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Here I am again, lolling on my couch, like some Roman Emperor of old.
(Shame there’s no slave to fan me with a palm-leaf).
I am a Subscriber, getting psyched up for the Big Match on Sky Sports One.
Four p.m. kick-off to suit me and my ilk.
To tell the truth, I’m not too fussed about today’s result.
I’m a Neutral, support neither team involved, no stake in this one.
But what else can I do on a Sunday afternoon,
If not watch Chelsea, The Gunners, Man U or The Toon?
Arrayed before me is all I require to see me through the forthcoming footiefest:
Sixpack of Carlsberg, three bags of crisps, Walker’s not Smith’s.
One packet of fags, only five left, will that be enough to last me?
The action is about to start. I let rip one long, resounding fart.
(Why not? There’s no-one else in the house to object –
Missus and nippers are out walking the dog).
Ah, here’s Tiddles. “Come to watch the game with me, have you, mate?”
Moggy makes what passes for a leap. Promptly falls asleep.
One fat cat on one fat lap.
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Match now in progress. Seventeen minutes gone.
No goals. Stifle yawn. One post hit, two shots over bar.
Twenty-two pairs of shorts. Twenty-two garish shirts.
Sponsors’ names to the fore: Siemens, Chang, Fly Emirates, Vodafone.
Half-time. Inside the actual venue fans rush to queue for overpriced grotburgers.
Here come the ads. Must have a slash. Heave body off couch. Set out on my rounds.
First stop the loo. Second stop the fridge. Shall I eat a peach?
No, let’s have another fag. And another slurp. Burp. I cough like a hag.
Couch regained, I soak up the last remaining minutes of expert analysis.
More ads, then it’s back to The Reebok, The Riverside, or Theatre of Dreams.
Midway through second half ball finds net.
Man in Black (or Green or Yellow) blows offside.
Now there’s a talking point. Let’s have a look at it from another angle…
I reach for my key-studded handset. I examine it from another angle.
And another, and another.
Licence my roving hands, and let them go
Before, behind, between, above, below.
Alas, my gizmo cannot crack the enigma: was it a goal or not?
So we have no choice but to trust the Man in Black.
Meantime play has resumed and I’m down to my last smoke.
Wish I’d told the Missus to stop off at the pub for twenty Roffman’s.
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Final whistle. Nil-Nil. Still, plenty of goalmouth incident.
Now let’s go back to that controversial offside decision.
Another look, another view. Pore over it, jaw over it. Dissect it, milk it.
My attention span is stretched, groans and snaps.
This is too much, even for me. Grab the remote.
Time to catch up on the day’s events in Sunny Spain.
Sunny Spain is duly beamed into my living room.
Courtesy of the dish, the smart card, the decoder and my dosh.
El Racing Santander sigue su buena racha…
Osasuna lost at home to Getafe. Well, fancy that!
But I can’t get no satisfaction. Another flick of the zapper – Sat Eins.
Sunny Spain is packed up and folded away.
I am now invited to get excited about a Cup upset in Deutschland.
Munich 1860 beat Arminia Bielefeld on their own turf!
Der Pokal hat seine eigene Regeln.
German football? What a load of Ballack!
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Why leave the comfort of my Safe European Home?
Why walk through the turnstile?
Tickets are a hell of a price these days.
The thermometer stands at three degrees Centigrade.
Baby, it’s cold outside.
Besides, I’ve got the whole world in my handset.
The whole wide world.
So, I’ll stay here on my couch. Plus heureux qu’un roi on my couch.
Although, strictly speaking, I should be slumped in an armchair.
‘Cos you know the technical term for such as me? – “Armchair Supporters”.
Yes, that’s what I am. An Armchair Supporter.
Lifeblood of the Modern Game.