Heart of Football

An Ode to Benítez: How do you know, when you know?

How do you know, when you know, how to cook an omelette? It is a question that can raise eyebrows, scrunch noses and help label yourself a nutter if you were to ever utter it to anyone. But it was one that was posed, rhetorically, on day one of Intro to Philosophy and one that has remained with me ever since.

On the surface it is a nonsense question created to highlight one’s own intellectual superiority but at its core is an idea, a musing rarely considered. How do you know the exact moment you know something? Can you recognise it as soon as it happens, or is it something you look back on and think, that was the moment. That one right there.

Well my omelette has less to do with eggs, but rather my love for my football club. I began my unending love affair with Liverpool FC as a nine-year-old standing on the Kop clutching a newly purchased scarf above my head, my skin tingling and tight with goosebumps. You’ll Never Walk alone echoing around my innocent silhouette.

This was the moment I chose Liverpool, but this was not the moment I loved Liverpool for myself. This was the moment I chose to follow my father’s lead and let this amazing club become a big part of my identity. The moment I loved this club for myself came some years later when a certain former Tenerife manager stepped into the dugout and remodeled a club in his image.

Rafael Benítez was appointed manager of Liverpool in June of 2004, replacing the late, great Gérard Houllier. Of course the beloved Frenchman had bought the chickens and layed fresh straw in the coop. But it was the signing of Xabi Alonso that was akin to drizzling a smooth dollop of delicious olive oil on a trusty skillet. Adding Luis García was the footballing equivalent of picking the perfect eggs and cracking them gently on the side of the pan.

Of course it wasn’t until the following May that hindsight highlighted the importance of the previous June. Losing 3-0 at halftime to probably the best starting eleven a Champions League final has ever seen, all was lost. Minds scrambled, heads fried, dreams poached, but of course as the tension boiled over we all know how it finished. 

It was late into the morning, after all the coverage of the greatest final ever witnessed had drawn to a close, that your humble narrator sat, with a smile still etched on his still youthful face, hunger pangs rattling in his stomach. “I’ll make myself an omelette,” he thought.


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7 responses to “An Ode to Benítez: How do you know, when you know?”
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  2. Andrew Flint avatar
    Andrew Flint

    “This was the moment I chose Liverpool, but this was not the moment I loved Liverpool for myself.” – what a wonderful distinction to make, and one that most of us wouldn’t consider existing. Beautifully written.

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