Monday, May 05, 2008

I'm stoked

Identity is a strange thing. While I've lived in Australia for nearly twenty years and was born in New Zealand, my first memories are of growing up in England. That combined with my family being British, I've always felt more English than Australian or New Zealander and it is days like today that I'm reminded of that.

Where you live in England is central to what football team you support and my team is Stoke City. Now, I have lost touch with football because you can only watch it on pay tv here but hearing that Stoke have made it to the premiership league for the first time in 23 years makes me very happy, ecstatic even. I've been in a good mood all day and I think it's because whether I realised it or not - football support is genetic. It is locked away in my genes and once the drums start to pound, a primal urge of pride just comes forth. Hearing this news just flicked a switch on in my head that created this happiness - it's hard to explain.

I think, in my brain somewhere, football is also intimately tied to community and family. It links me to my past and family's family and I know that out there my Dad and my Uncles will be grinning from ear to ear. It's nice to share in that communal sense of pride and joy despite the fact I'm far from them. In a weird way, Stoke City reminds me of who I am and that is weird.
BTW I mentioned Stoke being promoted to three people today and all of them said "You must be stoked."

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