After news broke on Tuesday evening and subsequently confirmed on Wednesday morning, the illustrious end-date to Sir Alex Ferguson’s career is May 19, 2013.
May 19, 2013.
You always knew this would come, but you’re never really ready for it. Ready for the finality of it.
Don’t get me wrong, as I’m excited to welcome David Moyes to United. He definitely deserves this opportunity and appears ready to build off the terrific foundation laid at his feet.
Regardless, it hasn’t entirely sunk in – fully, that is – that the only manager I’ve known is moving on.
For us die-hards, ones who teach our spouses check United’s result on the internet to know our mood before we return from watching the match, the magnitude of this change avoids our consciousness in one fell swoop. It seems destined to transpire in measured doses over several lasts and firsts: Ferguson’s last Old Trafford match, the last presser, and last match; all to be followed by Moyes’ first training session, first summer tour, and first match-and-silver, the Charity Shield.
Maybe we couldn’t take it any other way.
In our 24/7, rapidly changing world, United’s consistent success comforts, provides an utterly reliable diversion from life’s inevitable disappointments and tragedies. How many other relationships do you have that last more than 26 years?
We all know, yes, it’s just a game, especially in light of the larger news tapestry we witness daily from Cleveland to Columbine.
Yes, it’s just a game, especially in light of marriage, birth, or death.
And yet, why do you still feel this way?
There’s something uniquely wonderful about expressing your passions in a cause bigger, something so totally out-of-your control, as if life depends upon it, and knowing all the while, it’s a made-up game. On a deeper level, our passions seem to choose us.
How else can you explain it?
The huge chills you still get from… watching you-know-who put the ball in the Germans net… witnessing Giggs’ lovely-amazing-and-mazy run through Arsenal… seeing van der Sar save Anelka’s penalty in a driving Russian rain.
You know precisely who you were with, where, when, and how your celebrations went. It’s etched into your memory forever.
These joys connect to something larger, deeper within us and you’ll always remember who forged these results into reality.
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you, Sir Alex, for all the priceless memories. Our lives wouldn’t be the same without them.
Cheers gaffer! You’ve earned a rich and rewarding retirement.