Today is the first day of the football season. I could not tell you who is playing, I could not tell you who managed to buy whom, before the transfer window closed. I could not tell you who has a new stadium, who was injured over the summer. Who was looking good in pre-season training. I would be hard pressed to tell you who finished where, at the end of last season, who has been relegated- and who is in for a tough season. Quite honestly, I would be hard pressed to identify a team by their football strip.
HURRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!! (The reader should note that I paused typing, to jump around the living room, doing a happy dance, which may have been a naked happy dance!).
When I was booking the registry office, for the day of my wedding- I asked my husband to be, what time he would prefer. He seemed quite adamant about the time he chose, I was pleased he was so interested in our happy day.
The day of our nuptuals arrived, and when we arrived at our reception- he asked if I would like to go upstairs for a ‘glass of champagne’. We arrived in the room. He looked around furtively. This all boded well, I prepared to lock the door, and proffered the vintage veuve cliquot bottle for opening. He turned, looked at me, with excitement in his eyes. And went for the television. Arsenal vs Chelsea, Quarter Final, FA Cup. He asked if I had minded booking the wedding with the kick off time in mind. I went back downstairs to join our guests, while several of his friends piled in, to check the score.
We boarded the plane to our honeymoon. Ten days for the Fallas festival in Valencia(http://www.valenciavalencia.com/culture-guide/fallas/fallas.htm). As I boarded the plane, I was slightly perturbed by the number of Arsenal shirts. He said that Arsenal would be playing Valencia, in the Champions league(also quarter final I recall), and seemed surprised I was not as happy about this little ‘coincidence’ as he was.
Learning my expected date of delivery, for our beautiful daughter, was met with much frantic scrabbling through fixture lists. He attempted a discussion about what would happen if I went into labour, during Watford vs Arsenal(apparently v important as Watford are his home team). Good wife that I am, I said I would ask our daughter to stay put during said match, but if all else failed, he would fucking switch the television off, and deal with the pain. I was sure they could give him some pethidine to soften the blow.
When watching football matches, I am always struck with the immediate thought, that I have in fact, already seen this match. Same green pitch. The same amount of blokes running round the pitch. It always follows the same format- they run around. At some point one of the guys will kick a ball, into the little arches at the end of the pitch- this will happen on average between one, and four times. It will go on for the same amount of time. And the score will be one of very few variables- with occasions where the score falls outside those parameters, being discussed for ages on various commentary programmes for years after it occurs. If a film was so predictable- noone would care.
THe advent of digital television means that there will always be a channel, with some variation of this game, discussion of this game, analysis of this game, news from this game. I cannot fathom how such a predictable event could warrant so much discussion and money. On Radio, Radio5Live, will use this game as a reason to vent the most racist, mysogynistic, ill informed views possible, under the guise of this futile macho bonding excercise.
From August to June of every year, the television in my house appeared to develop a fault, whereby every time you appeared to have paused viewing something, perhaps this pause was indicated by you blinking- the television would return to its default setting of SkySportsNews- for incomprehensible tables to occupy the screen, while some junior anchor tried to fill the airtime with pointless dull comment, on the progress of the season.
So here I am, on the first day of the football season- doing my naked happy dance, seperation has MANY benefits.