Forever Amber: The Newspaper Years – (Not So) Football Crazy

So far, there isn’t a whole lot I haven’t shared on this here blawg in terms of the many ways in which I regularly manage to embarrass myself in public. I’ve faithfully documented all of the random acts of stupidity I’ve committed since this site launched and I’ve started to work my way through my early attempts at journaling , but this week it suddenly occurred to me that I have yet to tell you about my early career as a newspaper journalist. My early career as a newspaper journalist which regularly involved photos like this appearing on the front page of the paper I worked on:

Yes, that’s me in a football “strip” (hate that word. Why can they not just call it an “outfit”, like normal people? Why “strip”? Annoying!) Yes, that was the front page that week. I’d say it was a slow news week, but actually, football is a pretty big deal around here, and the team in question had got through to the final of… some competition or other… so even if World War Three had broken out, this would still have made the front page. Such is the world of the local newspaper.

I, of course, wrote the accompanying story, and I managed to write it in a strangely over-dramatic style (“NO!” I hear you cry in disbelief, but yes, it’s true…) which went on for several hundred words without really mentioning football much AT ALL, but which did make much of the fact that the teams colours were “claret and amber”. And my name is “Amber”. D’you see what I did there?

I have no idea if the team won. What I do know is that it took the editor and photographer about two hours to cajole me into wearing this outfit, persuading me that it would be for “the greater good”, and finally agreeing that yes, OK, I would get the front page if I just wore the damn “strip” already. And I would also get an inside page, in which I would talk some more about my wearing of the “strip” and not mention the team. Can you tell I’m not a football fan? Because everyone who read my story certainly could!

It’s a cut-throat world, the world of local journalism, I’m telling you. You have to be prepared to do almost anything for that front page. Remember this, oh young, aspiring reporters! Let this be a lesson to you. You know, like it was to me.

Note: Although the photo caption you can see here reads “Amber’s decked out from head to toe”, this was not in fact correct, as I was decked out from the waist-up only. I drew the line at those woolly knee socks footballers wear, or the shorts. Nevertheless, a small crowd gathered to laugh at me as this photo was taken. Yellow not my colour.