So there I was fighting the good fight.
It's the day following Andy Gray's sacking from Sky Sports for sexist comments made about referee's assistant Sian Massey and toward Sky Sports presenter Charlotte Jackson. I was just in the middle of explaining to a colleague of mine that football is not the impenetrable bastion of machoism that it would like itself to be, and that women are involved in far more important and more physically demanding pursuits, when the tide turned against me once more.
As regular readers will know, my path is strewn with cow-pats from the Devil's own herd. So it is unsurprising then to note that, when the conversation turned toward the possibility of a female actually playing, rather than officiating, in a professional men's football match, I turned out to be the sexist. You see I just wasn't having it. For all it's namby-pamby awful-ness, football remains a reasonably physical game. Whether we like it or not, the woman has not been born yet who is strong, fit (in the aerobic sense of the word) and fast enough to compete alongside men on a football field.
These issues are far less relevant when it comes to officiating, hence Sian Massey was able to do an excellent job during the Wolves v Liverpool match last weekend. Yet this part of the conversation becomes but a distant memory, a myth that old people might tell their grandchildren, because someone chose the inopportune moment just after that to walk into the office. This person happens to be a University academic and a regular reader of this column. I vaguely remember her hitting me over the head with something which, looking on the bright side and given the amount of information about our conversation that she had access to, could have been something a lot heavier.
I just feel wronged by all of this. I have colleagues who think that women should not even be allowed to go and watch football because they think that somehow they don't belong. That their poor little ears might bleed if they are exposed to a few thousand morons who fritter away their hard earned money screaming at millionaires they could never hope to connect with. If Massey had any fears about some cretin shouting 'gerrum out, love!' from a few yards behind then I am sure she would choose another career path. Football, the self-styled national obsession, is blinded by it's arrogance if it genuinely believes that women have no place in it.
And that's really all. Hardly an Earth-shattering return to form blog-wise but slowly, slowly. Or something. I have shamelessly used this column to set the record straight, the pity of that being that the real sexists in this office would no more read my blog than they would take their daughters to the match.