The Joy of Dislocation

13 12 2009

At 4.55 GMT yesterday, the final whistle blew at White Hart Lane in North London signalling a  1-0 home defeat for Tottenham Hotspur against Wolves.

I can only imagine the disappointment that flooded over the home supporter as they headed out of the gates, heading in whichever direction they call home or, in many cases, to the multitude of pubs that are either a place for communal celebration or collective misery and heated discussions about the shortcomings of my beloved Spurs.

I have been there, bought the T-shirt.

I know their pain, feel their irritation and seek answers as to why a team that scored nine against Wigan have failed to register one against a team at the bottom of the EPL.

Yesterday I was relieved to have only seen the first half through the joy of the internet in a bar in Bermuda that was disrupted by

  1. intermittent access and a streaming speed slower than Tom Huddlestone (midfield “dynamo”)
  2. the commentary of the Chelsea vs Everton game being shown on the other screens
  3. numerous individuals discussing how drunk they had been the night before as they nursed pints of beer or bloody Marys whilst keeping an eye on the televised action
  4. the need to continue Christmas shopping

The second half I followed on live text feed from the BBC in an internet cafe. It didn’t read any better than the visual aspect.

This was one of the things that I don’t miss about leaving London and the UK. The media obsession with football/soccer.

Yes, I am still passionate about my team and wear the shirt with pride but I don’t have their failures shoved in my face every time they lose.

I can walk along the street in Boston (or in this case, Bermuda) confident that I am unlikely to run into a smug Arsenal fan who will spot my distress and make some kind of sarcastic comment or pithy aside which will just darken my mood further.

I can buy a daily newspaper and not have to flick through pages of rumour, conjecture and analysis of the latest games or forthcoming matches. I can pick and choose when and where I get my information about Tottenham or England.

I can watch the games in the comfort of my own home (if I desire) through the only unfiltered aspect part of the Newscorp  jigsaw – Fox Soccer Channel.

Or even ESPN2.

In short, I have control of the football content that I require. I am the gatekeeper of my own obsession.

It is easier to be in love with the Beautiful Game when you have to make the effort to be part of its’ social circle. It also helps that in the USA, they have other sports to concentrate on. All of which I have yet to fall in love with.

But at least I know that if and when I do, the media will be there to furnish me with as much information as I need.

And a great deal more that I don’t.

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