A few months ago I signed up for a stand-up comedy class. Each week, students assembled at a bar to come up with something funny. Led by a pretty talented comedian, we all sort of found our footing and ended up with 3-6 minutes of comedy. And if I do say so myself, it wasn’t great…and it wasn’t horrible.
Doing the training and the show at a bar probably wasn’t as helpful as you might think. But after a month, the entire class of 15 spent five minutes in the spotlight sharing their creative chops. While it was daunting to think about, the process itself seemed very natural. You spend night after night with the same creative people. Somehow, the funny stuff bubbles to the top. I’m not saying we were all genius joketellers, but there were laughs.
Finding The Funny
As with most comedy shows, there are a few jokes that get people grinning and chuckling. Suffice it to say, I ended up with about three solid (or semi-solid) jokes after a month of training.
Why am I telling you about how fantastic a comedian I am? Because this Premier League season is severely comedic in nature I’m going to – in the following 400-odd words – compare my three best jokes to three not-so-funny facets of the Liverpool season so far.
After the latest international break and the subsequent Merseyside Derby, I’m going to use my humor and comedic savant-ness to craft analogies between the jokes and this year’s LFC squad. Without further ado, put your hands together for me. Please read the joke portions aloud and theatrically for the best effect.
“My wife and I have agreed that if one of us isn’t in the mood, the other partner in the relationship can embark on this adventure solo. So the other night, she wasn’t interested. I was a little worked up. So I went along my merry way and ended up fully satisfied. THE NEXT MORNING my wife accused me of being too loud in bed AND our agreement does say that if we’re on a solo mission, we should be discreet and quiet. I admit that I was too loud. But you tell me, who can eat buffalo wings quietly?”
The keyword in that joke is SOLO. Look across the Liverpool back or middle and you’re bound to see someone out on an island. It’s not as frequent as it was during the middle of 22/23, but it’s still happening.
Defensive lapses occur in nearly every match. OMG, where are the supporters who live for coming from behind? A few players make mini mistakes at the wrong time. I feel like we need to mesh.
Look at the front. Mo and Darwin are almost ALMOST as oiled as Mane and Salah were. It’s coming. I can also point to the amazing fun Szoboszlai is bringing to the middle where we thought the loss of Firmino would leave us decimated. But I don’t know if it’s enough.
It’s like the awkward kid at the school dance. Our players are dancing alone too much of the time and that has to change. I’m optimistic that we can twist it in a positive direction. But here we are in fourth already and looking up at City, Spurs, and Arsenal. It’s the thing nightmares are made of, and you don’t want to go it solo.
Actions Speak Loudly
“I was looking into some old books at my uncle’s house the other day. And in a leather-bound manuscript were the words CARPE DIEM. Well, you know, carpe diem doesn’t mean seize the fish, unless you’re a fisherman.”
Let’s glance over whether or not that’s funny for a second and talk about the elephant in the room. If we don’t seize the day now, we might not get another day for decades. I’m serious. Who is saying that Klopp is going to be here in 2030? NOBODY.
We all realize that our happy dream is coming slowly to an end. Key pieces have departed and others are likely to leave the LFC fold in the upcoming 24 months or so. Don’t you agree that we need to act?
Should we bring in players? YES!
Should we have a plan for keeping our form and gameplan? YES!
Is it going to be easy? Hardly.
At this stage, we sit behind a few oligarch-supported clubs that have benches with more skill than most EFL clubs. Our defense and midfield have been disjointed in feeding the ball forward. In my crystal ball, I don’t see us climbing back up unless these changes happen N-O-W- now!
Tottenham will understand deep down that they’re out of place. Arsenal choked last year and could do it again. And the missteps from City – IF WE ACT NOW – can be overcome. This season could be ours. Let’s just get out there and seize the day!
“Am I the only one who smiles for toll booth cameras on the highway? I love cameras. I’m drawn to them. Just can’t help myself. The other day I almost got run over repeatedly because of my addiction to cameras. Turns out, the Wal-Mart parking lot I was in was full of cars with backup cameras.”
Are you still with me?
When we’re talking about being on camera, I’m thinking not about my funny habit but instead the spotlight that’s on Liverpool. We are Liverpool and it means more. Sometimes though it is nice to go under the radar.
We can’t do that.
From the expectations of being in the top four to the complete implosion of common sense when referees work our matches, to a schedule that doesn’t even let us breathe, we’re up against it. We’ve got the spotlight on us, nay, a target on us. And it is starting to be a little less fun.
I took joy when we laid waste to other teams and routed a few of them. The winning feels good. It wasn’t easy and the matches were hard-fought. Yet the outcome sometimes seemed a foregone conclusion.
So maybe having success come too easily isn’t great, but nobody would turn it down. What do we do now? Are we comfy being in the spotlight this year?
To this point, we’ve already been involved in more controversy than any other side. We’ve clawed our way to the top. Some holes have been solidified and we’re looking ahead.
If I’m to beat this metaphor to death, let’s stare into that spotlight and take center stage this spring. We are Liverpool! It means more (even if you take the time to laugh at some of the absurdities in the league).
PS: VAR IS NOT HUMOROUS. UP THE REDS! YNWA