Just as you thought your weekends were safe from the boring drone of the likes of Michael Owen and his ilk, here come the Euros. There’s literally no escape from footy.
As a Scouse bird who recently watched a live football match for the first time a couple of months ago, my eyes have definitely been opened to a whole new side of the sport. You can’t quite put into words what the atmosphere is like until you’re there, and you’ll quickly realise how badly you underestimated the wrath of a man once you see their reaction to a player being ‘wrongly’ yellow carded.
While I sat there freezing my tits off on that ‘oh so comfortable’ bit of plastic they call seating, there were a few thoughts that crossed my mind. Here’s my match virgin’s guide to the footy:
There’s definitely something at work here, because there’s no amount of wide-angle lenses on earth that could exaggerate the size of the pitch to this extent. It feels tiny compared to what you see on TV. What you see in real life is nothing compared to what you see on the screen. You can tell a fella’s behind this.
Have you ever been camping in winter, or forgotten your coat on a night out, or been up Snowden in your skivvies for some reason and thought you might die you were that cold? Yeah? Well none of that compares to this kind of cold. This kind of cold is something else. You just don’t know. No amount of layers can protect you and you’ll start to sympathise with Game Of Thrones’ John Snow. Winter has come. I’m ready for The Wall now.
Oh yeah, that’s only for the telly. You’ll think, “Shit, I didn’t plan for this.” I wondered, “how am I supposed to know what’s going on? I don’t know their numbers, I don’t know who’s just scored. Oh god, that light up substitute board, I don’t know what it means.”
Thankfully, I can guarantee you that somewhere near, there’ll be at least one bloke swearing at some player, screaming instructions and most definitely getting pissy with the referee, but overall keeping you in the loop. By half time, you’ve found your own commentator. He’s a bit loud and lairy, but he’s doing a great job. It’s bloody annoying at home from the other half in front of the TV but you’ll be grateful for it in the midst of your confusion. Keep swearing angry men! You tell ’em! P.s. thanks.
Nope not a chance. Hot drinks at half time aren’t a thing. There’ll be a queue a mile long and it’s £4 for a coffee. That can get right in the bin! You can get two vodka lemonades for that in Spoons so go and sit down and continue to freeze your tits off with your pride still intact.
Oh, nope. No alcohol here. It was a European game I watched so that means alcohol wasn’t an option either. It’s because of European game rules apparently. Or something like that. I genuinely don’t know. The only thing that will concern you is alcohol and why you can’t have it.
You will undoubtedly get to a certain level of cold where you’re smuggling peanuts, (through your coat, I might add), and you’re pretty sure your arse cheeks have begun to freeze. The cold then works its way to your brain, and you resort to logic like “this means I can skip my session with Lauren Goodger’s new workout DVD tonight because this level of keeping warm definitely classes as cardio. Yeah, definitely, that sounds right. No star jumps or plyodynamic twerking for me until tomorrow.” And then you realise you’ve gone mad.
The seats are merely a plank of wood, and if you’re arse is any bigger than a size 8, you’re gonna be getting real cosy with that bloke next to you swearing in your ear playing referee. Prepare for a one cheek on, one cheek off scenario.
Oh yeah, the football playing part of this. Now that statement isn’t really anything new, but they really don’t show on TV just how long these wimps stay down for, clutching their knees/feet/ankles (enter appropriate body part that’s apparently been injured here). They really do put the graft in for this. A good few minutes will pass and they’ll still be on the floor hoping for a corner. You genuinely can’t appreciate how long they fake it for on TV. It will take both teams to be at the opposite end of the pitch before captain whinge bag will realise he’s wasting valuable opportunities pretending to be injured. Once he’s up, it’ll take a further 10-15 seconds of fake limping and then he’ll be back fighting fit. It’s like magic!
Whinging aside, it wasn’t half bad.