Bacon's Bites: Who cares who's playing? It's the World Cup... pass me my man cave!
Mike Bacon takes a look at how households cope with World Cup football. And why suddenly matches we would never watch are so irresistible!
The greatest football show on earth is up and running.
If, like me, you are excited about the amount of footie about to hit our screens over the next month with the World Cup here, fear not. You are not alone.
I do find it hard to get my head round the fact Russia v Saudi Arabia, Sweden v South Korea and that biggie that took place today, Morocco v Iran, have suddenly become matches we simply must watch.
Who knows why?
Saturday’s Croatia v Nigeria game is already being talked about in our sports department as one you ‘don’t want to miss folks’. I have no idea why either. A Saturday night treat. Maybe it’s the Nigerian shirts, but I’ll still be watching.
Matches that for 99.9% of the time we wouldn’t bat an eyelid to have suddenly become hugely relevant.
I don’t know about you but I couldn’t name an Iranian player if you gave me all day to try and think of one. And I certainly don’t know the name of the Brazlian manager.
I haven’t a clue who is Sweden’s leading scorer, and if Jonas Knudsen wasn’t in the Danish squad I would be hard-pressed to name another Danish World Cup player.
But who cares? It’s the World Cup.
Time for football, football, football.
Time for us to get behind our boys. Enjoy waving our flags. Enjoy supporting your country, whoever it may be.
I might even get out my ‘Come on England’ swimming trunks on my next trip to the seaside at Felixstowe if this weather continues.
Not that everyone shares my enthusiasm, you understand.
I’m lucky. With two teenage boys and a ‘man/little boys cave’ with TV in my house, things are pretty sorted, both my boys love football. But not the wife.
It’s World Cup footie in the ‘man cave’, everything else including Made In Chelsea and Poldark goes on in the TV in the ‘main room’ for the next month. After a family vote it was decided by four votes to three that Netflix remains ‘main room’ only. I still haven’t worked out why the wife had four votes!
It sounds sorted, and mostly it is, but I’m in a pickle on Sunday night... It’s Brazil v Switzerland in one room and Poldark in the other. I’m the only one who likes both!
Yes, I’m fortunate to have two rooms with TVs.
I imagine not every household is the same.
But World Cup compromises all over the planet I’m sure are being found.
I suppose the fact the World Cup is one of the ‘Golden Jewels’ of sport in this country and is on terrestrial TV means almost everyone can enjoy. It makes a huge difference.
There is little doubt that while many sports, like football, rugby league and darts have exploded with the help of satellite coverage, there are others that, despite the big bucks thrown their way, haven’t.
Speedway has been on satellite TV for more than a decade now. But crowds are not up at most domestic meetings up and down Britain.
While ‘smash it, thump it, blast it’, T20, IPL, Big Bash cricket has proved popular on satellite TV, and attacted big crowds, but I’m not so sure cricket in general is on the up if attendances at County Championship level are anything to go by.
And while plenty of people still play golf, the amount of excellent coverage on satellite TV hasn’t seen golf club membership, certainly in this country, go through the roof. Far from it, many clubs are very keen for more members.
But the World Cup is here for all of us to watch and whether we all enjoy our own different sports or not, there is no doubt football is the game of planet Earth.
Don’t think it’s just blokes who love the footie mind you.
Just because my wife can’t abide it, I know of loads of females who adore the game.
In fact a mate of mine’s wife is an Ipswich Town nut and loves the World Cup.
He’s a rugby guy, can’t stand football (‘full of jessies diving about’, he reckons)... Just as well they have three TVs... And a hot tub! He loves the hot tub.
So wherever you are, whoever you are, you are not alone organising your World Cup schedules. I hope it works out for you.
Come on England!
PS: The new Kings of Anglia magazine is out... £3.99, great half-time read inbetween World Cup games!!