February 24, 2012
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by Roge Slater
Almighty master and father, in your wisdom you raised up for your place of worship, the apostle John, a man transformed by his encounter with you who sent him on a life journey of discipleship as his apostle to the gentler sex and also to those who show outward signs of ethnicity.
Beloved leader, give to us all the passion of St John for the teachings of thee and guide us as we begin to study St John’s letter to the Church of Roman.
We pray in the name of you, our father and of your money, and of Vodka, the Holy Spirit.
I write from my contemplative retreat, finding myself with an abundance of time through the grace of the many, many statements that are being made in regard to my role at our beloved club in these times of great woe and desolation. Soothsayers are preaching that I am the root cause of the pestilence brought upon us all. Yet, as your most loyal of apostles, I must assure you that these sayings are untrue.
I confess that I did succumb to the seduction of the evil spirit that also afflicted our former apostle Wayne — yet even those that are nearly blind must still see he was only befriended that she may get access beyond our defences, entering at the very heart of the inner sanctum that is our glorious Bridge … (Stamford, not Wayne).
Once behind our back line, she diverted our attentions away from our goals and toward the very leadership that maintains the structure of our integrity — me — and being a mere mortal (alas) I was weak. Her evil exploited that weakness, but now you must understand like Adam and Eve after the departure of the serpent, I became strong again.
You stood by me, great one, and I did not let you down, even though, it is true, that other great Roman, St Fabio, turned his back on me as his leader at that time. Yet, he and I both knew that was to be but a temporary exile.
Then there is the contemporary incident where I stand accused of no more than the explanation of a mishearing or misunderstanding. I could no more discolour my opponent in battle than I could a compatriot that, though always my enemy, is a friend and brother of my friends.
And, this in its passage through authority, has caused great unrest. Leaders of this nation choose to stand against me, though there will be a great passage of time before we are brought before great judges and justice is wrought. Yet this time, St Fabio chose to stand by my side and, for his courage and loyalty, has been cast out by the masters of this nation.
(My eyes now seeing with wisdom born of history, this may be due to him having a hidden objective in that with defence as weak as ours, he feels a change to the depths of a Russian winter will be more preferable than suffering the heat of a European Summer — one that, as always, will promise so much yet deliver so little.)
Finally, there is unrest in our home.
Those of us with age, experience and leadership are being cast to one side by this new Lieutenant who now steers our ship, his avowed intent to blood the younger warriors in our army. But at what cost?
Is there, our master, some great plan afoot to deprive UEFA of their rights over us through their financial restrictions by ensuring that we do not qualify for even the Europa Cup next season? Surely this cannot be so, as it may be the last chance for our older combatants to reap the rewards of our efforts. Yet, it seems that the Latin spirit of this young Lieutenant lacks the nous to lead us to victory.
It is certainly a shame that one option for a new direction for his leadership — that of the Russian winter — may be taken from us by the respected St Fabio (or even by St Guus, who could have been tempted to return to this very theatre of dreams where he once brought stability). It is with hope that you may still be the puppet-master in your great homeland, and you may still rescue us from the dismal end that looks likely by mastering (and indeed procuring) another escape plan and perhaps providing us with a new master, even one from the Spanish lands, where in austere times your coin will be much respected.
For me this end could be truly dismal, as it seems certain that Sir Arry and his lord and master, Daniel, may first usurp us on home shores and then indeed may choose to battle the Europeans without your once highly respected leader within his army at all, let alone at the forefront.
It can only mean I will have to spend the summer with some tart on a beach somewhere.
Yours in perpetuity,
St John’s Letter to Thee, Roman. by Roge Slater is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.