“TV’s ruining the game!”, they say. “What about the Corinthian Spirit?!” they say. “Lunchtime kick-offs are awful!” they say. No, no, no, no, no.
When I’ve been hitting the bars of a night with Jacko, BigMan and the rest of the CL Crew (don’t ask), there’s nothing I like more than going to sit in a student bar, nursing a bag of Wotsits and a pint of Coke and watching Arsenal pass the shit out of Wigan. I don’t want to sit watching other people watching the afternoon’s action (I mean you, Soccer Saturday), or having the TV display a set of adverts for student nights I’ve already been to.
Even better should it be a Sunday afternoon when, thanks to the wonders of not having every game kick off at 3 pm, I can fit in two games of the good old Premiership before going home to wrestle with (legal) La Liga streams.
The Saturday just passed was one of those rare ones the fixture computer throws up every so often to prove the FA are still in touch, which consisted of all 3 pm kick offs, none of which were legally watchable in the UK. And that afternoon was a horrifying compilation of kicking my computer, impenetrable continental languages and fresh air (I had to go and play a real game of football. Urgh.)
Actually, 3 pm is a terrible kick off time for any match, smack bang in the middle of the afternoon, when you could be catching rubber ducks at the fair or coming up with new ways for your mediocre football blog to generate more comments.
With a midday kick-off, you’re forced out of the cesspit you call a bedroom and into the real world. And if the game’s finished by 2 pm, why not go home and alphabetise your football magazine collection (ordered thusly: Calcio Italia, Champions, Late Tackle, FourFourTwo, World Soccer), or otherwise contribute to society.
Having games kick off at different times means that more football can be watched by more people. And that’s an excellent thing. How many people complaining about it enjoy watching player compilations on Youtube, or settling down to enjoy a lookback at the classic 2003/04 Premiership season. All that video footage came from somewhere (hint: it’s the fucking television cameras).
Television’s great for football. Get over it.