Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A game of two halves

The mere mention of football to someone as soccer-phobic as me has always resulted in symptoms not unlike the onset of a coma. My hearing goes, my eyes glaze over and even my limbs feel heavier than usual.  You could say I'm not a fan. 

Unfortunately, I happen to live in a country where 'ole ole' is the unofficial national anthem, the mention of the name Roy Keane can divide families, and the scoring abilities of 11 men can have a drastic impact on the national psyche. Not that I pay the slightest bit of attention to any of this. 

Living with my sport-obsessed better half, this is quite a feat. Our home rings with the sound of Match of the Day, Sky Sports News and testosterone fuelled shouts at the hapless commentators/referees/innocent bystanders. Depending on how benevolent I'm feeling, I swing between feigning interest and outright belligerence.

However, a conspiracy between the man of my dreams and a WAG friend found me at a League of Ireland game recently. It's impossible to remain dispassionate when your seat faces the stand of die hard supporters (they kill people apparently) and you have a connection to one of the players, even if it is the most tenuous of links. 

Since joining the masses that night, I don't immediately protest when Rockbottom v Isle of White takes over the TV at home. It's not beyond the realms of possibility that I may stay in the room the next time the dulcet tones of Eamon Dunphy begin. Most of all, there will be another match. 
And maybe next time I'll inch a bit closer to the die hards.