Roch; the Lad who refused to grow up

My name is Miracle Roch. This is just an inch of my story. The story of the lad who didn’t have a childhood. The lack of unseriousness which generally characterizes infancy I have sorely lacked. I should have what people call a comfortable life now, I mean; I’m in a Federal University, will be graduating soon, I’m still young, I’m very tall, dark, handsome, I can speak very well, I’m eloquent, I’m brilliant, I know too much, I know the girls, I make people happy, I play football, I wear good clothes, I use a good phone, I have a laptop, I have good grades, I mean, what else qualifies a good life? I’m a Christian, I’ve got God.
I like writing about myself because my life as a whole is a degree. After the first paragraph, one could say my life is blissful eh? Many look at my life now and want to be like me…they see a perfect life but what they don’t know is that I’m not really better than that guy you see hawking things around motor parks, I’m not better than any of those Lagos area boys who loiter around, seems funny but that’s the truth. I didn’t plan for any of these, I can’t even say I’ve been fortunate enough sadly so I can’t even attribute it to fortune. I’m not better than anyone, that’s the sad truth. What I presumably have is a “working mind”. I have just been blessed with the right kind of mind – the one which continually longs for form, for completeness.
Yes, I may have had a mixed childhood, one where I was the prince and then quickly turned into the pawn. Maybe that’s why I will never rest until I find out if my value as it were came as a result of a lack of competitors(competition) or as a result of my true worth. It’s a question I still ask…am I really all that? Am I as good as people portray me to be? Parents tell their children to follow me but am I worth following? Everyone see me as some perfect article and I keep asking…Are they following me because there is no one else or because I’m really that good? Some fork and knife to ponder on.
I’m proud of my history, what have I not experienced? Why did life become more than just a fairy tale at the tender age of 4? I never watched cartoons as a kid maybe that helped me see life as something more serious than phantom aliens and magical wands. Most of the things other children had the chance of seeing, I didn’t see even with the same chance. How can my earliest memories of watching the TV be vivid images of NTA’s network news? That can’t be right, can it? How can the rare visits to the beach not even spring to mind? How can the swimming pool visits not feature prominently on my thoughts? Something’s gotta be wrong!
I remember going to a different area from where I was living and I went to a field around to watch some boys play football, somehow I ended up as a goalkeeper and at the end of the match, everyone was hailing me, I was new to the area so no one knew me, they saw me as one kinda whiz kid, I think I still have vivid images of me flinging myself to the far right and making one save that even Oliver Kahn would be proud of. It’s no surprise really that I have not forgotten that particular incident, it wasn’t the praise or anything but the fact that I really felt I deserved this one. Right from when I was a fetus, sycophants have always praised me, and because I struggled most often than not to really understand what I did, I was oblivious of it so you could imagine my joy that day.
As a kid, I already knew how to configure a phone, how to configure a television set, I was into many technological things, I was a guru, doing well in school; that was heaven. I basked in the euphoria of being a genius. At that age, I had begun to take responsibility for many of the things happening around me. The things I had to take care of and learn as a young man was too much that in hindsight I always ask myself in surprise how I could carry those thing on those tender shoulders of mine.
But like I said, this is just an inch of my childhood story…that of a young lad who refused to grow up and grappled with adulthood even when childhood was at his beck and call.
Will there be a follow up piece to this one? Let’s see how it goes.

Stay True!
Miracle Roch

Follow me on Twitter @Mr_GudMan

England’s Obsession with Footballing Dominance

There’s this age old notion that football started in England, that’s probably why you must have heard the phrase “Wembley the home of football”. While I’m not here to talk about the origin of football or put out facts to support that football didn’t start in England, it is very important to remember this notion because it will form the basis of this piece.
Back in the day, England was a strong footballing nation and even won the 1966 World Cup. Given that they contributed greatly to the domination of the sports among others (something the US has failed to do with Basketball), we must give them credit. But lately, England has gone off the international radar almost completely. I can’t remember the last time they put out a good showing at a major tournament not even Euro ’96 as some of the purists will point out. They’ve been to major tournaments ever since and they keep faltering. Funny thing is, they have good players, they’ve never lacked players so what must be the problem?
England is a nation whose roots are deeply engraved on the tablets of history. They cherish their heritage, so when a kid is growing up he is constantly reminded of how lucky he is to have been born into this great nation. So at a young age, a boy is being told how this great nation started football, how this great nation was so dominant in football back then and how it lies in his hands to restore that lost glory.
So, rather than allow that young kid to grow up and determine what he wants to do, he is been put in a football academy and forced to learn the game of football. Have you noticed how most English athletes that do well in other sports tried out football at some point in their lives? Let’s take Ashley Young for example, with the kind of propensity he has shown for diving, little wonder what he could have achieved if he had settled for a career in diving just like Tom Daley. Paul Gascoigne may have been one of the world’s best rugby players, Ferdinand may have settled for basketball, Walcott could have become a 4-time Olympic sprint champion by now and Rooney a boxing champion. But we can’t ascertain any of these because all of them were forced to play football.
England is a nation that teaches you how to play football, that’s the difference between England’s academy and Germany and Spain’s academy. In these other countries, kids with exceptional footballing talents are discovered and trained, in less developed countries, kids are discovered on the streets. How many England players were discovered on the streets? How many of them? Zero. Little wonder there is so much hype once they discover a naturally talented football player like Jack Wilshere. You don’t need any seer to tell you Wilshere was naturally born with footballing roots.

Why can’t England mellow down their obsession with the beautiful game and allow youngsters show the world what they really want to do and can achieve. Building ultramodern sport facilities won’t help if the players are not naturally inclined towards them. In the long run, players will tire. Rooney’s explosive appearance on to the scene didn’t last long, these days we get to see the real Rooney week in, week out and he really can’t prove his mettle against the names that be in world football. Training can take you thus far, but will it keep you?

If they don’t get this right, they will keep struggling and struggling and will never ever reach the heights of 1966.

God save the Queen…of England’s football.

Stay True!

Miracle Roch.