much more serious than that

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Chocolate, waffles + beer = brave + forward-thinking talent

My grandfather was a professional football player; interest in the game skipped directly from the Northern Socialist to Freddie.  Though too many cold Saturday touchlines being excluded from the fun ("football's not a game for lasses") and being made to hang out the sodden mismatched team strips understandably turned me right off the game.

Notwithstanding my anathema, Freddie insisted we all chose eight teams each to support through the cup.  His were chosen based on years of studying form, following transfer and performance at various levels; Rose chose the teams with the most beautifully groomed players; I chose countries I had lived in; Edward was at work and sportingly accepted the rag, tag and bobtail dross he was given.

There is a chart filling a wall of the kitchen which we have all raced to fill in after each match. The boys wrote a list of rules, including no door slamming or blaming the ref if your team lose (years of observing Edward).   You were encouraged to wear your team's colours and serve drinks and snacks from that country.

I had no idea football was such bloody good fun.  I'm completely hooked, and I have watched more matches in three weeks than in almost fifty years. I found myself all alone up at midnight watching the Belgium/USA match, into extra time, three nail-biting goals and the best-natured managers I've ever observed.  I've been watching while they are all out, or after I've sent everyone to bed, shouting at my laptop like a yob and killing myself laughing at the Suarez Bite.

Rose's teams are all out.  I have one left, Edward one and Freddie the two most likely to win.  (There is money involved too.  I've just read the extra rules that appeared yesterday.)

Freddie has plans to fill the house on Sunday with long, awkward boys, order several huge pizzas ("Delivered, mum, not home-made, this is important") and settle in for a marathon.  He's asked Edward to take me out to supper.  Apparently football's not a game for mums either.