When everything has meaning, nothing means anything. If any phenomenon perfectly characterises this Derridean paradox, it must be the Bombers. If the Bombers exist as a material truth. Which, of course, they don’t. There is no truth. There are no absolutes, which is in itself an absolute, but we’ll ignore that. The Bombers are the poster boys of postmodern football, and there is some beauty in that, relatively speaking.
As all Bombers know and cheerfully embrace, most things aren’t. Il n’y a pas de hors-texte. Nothing exists outside the text. Indeed. All is relative, and one man’s truth is another man’s deconstructed unbeing. Godot, and all that. Post-modernism has its uses, and no-one can sniff at the signifier-signified theory as a crutch to lean on as we saunter though this pointless existence, mud on our knees and horror in our eyes. It is through this lens of absurdist subjectivity that we can apply a valid review of the 2015 season. Which only happened if you think it did.
First, the final game. The field was wider and longer than the combined egos of Worm and Nipple. That’s pretty fucking big. Nipple Boy, who may or may not exist, pranced onto the sward like a million dollar baby, all spine and jism. The arrogance of the man continues to delight. His blended whanau stood confused by the swings.
Meanwhile, the Bombers, that loose assembly of affluent, worldweary, velvet-breathed white men (and Hansie), were peeling destiny’s panties down her long, tanned thighs one last time in their pre-game ritual. Pleasingly, Gyles had abandoned the karitane yellow blouse for something in more old-man-death mucus tones. Further delight greeted the news that Jackal would not be playing, and that Tiberius would be. It’s always fun to watch this wannabe small nation dictator humbled by physics and fitness.
The game started and 22 men who should not be doing this were doing this. The Bombers played with poise, power, purpose and JB was there too. After a lot of running around and shouting the prodigal Nippler looked up, saw JB in yards of space dashing/trundling towards the far post, and tried to cross to him. Sorry guys said the enemy keeper. 1-0. Nipple punched the uncaring sky with his little Auckland arms.
Then they scored, and Nipple nippled another goal, this time from 1 yard. “I feel like a god” he screamed. "I'm here" called out the late arriving Worm. In 45 minutes the Crown Negotiator had outscored 16/19ths of the Bombers over the whole season. That’s probably not a good thing. Yes we are looking at you Tiberius.
More running around and general cleverness and hopelessness. Hilda turned red. Nintendo called for people to ‘get stuck in’, but never defined his terms. Get stuck in debt ? Get stuck in a loveless marriage ? Get stuck in Taihape? It was confusing. At some point Worm came into the game, missed a sitter and failed to read any of JB’s exquisite lay offs and runs. Plus c’est la meme choses. Bodo scampered around, Sceatsy and Zel darted about and fell over in the endless empty acres. SoG kept passing when he should have shot. Tiberius swung the other way. Smut was lost. Doc was florid. The sun gave up.
The whistle blew. We were magisterial. Gyles got the cap.
As an exercise in pointlessness, the 2015 season failed to transcend its text. Jackal scored a number of goals that might have been 9. But four happened in one afternoon, which is like stabbing a corpse. Fun but fruitless. JB scored 4 absolute sitters, 3 from outside the box, and was ever-present in a never-there sort of way. OG was on trial this season but after 3 pearlers the gaffer is entering into negotiations with his representatives for a permanent move. Fish eyes the door nervously.
The defence can only look at the midfield and wonder how so many highly opinionated men can provide such thin resolve. The midfield – all 12 of them - can look back with satisfaction at a season when they held their own while thedefence succumbed to glaucoma and the attack fell over a lot.
The 'attack' meanwhile held tight to their firm tactic of standing elegantly on half way, looking towards their own goal and saying ‘this reminds me of the butter scene in Last Tango’. Small pleasures.
Of course the Derridean analysis requires that we define things by what they are not. We cannot say what a Bomber is. That is meaningless. But we can say that a Bomber (2015 version) is not a woman, not fit, not early for games, not tall, not a chair, not dead, not onside.
Deconstructive implications aside, there were two moments in 2015 that almost created the proto-text moment we all yearn for in a cruel unanchored universe.
The Mingus/Hansie soixante neuf was a suckface slurpfest that brought out the crowds and sent the kids home happy. Bitch stole my height. Mingus/Hansie II next year should be a cracker.
But the moment that will live in the memory happened when the flaneur’s flaneur, Marky Mark, the joupe lupe, the Bombers’ very own Benjamin Button, somewhere in Whitby, some time in September, late in his childhood, gathered the ball on half way and in the twinkling of a Syrian swimming lesson performed a Cruff turn with a double pike and a half hitch cliterodectomy, slipped away from his marker and played an inch perfect pass two yards to Hilda, who – sensing in his bones the unarguable nihilism of time lost – kicked it out. The perfect motif moment.
Now we put 2015 behind us. It was over too soon. It dragged endlessly. It was beautiful. It was pointless. It was magnificent. It was meaningless.
The legend rumbles on.