Sam Freeman

Storytelling | Theatre | Arts Marketing

Back of the net…

I have a couple of friends I used to play a huge amount of Pro Evo Soccer with on the Xbox at Uni. They’d always start as good natured games, games filled with enjoyment, laughs, maybe a beer on the side. However before long they’d descend to a dark competitive place of gloating, thrown controllers, uncontrollable rage and enforced use of weed to calm the situation back down again. There was a constant epic battle between teams, with cheating, unplugging of controllers, mid-game punches and accusations of “being a knobhead” following another outstanding Newcastle goal.

Yet while two of this holy trinity of footballing xbox gods took defeat to heart, I, on the other hand was never particular bothered. “It’s not the end of the world”, “It’s only a game” I’d proclaim. Which on reflection was probably the most annoying thing I could have said. Nothing worse than gloating at someone who won’t be gloated. Which on reflection was probably why I tried to be a serene pond of calm.

Yes, a pond of calm. Anyway…

I have recently rediscovered my gaming fury (having lost it for a bit as my PS3 is broken and I’m being forced to talk to people again..). And it came from the game that my wise friend Carl the professional games designer rightly named “Spreadsheet: The Game”.

Yes, Football Manager is back in my life and what a fucking curse it is. It always starts the same way, I eagerly believe that I, despite no footballing prowess and limited knowledge, was born to be an acclaimed football manager who can conquer the world. And it always turns out the same way too – me swearing at my computer as my Newcastle squad of superstars assembled at great cost and significant amounts of cheating are ripped limb from limb like a baby Zebra by a pack of ravenous Lions by Southport, or York City, or Lincoln Town, or some other insignificant minnow.

I don’t know what happens. I mean it all starts off so well, all my players excited by my arrival, the board thrilled I had chosen to join them and supporters dreaming of glory. But after a few games it goes sour.

The problem is that in this new edition things seem to be turning sour at an increasingly quick rate. After being defeated in everyone of my first 10 games I have been sacked. And why? WHY you may ask. Because the computer despises me and wants to inflict as much misery upon me as possible. So here I sit waiting for a job offer from some conference team with low self esteem and bucketload of anger.

Damn you FM13. And damn my addiction too.