Thursday, 10 June 2010

Thursday 10 June 2010 – 1 DAY TO THE WORLD CUP

Welcome to the Christmas Eve of football.

Today I find myself getting into a strange argument with the people at work over football hooliganism and specifically how England fans are being patted down at the airport today. Are they fucking kidding? There is no way there is going to be any hooligan trouble in South Africa, it is just too far to go. I argue that normal (working class) fans have been priced out of the game. This does not register with the people I am in discussion with.

This evening it is my friend’s birthday which reminds me of how we all forced him to watch England on his big day four years ago despite the fact that he doesn’t like football. Very accommodating. It makes you wonder about people who have their birthdays around this time. Indeed on Saturday I am due to attend a barbecue in Kilburn for a work colleague’s daughter which immediately puts into jeopardy my chances of seeing the England v USA in addition to the first Argentina match. From here there are also three more birthdays coming up including another invitation on Sunday.

At this bash tonight I bump into my friend’s ex-girlfriend who is Danish and suddenly I have my Denmark correspondence. She works for a television company and tells me how she has been translating a lot of football stuff recently. Should we need it she will be my spy on Denmark with the inside gossip.

Tonight I finally get in on some World Cup sweepstakes action as Brendan hits everyone at the birthday party with his list. It is only £2 to enter which feels like small beer but beggars can’t be choosers. Eventually it turns out that I bag Portugal which, while not necessarily looking likely to be a winner, should keep me in the game well into the later stages.

At 11.30PM as I ride the train home drunk trying to avoid eye contact with three jacked up Bon Jovi fans in matching shirts returning home from the O2 I announce on Twitter/Facebook that it is “just half an hour to the World Cup (using the Christmas method)”. Minutes later a drunkard on the train shouts to the carriage “anyone here collect Panini World Cup stickers?” I get the joke but I don’t think the guy is funny.

When the actual hour finally arrives nothing feels like it has changed. Tomorrow we will run faster.

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