And so it begins. The sticker book is full, the wallchart is up and the phone is off the hook. It is time to immerse myself fully in the World Cup.
I have done the pre-tournament training. Last weekend I sat on the sofa and ate crisps while drinking beer for two hours. I went off for a bit, then did another two hours. Then I had a short break and then I spent two hours in the same spot on the sofa with more beer and some cheese puffs. This will stand me in good stead for the gruelling three-game-a-day schedule that FIFA have set us. Will I stay awake for Nigeria v Iran? Will I have the stamina for the inevitable dead rubber game between two also-rans in a fortnight’s time? Course I will.
I will confess to you, dear reader, that I have my niggling doubts. Two hours of Andy Townsend would test the patience of Mother Teresa but I have checked the insurance and am covered should I feel the need to put my foot through the telly when Adrian Chiles appears. There is a special Chiles-Friendly insurance clause for such eventualities.
As usual, your friendly neighbourhood Thamensian has three ways to help everyone enjoy the football. First, if you are going to the pub to watch a game SHUT UP. I can’t stand watching football in the pub because I always get stuck behind the Bloke-Who-Once-Had Trials. If I wanted to listen to a random idiot full of self-importance spout nonsense I would seek Robbie Savage. Or read this page each week.
Secondly, match your snacks/drinks to the teams playing. This adds an interactive element to each game. If Mexico are playing, for example, have tortilla chips and a bottle of tequila at the ready. An Italy game? Pizza and Peroni. England? Pork scratching and prepare to get bitter.
Lastly, when a game goes to penalties everyone in the room puts in a pound. First person guesses if the player will score or miss. A correct guess means they hold on to the money. Wrong outcome and the money passes to the next person. (NB if Jordan Henderson steps forward everyone hides behind the sofa and the money goes to the Samaritans).
I quite like the fact that nobody thinks England will win this World Cup. Being English we ALL secretly think they might win it, but are just too polite to boast. I shall take a short break from the action to stroll around the Carnival this Saturday but by then we will be six games in and I will be hooked. Cup Fever is with us. Watch out, it’s contagious.
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