As the final whistle goes, you turn to your mate and say, "Well, that's
it for another season". He nods and looks at his watch (for some
reason). "Only 12 weeks 'til the next season! Next year will be our
year", he says hopefully. The team trots around the pitch thanking the
fans for their support, collectively thinking, "We tried, but it wasn't
good enough", whilst the fans stand to applaud the team's effort,
collectively thinking, "They tried hard, but only if Kevin Phillips'
goal versus Bournemouth had stood ...", or whatever flash point in the
season is most fresh in the mind. The last waves are seen heading down
the tunnel and we then turn with our heads slightly bowed towards the
exit, everyone feeling solemn, no-one in the mood to talk.
On the way
home people perk up, venting their frustrations on KJ's tactics, crap
referees, 'if only's', 'do you remember's' and ending the journey
saying, 'At least the Scum weren't promoted" (HA!). Once home, the
scarf is hung up and the shirt stripped off and bunged in the wash. So
what happens next week? It suddenly dawns on you, "THERE'S NO FOOTY!!"
What do you do? Does this mean you have to clean the house, go shopping
or go out with the girlfriend!?
In previous years, there has been the World Cup and Euro 96 to fill the
gap, but this year there's nothing (sorry, there's LeTournoi). I
suppose there's the playoffs (which aren't interesting to the fans whose
team isn't featured), but that's all finished by the end of May. In the
football season, the whole week is dedicated to looking to see who your
playing, what are they like, what's their home record, can they score,
should we win, who's going to play. You can't do that in June. One can
look at the Teletext or whatever media service you like to find out
who's leaving and who's coming, but that's not really the same as
experiencing a comeback from two-nil down with five minutes to play,
with the winner buried in the last minute, or, say, the equalising goal
(at about 9.55 p.m.?) versus Luton, where the National Guard were called
in to shepherd the fans back into the stand.
What's the alternative? I mentioned shopping (yawn), cleaning (snore)
and going out with other half (?). What about golf (if you like it),
cricket (if you like it), TV (last resort), huge mother of a holiday to
the Caribbean where everything is free (unlikely). It seems there isn't
one. We just have to survive the summer, existing week-to-week, trying
to come up with something inventive i.e. beach or pub. What ever you
think of, it invariably involves footy: funny that!
Me? I'm stuck in the office on a Friday writing this drivel, clinging to
the idea that if I write about football then time will pass quickly.
Bored. Bored. Bored. What do you do?