|"I love those sofa based footy fans with kids." From BBC Sport.|
There is a forgotten army of men who continue to play a valued and yet unheralded role in the sporting prowess of this great nation. They sacrifice their time, money and energies in the pursuit of sporting excellence. They are of course, the sofa based footy fans with kids.
Before we had children watching football was straight forward. Open the fridge, find a beer, pop open a bag of Doritos, switch on the telly, sit down and .................. watch.
Aaaah the good old days.
Watching footy now is no longer the straight forward process it used to be.
Stage 1 - the Negotiation phase - with both lovely wife and the "signs of spring".Decisions need to be made over who puts the children to bed, whether stories are read, and if so how much is reasonable to expect on an important night for Daddy?
Decisions also need to be made over what is watched - football or Holby City? The Killing or Football? Heaving bosom costume drama starring Jennifer Aniston's hair or Football?
Stage 2 - the Preparation phaseDuring which chores need to be completed, dishes washed, kids put to bed, stories to be read, plants to be watered, clothes to be hung out, homework to be checked, coffee to be made. Each of these tasks needs to be completed at extreme speed.
Stage 3 - the constant interruption phaseW needs a drink, E went to bed hungry, the cat is clambering all over M's bed and now she can't get to sleep, our well meaning friend WHO HAS NO IDEA THAT THE FOOTBALL IS ON phones just as Steven Gerrard is about to take a free kick to ask difficult questions about the coming weekend.
Stage 4 - the sitting down and actually watching it phaseThis is usually the shortest phase of the four - often interchangeable with Stage 3. If sport is played during daylight hours this stage is unlikely to ever be reached. Witness England's Rugby World Cup win of 2005 which I spent on my hands and knees in the sitting room desparately playing lego with a 3 year old M in an effort to stave off demands for The Tweenies.
But then when they defeat the might of the Ukraine with a tap in from 1 yard it's all worth it.
C'mon England and your army of sofa based footy fans with kids!