...now that football season's here.
Yes, it's been a seemingly interminable - what, almost three months? - wait since the curtain came down on the last Premiership season, and here we go again: just when I was beginning to get used to having my Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays free, the marathon begins again. And now that I'm watching my matches on television rather than in person, there's actually a lot more of them. Especially since I'm considering getting Setanta in addition to the Fox Soccer Channel: it could mean that I'm barely able to leave the house until the FA Cup comes around again next May.
Not that I've been completely starved of football these past few months; there's always something, if not on FSC, then on one of the Mexican channels. Which reminds me of something that came as a revelation to me the other night while I was watching some lower division clash from the ass end of Southern Mexico: every time there was a lull in the action, a band would strike up a few bars of the Mexican Hat Dance.
What's remarkable about that? Well, I guess I'd just assumed that the Mexican Hat Dance, like California burritos, was essentially a gringo takeoff on Mexican culture, and that real Mexicans would never dream of having anything to do with it. Guess I was wrong; either that, or some American TV producer had got in on the act and convinced someone to play the MHD as a way of adding an air of verisimilitude for the Norteamericano audience.
Anyway, this morning I watched Man City systematically take West Ham apart, and while in an ideal world I would have liked to have seen both teams loses, West Ham for their dodgy dealings in the transfer market last year and Man City because they're now coached by Sven Boring Eriksson, the inflicter of untold misery on English football fans and ruination of two World Cups and a European championship.
Unfortunately, Sven's team done good today, and thoroughly deserved their win. Liverpool, who squeaked past the perennially tedious Aston Villa thanks to an own goal, not so much. In fact today's second match was totally forgettable affair, but that was all right, as the plumbers were busily making a racket in my apartment trying to fix the pumps so there won't be any more floods.
But tomorrow - in a mere 6 1/2 hours, actually - I've got to be up for the real start of the 2007-08 season, as my beloved Fulham go charging (or more likely skulking) into the macerating maw of Arsenal's Emirates Stadium. Fulham have never won at Arsenal, never once in their entire history, and I'm not counting on much different a result this morning. In fact, there's every likelihood that this could be a bleak and truly dismal affair, and that crawling out of bed to watch it will be the equivalent of witnessing a 90-minute train wreck that I just can't turn my eyes away from.
Ah well, hope springs eternal in the youthful heart, they say. Or was that the foolish heart? At my age, it's definitely got to be the latter, but hey, at least until 2 pm UK time, we won't have dropped a single point and have every bit as much a chance of winning the championship as anyone else. Yeah, right, but what I guess it comes down to is that opening day is like Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny for grownups. Until they've actually delivered that lump of coal, the world is full of infinite possibilities.