Thirty-one-year-old local man Issac Peterson told reporters on Monday that due to having no knowledge of football in Australia before the formation of the A-League, he has no choice but to nod and smile when his friend Paul talks about the defunct National Soccer League.
“Whenever he brings up the NSL, which is almost every time we speak, I never have any idea who or what he’s talking about,” Peterson said. “I end up just smiling and nodding along, which can get pretty tiring because he’ll often talk for 20, 30 minutes without stopping.
“It’s a never-ending, relentless list of clubs I’ve never heard of, like the Collingwood Warriors, Hurstville Zagreb and something about the Kimon Taliadoros getting relegated, whoever they were.”
Issac admitted he doesn’t want to bring up the issue with Paul, because he wants to spare his feelings, and expressed sympathy for others who are in his situation. When asked by journalists whether he was afraid Paul would find out he was just humouring him, Issac said it was something he feared every time they spoke.
“When I convince him to come and watch an A-League game, he’ll spend the whole time talking about how some game in 1984 was better. I’m so busy trying to tune him out and watch the game that I sometimes forget to nod, and there’ll be an awkward silence until I pat him on the back and stammer out an agreement.
“He also keeps telling me that even though A-League games get bigger crowds, at least the NSL crowds were there for proper football, and that if he wanted to support a franchise, he’d open a McDonalds.”
Issac added that he he’s concerned for Paul’s long-term wellbeing, as the A-League’s continued success meant NSL holdouts like his friend could end up ostracised socially.
“People like Paul could end up like those kids you knew in school that studied Latin. It’s just really hard to be friends with people who continue to be fascinated by something that’s dead and no longer relevant to most people.”