Spending 6 months in America means I can't follow them all that closely as more and more virtual doors have been closed to me in terms of listening to the games online. Basically, as I'm too tight to spend any money to subscribe to sites that broadcast the games, I'm reduced to 'watching' the scoreline changing on one or more sites that give updates every few minutes. This isn't too bad but often they use a game clock rather than a real time clock and so this clock starts at 3pm or whenever and carries on to 90 mins no matter what is going on in real time.
As a result, it'll say the 90 mins have been played (simply because it's 4:45pm) but I know fine well that only 85 or so may have been played so far. I'm then left with no finger nails if we're only winning 1-0 and no toe nails if we're losing 1-0. I'm very supple and have NO taste buds.
With the score showing 1-0, I glare at the 90 min screen with an intensity not seen since I used to subscribe to FHM magazine. Show me the fulltime (FT) score, you poxy proxy. Come on......hells teeth did they abandon the game or something ? Has snow blocked the refs whistle ? Are we suddenly playing Man Utd who always get 93 minutes for their games ?
What's going on ?
I hit refresh like a man repeatedly hitting the lift/elevator button in the vain hope that it will accomplish something. Come on dammit.
1-1 ??? WTF ? Did we troop off the field after 96 minutes and the other team just ambled up the other end and scored in the empty net ? Of course the site still shows 90 mins as their coding doesn't allow for anything more. Footy games last 90 mins so 90 mins it is. So, pray, when did this equaliser come ? Ah-ha ! Got ya there.
I remember having the site up on my laptop when I was watching a game live on Sky Sports at home. There was a delayed start due to a lot of fans still in line at the car park burger van or something and it was put back 15 mins as that's a nice round figure and gave plenty of time for more expert tv opinions and adverts.
But my site showed the game had kicked off and the minutes were ticking along nicely........0-0 after 7 mins and still no players on the pitch even warming up ! Classic. I was hoping it would update to 1-0 and then I'd REALLY know it was all being done by some geek in Basingstoke who was watching the cricket and just making up the footy scores as he went along.
So yes, I've had to put up with this sort of thing for years now but it's still better than nothing and certainly better than finding out the result by looking over the shoulder of a punter in McDonalds reading a USA Today on Monday morning. Ahh those were the days.
But I've almost grown to like the 90 minute sites. They keep my nails trim and my belly well supplied with keratin. (See, this blog is still educational). What I didn't like THIS morning was waking up to find that the Leeds game had not only started but had also finished and the team bus was back in the shed with it's engine barely warm.
Thanks to the reputation of a few of our fans and the fact that it was a local derby game, the police and club officials had agreed to a noon kick off...........7am Florida time. A waking time unknown to me for the last 8 years or so. Was I consulted ? No.
I surfed to my site and the full horror was revealed to me.
90 mins. 0-1. FT.
The FT was like a dagger in my heart. No chance of a late equaliser. No chance for us to mug their keeper at a corner and sneak one in. Not even time for the streaker to get his thong and socks off in preparation for a dash to instant fame and immortality.
The loss I could take. But missing the game altogether and knowing I'd been sound asleep when it was being played (like a few of the players it seems) was a new low.
You know what this means, don't you ? Yep, I'll soon be making holes in my socks and if the next game is postponed for any reason, I'll be ringing the Guinness people as they must have a "Football Fan With The Longest Nails" category and I'll be a shoe in !