Another letter from the DOC…
OK, I admit it. I have a new team to look out for in English football. Notts County has got me looking for the Coca Cola League 2 results and I am eagerly checking the league table to follow their very much hoped for progress up the system. I have even found that you can do a ‘Notts County’ RSS feed on the Telegraph’s website and that way I am not risking missing any news about my new favourite team.
Of course my newly developed interest in English low level professional football has got something to do with my fellow country man Sven’s arrival at Meadow Lane, home of the oldest league club in the World. Combine this with Sol Campbell putting his signature on the Notts County letter headed paper this week and I am heading for a really exciting winter. And by the way, there is Kasper Schmeichel as well who, for somebody who remembers how impressive his dad was in the Manchester United goal, will do just fine between the posts.
Now, what on earth brings these people to Notts County, and up until this summer at least for me, completely unknown territory? As the Daily Telegraph put it, “Old duffers like Sol Campbell used to visit Arab oilfields for one last payday, now they just nip up the M1” and of course the money is a big reason. In Campbell’s case he is believed to have about 40,000 reasons per week. That is not bad and I am sure Sven is not that much worse off. What I am pretty sure of though is that it is not JUST the money. I think Sven could have found another club that would have paid quite well as could Sol. I even think that Sven probably doesn’t even need to worry about that as what he has earned, and perhaps still is earning from the places he has been before, will probably last him at least this life time. I think he is after something else. I reckon he is after something as intangible as meaning. One last (?) proper challenge where he can show the world that he knows his football. And I would not be surprised if Sol Campbell thinks the same way.
Victor Frankl, who probably never played football but was imprisoned by the German Nazis during World War II wrote in his book ‘Man’s search for meaning’ about how crucial it is for human beings to find meaning in life. His experiences during the war caused him to formulate his theory around logotherapy which he built upon the belief that it is the striving to find a meaning in one’s life that is the primary, most powerful motivating and driving force in man. Despite the fact that I have never been anywhere near a concentration camp, nor a football ground of any status (at least not on the pitch), I think Victor Frankl was right. I remember one of the early articles I read about Tiger Woods where his dad, Earl, said that Tiger was going to become bigger than the Messiah. Not much more meaning to search for then is there?
So what does this mean for the rest of us and our daily life? Well, perhaps we should spend a bit of time thinking about what our meaning is? I have come across a few sportsmen and women that a bit too late have woken up to the fact that this business of practicing or training for hours and hours was not really what they wanted to do. On the other hand I have also come across others that have realised that their meaning is to find out just how good they can become, be it in sports, business or family life. That to me, is meaning. Especially since it means you are only comparing and competing with yourself!
And if you are looking for true meaning – there is always meaning in England beating Scotland. That much I have learned during my time in England. The Home Internationals at Hillside started with just that on Wednesday. Follow the progress of the England Team on http://www.homeinternationals.org/.
All the best for a fantastic ending to August!
“If you wait for opportunities to occur, you will be one of the crowd.”
– Edward de Bono