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Opinion

I’m a bit worried by just how much I need football

3 years ago
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What do people do who don’t like football?

How do they fill in all those hours that us normal people spend watching, playing and most of all, talking and thinking about, football?

Currently we are just over two weeks into this three week ‘break’ from football, which for me and most of you reading this, equals Newcastle United.

Great if you are up for going to watch Gateshead or some other local team to help fill the void but it isn’t for me.

I have done it before and it has zero interest, been to watch both Blyth Spartans and Gateshead in the past, no disrespect but it was tedious in the extreme. I had no interest in the game, the play, the result, whatever.

Judging by the Gateshead crowd of two thousand or so, it was canny for our neighbours but doesn’t suggest many of the usual fifty thousand that go to St James Park bothered with it, especially when with it being a semi-final, Gateshead would have expected a few more turning up regardless.

Speaking of St James Park…there was a game on yesterday, a Rugby one.

I like to see anything with ‘Newcastle’ in the name, winning things, so good on the Falcons for winning, but apart from seeing/reading the score, there isn’t really anything  else you can say about it.

Which brings us back to football, or rather Newcastle United.

The thing is, unlike say cricket where the actual match can last almost a week, the actual football game only fills in a couple of hours.

However, these three weeks of nothingness, tell us that it isn’t just the 90 minutes of action that is what consumes us, it is the thoughts and discussions pre and post-match that fill so many of our waking hours….and nightmares.

There is surely no other sport where the fans can have such endless discussions about next to nothing really.

Most of you will have similar experiences, where you are in a situation – maybe on holiday etc, where you start chatting to a total stranger and if they like football you can end up talking to them for hours, whereas if they are into Formula 1 or something else equally pointless, you end up making your excuses and moving  on, after an awkward forced brief conversation.

Obviously each summer we have a few months without any Newcastle United competitive matches BUT the reality is that once the final whistle goes at the end of the last game of the season, you are instantly talking/thinking about who will be bought and sold, what’s happening with Rafa, is Ashley selling up and so on, before you know it the players are back training and the friendlies kick-off.

These three weeks are different though, talk of signings/sales is nonsensical at this point, nothing is going  to happen at the minute with Rafa and Ashley, we are just literally waiting for Huddersfield to come around next Saturday.

Like myself, most of you will have been asked what you would do if Newcastle United ceased to exist?

It’s a tricky one, I can’t imagine being able to switch over to another team, whether a smaller local one or a bigger non-local one.

Many clubs have indeed gone bust but generally come back in another guise, such as Middlesbrough or Darlington, but what about those where their club has totally disappeared?

I can never quite work out whether I really should be proud to be a football/Newcastle United fan, or whether I should wonder about all the things I might have achieved if I wasn’t talking rubbish about NUFC most of my waking life.

Only six days to go now and that greatest of things, where three of the best things in life come together – beer, football and meeting your mates before and after the match, I cannot wait.
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