This weekend I intend to undertake the most herculean of tasks, all under the guise of ‘journalism’.
No, I will be not attempting to buy a full priced sofa or attempting to find Michael McIntyre’s flamboyant comedy performances humorous. The task at hand is to watch back-to-back football coverage on TV from 12pm Saturday afternoon through to midnight on Sunday.
For most, this might seem like a pleasurable way of spending 36hrs this weekend, but I am dreading it. Over the last year or so, I have been vocal in my belief that there is too much football on TV and that it’s killing the aura of UK’s number one sport.
This marathon intends to prove my point, so please light a candle in my honour as you enjoy the delicious non-football fruits that the weekend has to offer.
This plan was devised after I overheard a conversation in a public house last weekend. A young couple sat barely talking on the table opposite, before the girlfriend broke the uneasy silence by suggesting they do “something else” other than watching football “every weekend”.
However, our young hero had answers for her propositions, knocking them out of the park like Sir Donald Bradman with retorts of this nature: “Nah sorry babe, its City v Sunderland. Can’t miss that. And you know its Real v Barcelona too, so no can do”.
She lost this battle to football, and I very much doubt her predicament is uncommon. What happened to the days when watching live football on TV was a special and rare occurrence?
As a journalist, you never want to get too emotional about a bygone era, but watching the only live game every Sunday on ITV’s Big Match with my Dad was a special part of my childhood. Even missing games like QPR v Charlton felt like a black hole in my weekly ritual, with excitement levels reaching a crescendo at 2.55 as the gravel voiced Brian Moore had me spellbound.
I am not convinced the continual live football, so easily accessible in today’s digital marketplace, allows the new generation of football supporters to have the same emotional bond with the game.
That said, I am under no illusions of football’s position in the current sporting climate. To use the phrase uttered in every movie depicting 1980s hooliganism, football is ‘The Top Boy’. This behemoth of a sport is enjoyed, cherished and revered across the globe, but can you have too much of a good thing?
With the high calibre of football on offer this weekend, including El Clasico and the Milan Derby, it will either shatter my love for the beautiful game or charm me all over again. If anybody is going shopping, please purchase me a vat of coffee and a weekend’s supply of pic n mix!
Here is my weekend viewing schedule:
Football Focus BBC1: 12.15 – 12.45
Manchester City v Sunderland SKY: 12.45 – 15.00
Gillette Soccer Specials SKY: 15.00-17.30
West Ham Utd v Arsenal ESPN: 17.30-19.45
Genoa v Palmero ESPN: 19.45-21.45
Bayern Munich v Hoffenheim ESPN: 21.45-22.30
Match of the Day BBC1: 22.30-23.50
The Football League Show BBC1: 23.50-01.05
Fluminese v Botafogo ESPN: 01.05 – 03.05
Football First SKY: 03.05 – 04.15
Football boxsets including Own Goals and Gaffs: 04.15 - 0900
Football’s Greatest SKY: 09.00 – 09.45
LA Galaxy v Real Salt Lake ESPN: 09.45 – 11.30
AS Roma v Atalanta ESPN: 11.30 – 13.30
Southampton v Fulham SKY: 13.30 – 15.30
Newcastle v Manchester Utd SKY: 15.30 – 18.00
Barcelona v Real Madrid SKY: 18.30 – 20.45
AC Milan v Inter Milan ESPN: 20.45 – 22.00
Match of the Day 2 BBC1: 22.15 – 23.55
Sleep: 0000 - 0000
image: © jack_pickard