Some say the best position in football is number 9. Others claim it is 10, but M always say that the true best position belongs to him, namely the kit manager position. Taking care of the jerseys, pants, shorts, socks and boots. Because being in the coach’s shoes is a very difficult task indeed. Great responsibility. M has seen come and go through the doors of the locker room countless of coaches, many of them developing stomach ulcers due to stress and living under the constant pressure of getting results, dealing with angry fans and the exigent, sometimes even unrealistic demands of the club’s managers.
M has seen many coaches sobbing in the laundry room after losing a match, just as that time with the blonde, chubby one. Poor thing, he first arrived to the club as a cheerful, rosy, blondish guy and left with a kick in the ass, three months later, having lost 18 pounds and with such a pale face that he almost looked like a ghost.
Instead, the kit manager, as in M’s case, is always there, quietly, anonymously, preparing stuff, folding shirts, jerseys, counting pairs of socks, making sure that no shorts go missing etc. Hidden, safe under this big monster of concrete, like a bunker. One of those bunkers you see in war movies, all made from cement, partially buried in the ground. And M is always there, all day, day and night, always with artificial light, buried alive, but safe, listening to, at most, above the roar of the stadium, the people, the screaming, the whistling.
And, sometimes, he can even feel the uncontrollable shaking of the cement monster; vibrating cement, like an earthquake, as if, at any moment, that mass of concrete and stone might all crumble above your head, together with thousands and thousands of people.