There’s still football?

Liverpool played QPR yesterday. Perhaps you heard about the match, we had a 2-0 lead in the 76th minute and blew it, losing 2-3. It was pretty galling, and at the time I was very cross. And I stayed very cross for about ten minutes. In that time I stepped outside. It’s been raining, but it was still quite warm and the flowers are blooming. I then went over to the Lancashire website and read about Luke Procter’s century in the pre-season match in the UAE. And then the football result didn’t really matter. This sort of thing happens every year. It’s usually a few weeks later, but I cannot remember a year in which I’ve really still cared about football after mid-April at the latest.

There are many reasons for this. One of them is because Liverpool don’t have a lot for which to play right now, at least not in the league. (I expect I’ll still care about the FA Cup matches.) It’s no coincidence that I never care after the baseball season and County Championship start though. For me football is a winter sport. Football is great when it’s dark and cold, it is something about which I can care and follow in the middle of winter. But it isn’t the same as cricket. Football is a very divisive, vitriolic sport and although it is so much fun to watch it can be very painful to follow between matches. It interests me, and I can’t really disengage from it, but I don’t enjoy it. But now there is something else. The weather has got warm unusually early and happily the County Championship is starting unusually early too. It is time, or nearly so, to leave the dark and cold of football in favour of the warmth and light of cricket. England’s match against Sri Lanka starts on Monday (late Sunday night here) and Lancashire start the County Championship curtain raiser the day after that. Football has been a lovely diversion since October, but it is no longer needed.

Of course, the season isn’t actually over. No, that will drag on for another two months almost. I’ll still watch. I’ll still enjoy the matches as they take place and I’ll still cheer on Liverpool with all my heart. But any joy or pain from the match will likely end with the broadcast. It just doesn’t matter anymore. The season should be ending. Football is so lucrative that it’s probably lucky that there’s an offseason at all (and even so there only barely is one) but the season is really at least two months too long. It should start a month later than it does and it should end no later than the second week of April. For those who love that sport above all others, some more time off should make the season all the sweeter. For the rest of us, a few months in which to enjoy summer and cricket without the interruption of winter’s sport should not be too much to ask.

2 thoughts on “There’s still football?

  1. Great article, and I wholeheartedly agree.

    I don’t mind having the FA Cup final the first or second week in May (it is supposed to be warm, green, bathed in sunshine, players in shortsleeves…etc.) but the season starts WAY too early.

    Summer used to stretch on forever, and now it feels over by the first week of August.


    1. Thanks! And that’s a good point about the FA Cup final, it is one of those spring events and wouldn’t really be right much earlier. The problem for me is the league. August is definitely too early to start (I remember last year the first round of premiership matches was /during/ the third Test) but I think it drags on too long also. I’d like to see the FA Cup final at the start of May, as the last big hurrah a week or two after the end of the league. In addition to leaving time for cricket, I think it would make the football season more meaningful too.


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