Pubs and football. Football and pubs. Two quintessential factors in the social fabric of British life. With the ease of COVID restrictions in the UK, we can assume that it won’t be long before the hordes of lads, donned in their pastel coloured polo shirts, tight blue jeans and obligatory star tattoos, will descend upon the local boozers to shout “MAN ON”, and “FUCK OOOOFF” at the TV whilst their favourite team (the greatest team in the world) competes against their rivals as to who can perform the most theatrical dive.
This article isn't to mock, oh no. I’m partial to a pint, and I don’t mind football. In fact, I like football, me. But by the standards set by my social group, I can’t possibly say I’m a big fan, especially seeing as I don’t support a particular team. Sacrilege, I know.
I like it when the man smashes the ball from outside the box and it goes in the net, leaving the goal keeper in a disgruntled heap of knees and legs.
I like the game; the ball, the goal, the pitch, the twisted expression of “pain” on the players overly groomed faces as they trip over a blade of grass. I like football in the way a recreational drug user likes acid. My social group are like a gaggle of addicts, desperate for their fix. Indulging greedily in any and all elements of the beloved sport. As much as I’m looking forward to the first pub pint with my friends in over a year, I’m not particularly looking forward to competing with football for their attention. If this sounds like I’m needy, it’s because I am.
I mean, really? The economics of the football industry?
“Did you hear? Martin Offside Sanchez VIII was paid as much as the gross domestic product of a small nation, to change teams and kick a ball with some other wealthy sex offenders with extremely sensitive shins.”
It doesn't help that the pub we frequent is football obsessed. They have at least 300 screens all playing separate football matches from across the globe. I’m pretty sure there was a live stream from a football match being played in the front room of a Lebanese cobbler.
But worst of all, even worse then the incessant conversations about some derpy striker’s transfer to…