By Andi Thomas

IT’S possible, of course, that we’re coming at this from the wrong direction. Mark Lawrenson, as I’ve heard people tell, used to be a footballer. Used to be quite a good footballer. Won some shiny trophies, and made some Liverpool fans very happy in the doing. Had a good career. A moustache. Hell, he even played for a team called the Rowdies.

How do you get from all that, to this? To “Lawro”?

Eyes like an undernourished ashtray. Jokes that would embarrass a lollipop stick. A voice like turning milk. It’s a little known fact that cats cannot stand to be in the same room as Lawro, which is why Lee Dixon, who is one-eighth feline, had to leave Match of the Day before he cracked and started burying his effluent in that weird couch they sit on.

Footballers often talk about what they do as being a privilege. Whether they mean it or not isn’t always clear, but they’re usually good enough to at least make a gesture towards the fact that they do for a living what children up and down the country spend every waking second of their lives trying to do: playing. And I’m sure Lawrenson was no different to the rest. Acknowledge the fact. It’s what makes you special, after all.

Lawro, though. Lawro is doing it on purpose. He knows that his job is, more or less, what grown men spend far too many waking seconds of their lives doing: talking about football. But he doesn’t care. He’s going to sit there and he’s going to pretend to you that it’s the worst thing he or any other human could possibly dream of being asked to do. Worse than your nine-to-five battle with your talentless, know-nothing boss and your feckless, do-nothing colleagues. Worse than your double-shift at the hospital, which began with vomit and ended with blood. Worse than your futile attempts to persuade thirty-five mewling children that long division will probably help someday, while setting fire to the canteen probably won’t. This man, in his stupid shirts and stupid jeans, wants you to know that his horror of a life — watch some football, talk about some football — surpasses your pain.

He has to. It’s what he lives for, if living we can call it.

Because this Lawro is not that Mark Lawrenson. This Lawro is a malignant doppelganger placed on this earth by a dark and forbidding Otherness to foment anger and discord amongst the football-loving community of the nation. He’s almost certainly in the pay of Sebastian Coe. He thrives on pain. He feeds on misery. He waxes fat on your fury.

Listen to the Anfield Rap backwards, kids, and you’ll hear a voice screaming. “Mark’s dead! Mark’s dead!” Lawro’s alive, and he’s here. God help us all.


Andi writes for SB Nation, Football 365, the FCF, and is on Twitter.

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