City Blogger Darryl Webster on Pride in Battle - Manchester City FC

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Season 2013/14

City Blogger: Superbia in Proelio

  • 08 May 2014 10:45
  • Posted by @darrylwebster

I’ve been thinking about our Club’s motto a lot lately.

As a kid, my father used to chastise me if I did a poor job cutting our lawn. “Why don’t you take pride in your work?” he would huff.

Pride in cutting the lawn? Was he serious? What did it matter? I wasn’t going to cut his lawn for the rest of my life. Who cares how straight the lines look, as long as the blades of grass get clipped, right?

Lately I’ve caught myself spending too much time at home in my track pants, tapping away at the computer, not worried about what I look like or if anyone else cares for that matter. If I’m out of milk, I’ll walk the three short minutes to the corner shop wearing whatever I happen to have on. 

Am I without pride? Not entirely. Those who know me know I bleed blue; I love my friends and family deeply and take it quite personally if I allow a bad goal in ice hockey. But these are my innate passions; I’ve always had them. What if I were to extend such passion, obsession, dare I say addiction, to foundations of my everyday life?

Has anyone else noticed just how productive he or she is in June and July? I’ve always chalked this up to a small window of decent weather, true to both Manchester and Canada. But is it simply warmer weather, less rain and the absence of snow, which increases productivity? Or could it perhaps also be because hockey and football take these months off?

I am not for a moment suggesting we should curtail our pride in Manchester City, rather that we might consider elevating our pride in other areas of life. Pride in our job, pride in education, pride in sharing, pride in how we dress each day, pride in home-cooking, maybe even something as meaningless as paying our phone bill on time is something we should take greater pride in? Perhaps this last one is a bridge too far, but you see where I’m going.

Some might tell you pride is foolish, but this simply isn’t so. Stubbornness, arrogance, vanity, ignorance, these are the ugly traits of a fool. Being proud is a virtue. Mancunians seem to understand this as well as anyone and perhaps this is why I have always been drawn to their city and its Citizens. For me Manchester has always represented a high water mark of sorts, an ethos to aspire too, a belief system whose very foundation is built upon pride.

And what about the word battle? In its most obvious and literal definition, battle relates to war. But for most of us, our daily lives are, gratefully, not subject to fighting the actual battles of a real war. Instead, battle for us takes on a different meaning. 

It is the battle to get through a simple day, to get out of bed, to pay the rent, to forgive someone, to fight depression, to find matching socks. If we can’t step outside our front door, into that daily war zone, armed with our most potent weapon — a belief in ourselves and in our own ability — then how can we be expected to succeed? How can we possibly face the day or win the war without Pride in Battle?

The World Cup begins next month, but you know I think I might take a pass this year. Instead I think I will use June and July to drive up north and cut my Dad’s lawn a few times. Have a beer afterwards, and eat one of mom’s famous tuna sandwiches, while we look out on the blowing soya bean crop, just past their fence line. 

Looks like it wasn’t canola or rapeseed after all. 

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