” ‘Killing me softly with football,
Killing me softly,
How did I end up married to a football fan?”
Such was the Facebook status of a very lovely family member recently, yes YOU lovely lady who shall remain nameless, when the reality of the remainder of this summer dawned upon her. She is Welsh you see and grew up in a family who prefer their sport with a ball more ovoid in nature, and men with bigger thighs, so her (English) husband’s obsession with the great game perhaps has left her somewhat bewildered. To be fair he is also a Cardiff City fan so I am sure this is not an entirely new sensation.
And my first feeling was one of empathy.
Which surprised me. I like football….or I thought I did. But, when faced with the prospect of countless evenings lost to watching match after match, listening to Adrian Chiles and The Hoddle waffle on, and losing precious hours that could be spent catching up with Game of Thrones or making serious headway into Breaking Bad, I felt rather despondent. The only light at the end of the tunnel being the occasional opportunity to gaze upon the beauty that is Lineker…although I think the humidity is playing havoc with his hair. *Whispers* gel Gary, more gel.
My parents were season ticket holders at Aston Villa for many years so I grew up watching lots of football both on TV and shivering away in the stands. Early in our ‘courtship’ Mr B and I would try and catch the odd Bristol City game and even travelled to Exeter to watch a match there. I enjoyed them all.
So why is this summer different? I think perhaps it is since having kids. Evenings are PRECIOUS. No little people are jabbering away in my ear, pulling at my leg, or drooling down my top. It is quiet, and peaceful, and Mr B and I get to chat. I also think perhaps it is the fact that I probably won’t go out to watch many matches. I have such fabulous memories of Euro 1996 where almost every England match was watched in the pub with my friends and we had a fantastic time. Until losing in the semi-finals…on penalties…to Germany.
Still, their was a huge social aspect to it and I think that is what I miss in tournaments of this scale. I liked being out and about. I liked the camaraderie amongst folk and the random chat that would ensue amongst strangers, all routing for a common goal, literally. I liked the communal weeping on the shoulders of strangers when England, inevitably, limped out of the proceedings once more. It all adds to the excitement and the charm I think. It appears I am not in the majority though. A recent survey has shown that 84% of UK adults plan to watch this year’s football at home, with a staggering 96% preferring to talk about it on social media rather than face to face.
For real. They would rather chat about it on Facebook than across a crowded bar.
Well…if anyone fancies babysitting we have an ok-ish TV and decent Wi-fi so you are welcome to watch it here. No?
So how about you? Will you be avidly watching England’s exploits this summer from the sofa, the pub, or will you be burying your head in the nearest sandpit? Do let me know.
Some of you may have noticed the absence of certain football-competition-this-summer-related terms in this post. Sorry about that. Apparently FIFA now own ACTUAL WORDS that I am not allowed to use. But you can still use them I think. Should you wish to guess any of the terms, words, phrases that cannot, for legal reasons, be included in this rambling, hit me up in the comments below and I will let you know if you are right.
Good luck England.
Disclosure: This post is brought to you in association with LG however all words are my very own.