I never actually thought that I’d write a post on football (note that I am talking about soccer here, not American football), but hey, guess what happens when your boyfriend is a sport nerd?

You get taken on a date to see a real, live football match.

And so it was that I watched Marseille vs. Caen last week, under Marseilles’ bright blue sky, with the Mistral wind messing up my hair.

Now, if you are a football fan, I suggest you avert your eyes, or skim to the end of this post so that you don’t get offended by my crass footballistic ignorance. I mean, how was I supposed to know that the teams swapped sides on the pitch at half-time?

Ok, as Mr Nice pointed out, I probably learned about it at school, but it is fair to assume that the information has long been efficiently filed, never to be seen again, into some highly organised compartment of my brain, probably alongside the second postulate of special relativity, or the fifth declension of bloody Latin…

Right, so consider yourselves warned, here is the Lady E guide to football:

For someone who had never so much as watched an entire football match before, I surprisingly enjoyed myself, to the point that I wouldn’t mind repeating the experience (no, really, it was good fun, and -unlike cricket- mercifully short).

Even though the game was apparently pretty lame (one guy in front of us repeated “Mais c’est pas vrai, mais c’est pas vrai”, ie. “This cannot be true, this cannot be true” throughout the entire match), I, having no reference, thought it was pretty fabulous.

I mean, the players could suddenly start running at the speed of light, very much as though someone had started waving a chocolate bar in front of them, except there was no actual chocolate. How did they do that?

They could kick a ball backwards and aim it without any rear-view mirrors, which totally blew my mind.

They often played with their heads, which is amazing, and may account for why so many of them are bald.

They took some pretty serious whacks (in one instance, I actually heard the players crash into one another), but then they eventually got up and carried on running, when I am quite sure that I would just be on the ground, whimpering and calling my mummy.

Ok, so that’s for the action on the grass, where in summary, 22 dead-fit men, some of them rather dishy (despite the above-mentionned lack of hair), keep running around and doing cool tricks with a ball.

But that’s not all. A lot of the show was in fact happening off the pitch, and I made several cunning observations on football supporters.

Firstly, they should really instaure mandatory singing classes. I mean, surely this should be a matter of public health, given how many innocent spectators are subjected to their singing?

Secondly, football supporters all have Superman’s X-ray and telescopic vision. In fact, the stadium obviously held 40,000 referees that night, that’s including the real referee -who I really hope for his self-esteem was deaf, minus me.

Third, football fans are all closet gifted football players. In fact, the fatter and the older they look, the better they are, seeing how they keep constantly advising the players about what to do, why don’t they run here, pass on to him there in the corner, or lament on how terribly the players are doing, how they could possibly miss that ball, or fail to see that person about 50 meters behind their back… Fascinating.

Right, that’s enough of my foray into the football world. I am back from a week on holiday, which was lovely, including three whole delicious days with Mr Nice. Yum. More on that later…

A classic song about clever football fans who love nothing more than hitting each other by La Mano Negra – Santa Maradona…Get rocking!


4 thoughts on “Football

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