“Is it true that England play their next game on Sunday afternoon?”
And with that one simple question, my whole afternoon had become wasted. I don’t suppose Mrs Perm knew what she was doing, but after spending the previous three hours avoiding any mention of the game, forgoing my travelling home internet time and having people look at me as if I were a little bit strange, that question told me that England had won and that America had beaten Algerian by either the same or better score.
The way things had worked out, I couldn’t leave work in time to get home for kick off (not because of my bosses I hasten to add, it’s another, longer story). I couldn’t be bothered with a pub on the Fylde and, although I’d toyed with the idea of getting an internet stream or the old school alternative of the radio, I’d come up with a cunning plan. It takes me about an hour and three quarters to get home, just the length of the game, and if I left bang on three, anyone with an interest in the game would have been glued to a TV for the duration of my journey.
It was a bit of a bugger getting into Poulton-le-Fylde just as the cheer went up for Defoe’s goal, but there was plenty of time to go and no way of knowing who’d hit the back of the net, or how they’d done it. It could have been a penalty or something anyway. The ten minute delay at Preston gave me visions of me riding my bike past people streaming out of pubs, celebrating (or angry, one or the other) but as it happened, I got home safely and sat down at around 5 o’clock and magically turned the clock back to 2:30 courtesy of the V+ timemachine.
And my plan had worked, I’ve tried this sort of thing before, but have never quite managed to suspend belief, I’ll fast forward the pre-match and half time (and even some of the game if it’s dull. But this time I watched all of introductory waffling let Lineker and co, getting giddy at finally having something semi-important to talk about, build my anticipation and by kick off had almost forgotten that I strongly suspected that England had scored around 20 minutes in.
And then after five minutes, the phone call, the one that might as well have said “England did better than the last game, weren’t exactly flowing but did enough to qualify and would have finished top of the group but for a late USA goal”. Which pretty much sums the afternoon up, not quite worth the level of excitement afforded to the result but a step in the right direction; not quite what we wanted , but enough to give the team another chance to improve.
Bring on Germany, eh?
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