the Ian Holloway-False-Hope-Programme and the Ilias Chair Foundation for the Continued Production of Expensive Fur Coats]
I don’t know if you can tell but I’m really scrambling to find things to say. We don’t have a massive fan base but we certainly have an observant one. I’ll read a LoftForWords column and read the majority of hot topics summarised succinctly and wittily. Then I’ll go onto the QPR hashtag on twitter, for the less succinct comments, for the few thousand tweets composed purely of words so foul I actually had to wash my eyes, ears and soul out after reading them. Even the guys who sat behind me at Loftus Road when I was eight and had never heard a swear word in my life, would be shocked at the things they’d read on Twitter and they really knew how to weaponise words, they were truly terrible English teachers to say the least. My actual English teacher was not in the slightest bit amused when I wrote my essay entitled ‘My Favourite Place and the Things I Hear’. Cheers Dave from F Block, you corrupted my young mind, although I do know some great synoynms for ‘Referee’ now, thanks a lot man!
Basically, there’s stuff to say about QPR and I think it gets said by a lot of people, making it hard to write something new about us. Right now I’m trying to be original and funny and trying to arrive at a point but quite frankly, I have now come to realise, is there even any point in writing about QPR at all?
We are a football team who play football and who are one step below average at doing so. We can’t really compete at the top level because we are suffering from a long-term financial disease known as MarkHughes-amonia. We are a mid-table, second tier side, challenging for ninth place, which would be our most successful season since Andy Johson’s mate Bobby stole £134 million from the hands of a man whom one might simply summarise as; ‘Steve McClaren’.
So then, why am I sitting here, at five to midnight, writing about a football club that isn’t Man City?
Well, I believe QPR are worth writing about because I feel like there is something just around the corner, something big. I’m not sure what it is but something is coming. Maybe Charlie Austin will spill a cup of tea on his carpet (after it’s JUST been cleaned) and get charged with immediate relegation to the National League, a lifetime ban from breathing and 10 years in a high security mental facility. Maybe Ian Holloway will turn up with Peter Odemwingie, Niko Kranjcar and Ravel Morrison in a large 4×4 thinking it’s deadline day, pleading for his job back with the ‘Arry boys as ransom. Or maybe the club (please god) will finally offer Paul Smyth his well deserved six year contract to commemorate his years of service to every other club in the EFL other than QPR. Who knows? I just do feel like we are on the cusp on something.
We have been stuck in stasis since 2015 and I’m getting old. I’m almost 20 for Todd’s sake! (Kane-not believe I made that pun, was absolutely Kakayzing! Big up ‘R’ Gen.) The last time QPR did anything of any significance, I was literally learning how to shave for the first time. The last time QPR made national headlines I was but a twinkle in Bobby Zamora’s big, beautiful eyes. The last time Queens Park Rangers were more than a loitering, mid-table mess in England’s second tier, it was 2015; I was in my first year of being a teenager and life was as simple as Match Attax, Sunday League and Wayne Rooney’s street striker on a Saturday night. Bliss.
Maybe that’s why clubs like QPR are so important to us. We use them as a sort of temporal ruler. A companion of reference points to remember the not so signififacnt times in our lives. “Oh remember that time where we had lunch together?”, “Ah yes of course, that was the day Dominic Ball scored from 85 yards to win us the Champions League final!” A mechanism for remembering the unmemorable. An eventful companion for the uneventful weeks. A time in our lives defined by a time in QPR’s.
Perhaps supporting a side just adds some significance to the otherwise insignificant times of our lives. For most people the 24th of May 2014 was just another bank holiday weekend, for me it was probably the greatest day of my life. How many people can say they experienced that amount of purpose, of joy, of meaning, within the first 13 years of their lives!? It’s bloody marvellous. My club has been there for me since I was being fit into my first blue and white baby-growth. Every week of my life has had something in common in that it always, at least, included 90 minutes of real significance. Something many don’t have. Weeks and days and time in general goes quickly, it flashes before your eyes before you can say Yeni Ngbakoto Was a World Class Player. How incredible is it that for a group of 18 thousand-odd people, our weeks have consistency, have meaning, have something truly worthwhile within them, simply because we quite like a group of athletic young adults playing with a bunch of balls. It’s bizarre. Significance in times where insignificance is inevitable is something truly special, something beautiful, that without, would lessen the greatness of our world tenfold. Needless to say, consistent significance (weekly football), amongst consistent inconsistency (life’s unpredictability), is just remarkable and rather humbling too. I’m so grateful to support a football club, especially this mess of one we call our own.
Humans are accidents of nature and the fact that we have this companion, this troubled friend who doesn’t quite know what he’s doing, in Queens Park Rangers football club, is most definitely worth writing about on a random Wednesday evening at midnight.
I get weirdly deep about football and QPR in particular and there’s this weird masculine atmosphere in the football-sphere which for some concerning reason discourages open affection, or at least encourages masked affection; whether it be through obsessive tweeting, fan site building and/or weekly Paul Smyth appreciation posting, distancing your affection from reality is unfortunately necessary in the realms of football fandom. But, to challenge this and to speak openly, basically if QPR was a person… I would love them. I would love them like I love my special minded dog who gets pleasure out of running head first into glass doors. I would love them all the way to the driveway and back. I would love them with some of my heart, text them once every couple weeks and ask them for advice every time I need to let someone down politely but frequently.
If QPR was a person they would be disorganised, late for everything, awful with money, somewhat special, an underperformer, an overacheiver, an infrequent success, an absolute laugh, a boozy legend, a young man but also an elderly gentleman and a noisy toddler too. Simply, they’d be a weirdo and we would love them anyway. They’d most definitely also be a rubbish footballer.
I really need to sleep because I’m kinda moving into the stage of the evening where I’m genuinely considering a late night trip to Accrington to acquire planning permission for my new ‘Paul Smythsonian’ museum. (I just read that back and have decided I really need a girlfriend, a life and a very, very large drink, holy frickin heck.)
So, good night, enjoy the team that constantly exists because at least they are constant and that’s more than you can say for a lot of things in life. I can’t wait for Saturday’s fixture simply because we live in a time where socialising is illegal, the air is poison and every day is just another day that isn’t the 21st of June. I really need time to get going again.
Eyes close, brain sleeps, recurring Joey Barton nightmare at the ready. Sleep well lads, for tomorrow is another day closer to next year’s play off-final and Richard Keogh is still playing professional football. Nighty night, sleep tight, don’t let the Barton bite. Come on you frickin’ R’s.
Written with idicoy and boredom by a sleep deprived Sam Taylor
FOLLOW OUR TWITTER FOR GOOD TWEETS, THINGS AND STUFF