A few days ago I was on Facebook looking for bad grammar to correct, and other things to feel smug about (what of it??) when a picture popped up, posted by a mate who was sat on a train in Manchester. The picture was innocent enough – I think he was waiting for it to leave the station and take him to a faraway rock gig or whatever – but the thing that caught my eye, even caused a sudden jolt to pass through my body, was the open can of Boddingtons Bitter sat on the table at the bottom of the picture.
There was a point, around 20 years ago, when I’d just turned 18 and I did the whole ‘rite of passage’ thing where you go out with your parents for your first ‘legal’ drink in a pub. Obviously it was a long time ago, and I’ve spent a lot of time in the 20 years since pickling my brain with all sorts of interesting beverages, but from what I can remember it was a local pub (oop narth) with my mum and my stepdad, and after a few pints and some scran we ended up back at home. At this point I’d usually disappear out of the door to meet my current lady-friend, or up to my bedroom to blast some loud sweary music, but my lovely mum – ever pleasant and encouraging, even when faced with a pretentious little pube of a son – invited me to join them downstairs for a post-pub drink and a bit of Saturday night telly.
I fucking love this little quote, which famously fell from the lips of legendary ice hockey superstar Wayne Gretzky. Or maybe it was his trainer who uttered it? The details are sketchy, but either way – when used in the context of sports – it’s a cool little line to throw out. In fact, it works pretty well outside of sports too. All it means, in the most basic terms, is that you’ll never achieve without trying. Even if your only aspiration is to win the lottery (you fat lazy money-grabber) then that suddenly becomes a lot less realistic if you don’t buy a ticket. Gotta be in it to win it.