Everything in the garden is not so rosy now. Paradise lost. I guess it's written in your name, but I didn't heed the warning. Let's get this out of the way. I'm here to help. To serve you, sir. If it wasn't for me, you'd have to walk over red-faced and deal with your own mistakes. Opposition support jeering; maybe even trying to grab you as you bend down to pick the ball up.
So I wait. So that you don't have to face that.
Ninety minutes of standing right here in the corner waiting for you to miss the target so that I can collect the ball for you. It was really cold last night. You wouldn't have noticed because you were running about. It was freezing, but I didn't mind. It was a chance to help out and do the club proud.
I've seen plenty of guys like you, sir. Moving around like the millionaires you are. You're my teachers. I've been watching, see. Been some folk saying I pulled a flanker, but what you've taught me sir, is that it's ok to bend the rules. Go down too easily? That's not a problem really. If it gets you the right result. So, for the record, maybe I did go over a little too easily, but is that not what your colleagues have taught me to do?
I didn't want you to be sent off and miss the next three games. Honestly I didn't but those are the hazards you face when you tangle with a ball boy. I would ask, with all due respect, that you let us do our job. It gives us a bit of dignity. At least allow us that. Your pay comes from kicking the ball and from what I gather, you command wages that are fit for a king. But always remember that a cat can still look at the king and maybe even serve him in some small way.
Hopefully you are aware of my position now: I've picked up plenty of balls in my time and I think you realise now that I've got some myself. This isn't an apology. Just a reminder that in your case money can't buy manners. Enjoy the three match break. I'll be right here in the corner doing my job, hoping to regain my anonymity.
The Ball Boy (17)
(Based on an incident from last night's Capital One Cup football semi-final between Swansea and Chelsea which can be viewed here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KIpQKNxyzk )
(photo courtesy of The Independent)