I am in a grotty pub. The carpet is sticky. The guy next to me burps and it smells like bacon frazzles. My neck is cranked into a position I didn’t know was possible, and I’m looking at a blurry TV, where I can just about make out that a couple of guys are running about a field, I presume they have abs under their white shirts.
I look around me. And realise that I am not the only one, enjoying a game that I would normally have 0 interest in whatsoever! Because that’s the magic of the World Cup, it has the power to make a football fan out of anyone.
I am not into football. I only go to Tottenham matches to spend some time with my Dad.And sometimes in the pub I watch it just to avoid an awkward conversation,
But when it’s The World Cup I become a fan. I begin reading the sports section of a newspaper first. I scream at the TV like it can hear me,
I turn up. Join in. And I’ll happily nod along to conversations about formations that I don’t understand.
And then when it’s all over. I hang my shirt up.
I go back to my normal relationship with football. Where it doesn’t bother me, and I don’t bother it. Me and football, resume this kind of awkwardness. Very similar to when you bump into a one-night stand down the beg isle of Sainsbury’s.
The fickle fan - shares intense burst of passion for the game which happen every four years, and more importantly when England actually have a chance. Which apparently is rare, very rare.