Someone finds this stuff interesting…
Despite the fact that the bloody dishwasher at work already told me the result, I’m about to watch Argentina vs. Uruguay. Why am I going to watch it? Because it was a good match? Probably not. To give a match report for this esteemed publication? Don’t kid yourself. I’m not that professional. Hell, I probably won’t even watch the whole thing. Simply put, its summer, which means no club football and I’m bored off my rocker.
Last year the World Cup diverted attention, but truth be told (and my girlfriend can testify) I was more excited by my Panini sticker-book collection than any of the actual matches. For nomads like myself without national allegiance, it’s difficult to find interest in modern international football. Footballers spend so much time playing for their professional clubs the international game is often disjointed, defensive and at times, mind-numbingly dull.
I remember reading a summer issue of Match as a youth back in 1991 in which they asked how readers coped with the lull of the off season. The only letter I specifically remember mentioned passing the time suffering through “boring old cricket.” At that age I probably didn’t have the patience to understand cricket, but even then I had trouble sympathizing with the reader. For me the off season was a break for the fan as well as the player. The high and lows of the season should exhaust even the casual supporter of a mid-table side. Those summer months were, you might say, a fasting period prior to the gorging of the football season (and as a Manchester United supporter in the 90’s I gorged heavily).
These days, however, it’s hard to see the summer months as fasting. Qualification for the Europa League begins in June! We’ve already seen the Gold Cup, U-21 European Cup, the U-17 World Cup, the Women’s World Cup (the only one people in the US paid attention to) as the Copa America builds up to its finale. All the while preseason has begun and clubs fly around the world to fill their coffers. Oh, and if you’re a US Soccerball fan you can watch Official FIFA Retirement League (aka. The MLS). God, I’m exhausted after just trying to remember all those tournaments, let alone keep up with them. I’ve watched about one match per tournament, Women’s World Cup aside (didn’t watch any), before losing all interest. I’m convinced in my British primary school days they injected us with a serum to exclusively enjoy British club football.
So, it’s down to “boring old cricket” to keep me busy. England host India beginning on Thursday and after pocketing a cool thirty bucks on their World Cup win, I have to back India to take it to the English on their own turf. Will I watch the whole match? Being neither English nor Indian the answer should be obvious, but I’ll certainly catch the highlights. At least this week features the German Grand Prix followed by the Hungarian installment one week later. That should stave off the summer boredom a little. Better than watching another international football match go into extra time.
Note: This article should have been a report on Pumas vs. Morelia and next issue’s a visit to the US MotoGP. Sadly I seem to have fallen out of favour with the ticket gods and am unable to attend either. Thus you get boring treatise on…well, boredom. Tune in next time for something exciting like “Why Commercialization of Sport Has Ruined Everything About Life.”