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The Camden Cad
Aug 24, 2004
North London
If this is the future then build me a time machine because I preferred it in the past. If I ever have to watch another game of football on my laptop, then there's going to be trouble. Nothing violent obviously, I'm far too weedy for a public rampage, but I tell you what, there'll be some fairly serious letter-writing going on. I bought a big telly for a reason; so that I can watch football on it without having to press my nose up against the glass like a six year old outside a sweetshop. When I watch a game I want to see footballers running, not jerking their way across the screen like 1920s movie stars, occasionally vanishing behind a mysterious box reporting something called a 'timeout error'.

You don't watch the internet in the same way as you watch TV. If someone sends you a link to a video, you generally give it 20 seconds to make you chuckle and then you move on. If you read an article online, it has to grab you in the first paragraph or you're off, zipping through the ether to read something better, to play a game or to look at pictures of girls with their tops off. This is why I lasted just 17 seconds of the England game before I wandered away to get a cup of tea, only to dart back to the screen on hearing that the Ukranian fans were trying to set Rob Green ablaze with flares. Given the nature of his only contribution to the game they needn't have bothered.

This was a desperately boring football match, but I suppose it wasn't all bad. I secured my view by pumping a tenner into a betting website in exchange for my cyber-ticket, money which was quickly thrown behind the home nation on the basis that 3/1 was a ludicrous price for a decent team fighting for qualification against a side with nothing to play for. Every cloud and all that.

But if you'll excuse the undignified sight of a barely literate sports hack clambering all over his high horse, then hear this. We, as a species, are uniquely fortunate to have stumbled across something as tantalising and wondrous as the game of football. It is communal, it is social, it is something to be shared amongst everyone. You don't watch football on your own, hunched over a laptop, you watch it with friends or family or with complete strangers. Mankind's greatest achievements, in no particular order, are the invention of fire, the invention of the wheel and the codification of Association Football, but if The Powers That Be keep trying to charge me 15 Euros for jerky coverage of rubbish like this, I for one am going to start watching more rugby.