Monday, 9 June 2014

#19 First World (Cup) Problems

To many of you this will sound sad and pathetic but I'm about to take two weeks off. As a husband, this would normally mean a mixture of manly garden work and filing my tax returns. As a father this may mean taking my daughter to the zoo or making a three course meal out of playdoh. But as a man in June 2014, this means the FIFA World Cup.

Yes, I have took paid time off work to watch countless hours of men kicking the living shit out of a hyper aerodynamic ball which was probably made in a Somalian sweatshop and claims to be 58% more bally than the last one. I love a good sporting event and I've cut back on watching sports that I used to watch simply because they were sport. So when a football tournament comes around every two years, I'm there with fucking bells on. Thankfully, England are still in the running to win but that's simply because they haven't played yet. My expectations for England are so low that I think I can deal with their misery a lot better this time around.

If you watch a soap, then you probably hate the World Cup as your daily gaze into the lives of fictional alcoholic, adulterous adults will be either delayed or played at an awkward time. To be honest, I didnt even NEED to take time off as all the games start in the evening, I just wanted to feel involved. And boy have I got involved. I've watched all the shit prep programmes on Dave and BBC Three detailing all the misery surrounding past England squads. I've started a sweepstake in work and manhandled colleagues into paying into my fantasy. I've even paid good money into purchasing a Panini sticker album but I swear I know at least two other adults (men-children) who have also stopped to this level of mid life crises.

Next up, I'm preparing which nights to go the the pub. This involves multiple counts of decision making. Who do I go with to which game? Who will actually WANT to go with me to which game? Where do we go to watch it? And last but not least, which battles do I choose at home when I say "hello darling, just to let you know, you're going to be looking after our child by yourself for two to three nights a week." This means balancing the scale mightily with extra chores such as night/morning baby duty, cleaning up the house and countless back and foot rubs.

As much as I'm looking forward to this years offering, several disappointments could make this an anti-climatic fortnight. Where's the cheesy World Cup song from Ed Sherran feat. PitBull and Will I Am? Where's the England flag waving from the white van man? Where's the amazing Nike advert? Plus where is the belief from the England team that they can actually compete? They look scared and void of ideas. When England cease to be involved, my excitement wanes and my anticipation for the quarter final matchup of Ghana and Portugal will be at an all time low.

But that's the magic of the World Cup whether you're a seasoned pro like Lineker or a sweaty rascal like Chiles. It's what you make of it and I intend to do just that.

Adam Yates