Up super-early for no other reason that having labyrinthine dreams and a headache… so listened to latest New Statesman podcast where Stephen Bush and Ailbhe Rea discussed the role football plays in public discourse. I tend to avoid thinking about football but, as the podcast points out it plays a major role in culture, identity and masculinity. Rea particularly makes some interesting comments about how football creates normative behaviours that exclude certainly women but also those of us who aren’t interested. She gives the anecdote of a political reporter taking up running as a sport so she had a mechanism for talking with MPs. Bush presents football “talk” as a working class equivalent of the old-boys network. Football gives men genuine pleasure – my brother for instance, who loves the sport more than I ever realised when we were younger.