“I will be watching Roma vs Bayern Munich tonight when I get home. In the meantime, any person or persons I deem responsible for either knowingly or unknowingly allowing me to know the result and/or score and/or any other detail of the match regardless of the significance of said detail to the overall result, shall be punished accordingly in such a manner and at such a time of my choosing.” – Me on Facebook
I tried. I’ve never before been one for avoiding the score all day and watching a game in the evening without knowing the result. 99 times out of 100 I can’t help myself from peeking at ESPN FC or social media. But this time I was determined. I’m sick of watching Roma on dodgy internet streams. This game was on TV, and even though it was delayed until a time when I had to be at work, I wanted to experience the game the old fashioned way as if it was live for a change. So I posted the above, assumed people would respect it, and then managed to impose a touch of discipline on myself for a change. I only checked notifications when they came through to my phone. I stayed off Twitter completely, put a CD in my car stereo so I wouldn’t hear any sports news, and told anyone who follows football I came across to not tell me anything.
When you have to watch a game delayed, knowing the final score really does ruin your enjoyment, but even when you don’t know the score or the final result, the viewing experience of a delayed game is still different to watching it live. It’s like a halfway house. Somehow your subconscious knows that everything has already happened, and for some reason it loses its edge.
But at the same time something different is gained – a dollop of extra intrigue. You have spent the whole day straining your mind trying to work out via some kind of osmosis what might have occurred. Riding the emotional rollercoaster, you dare to hope for a good result, then admonish yourself for tempting fate as you seesaw through optimism and pessimism, straining to keep yourself from wimping out and just looking it up.
Then there are the clues. Agony. Most of them can be read either way. Those who commented on my facebook post above, while respecting my wishes to an extent, still couldn’t help themselves from betraying something of what had occurred. Comments like “Must………… Resist…..” and “you’re in for a treat…” hardly inspired confidence, but still in my deluded mind could have been read a number of ways. Then there was the unwitting private message to the in-the-back-of-the.net Facebook page that simply said “oh dear”. I couldn’t be sure what this was about, I hoped it was a stinging criticism of lame post I had written about something completely unrelated, but deep down I knew the truth…
And finally, when I had got home from work and was just about to turn on the TV, a tweet from someone who obviously missed an earlier request for no spoilers: “I suppose I shouldn’t mention the football….” There was no mistaking that one…
So it was with a great sense of foreboding that I made myself an espresso, poured myself a grappa, grabbed the whole bottle, and plonked myself down in front of the television to watch the game.
I really did have no idea it would be as bad as it was. But the difference between this experience and if I had watched that train wreck live really is that if it was live I would have been devastated. As it happens I was half expecting something less than ideal and when less than ideal turned out to be a catastrophy, I was able to view it with a sense of humour. Then two chunks of perspective dulled the pain immensely. The first was unlike last time we got done 7-1 in the Champions League, this wasn’t at Old Trafford. Bayern are a cool club and I can handle getting smashed by them a little bit, especially given the second dollop of perspective – this:
Forza Roma per sempre!!
Categories: Roma/Italian Calcio
A grassroots football enthusiast based in Auckland, New Zealand, and a fan of the most magnificent club on earth - A.S. Roma. More info (including e-mail address) can be found here: http://in-the-back-of-the.net/about/