I've been watching a lot less of Norwich City's soccer games recently. Now, why is this? All who know me know I am soccer mad, playing 2-3 times a week and following the team of my town of birth avidly. Why could this be? Have I finally, after 48 years of addiction, cottoned on to the fact that soccer actually is pointless? Just, as one female friend once said, "11 men in yellow and 11 men in red with a ball, who sometimes are all up one end of the field and sometimes up the other"? Finally, after all this time, have I found something better to do.......?
No. It's just that it's got worse. They're not winning. They keep throwing away leads. They might get relegated. I can't stand it. When they lose my Saturday goes into depression.
So, recently I tried a new, fairweather tactic. Instead of watching the game from the beginning I would look up the score with 20 minutes to go, and only if they were winning would watch. Surely this would minimize the risk of nailbiting pain.
I started last week, away to Arsenal. Switched on the telly with 20 minutes to go and they were 1-0 up! Against the cream of the London pedigree at the Emirates Stadium. Watched avidly. 15 minutes to go. 10 minutes to go... A famous away victory in sight. Then, of course, the inevitable happened. The linesman, from 50 yards away, gave them a soft penalty. A penalty that wasn't. 1-1. With time standing still Arsenal scored 2 more in two minutes. Dejection.
I should have known, shouldn't I? Next week I'll turn the telly on only if they're winning with 5 minutes to go......