Beers, tears and fears... watching Norwich City on the telly
- Credit: PA
Those pre-match routines we all have are no longer there. A pint at the King’s Arms, open bag of chips for the walk down Carrow Hill, programme from Bob just outside the new flats. A little bet at the kiosks in the River End. Those greets, grunts and welcome conversations of a new season for those friends around us.
All of those are out of the window; many of those are why we enjoy the day at the football. It’s not just about those in yellow and green running around the hallowed Carrow Road turf. It’s about the experience, the escapism. It’s about the joys we share, the songs we sing, the memories and moments we treasure.
But now we face watching football solely by television. A whole new ball game, with every game broadcast live to the masses.
In the Major household we’ll make an evening of it. A virtual zoom pint at the Woolpack at 4pm with friends (don’t tell the office). Then after the team news has broken and we’ve debated the rights of Trybull v Vrancic v Kenny in central midfield, I’ll wander down Rouen Road (my staircase) to our living room. Our actual living room, not Mr Farke’s.
Here cometh the biggest challenge. The three-year-old will want to watch Mickey Mouse or Paw Patrol. But for once I will stand firm. Her brother and I are watching the football and the build-up where we’ll get the pleasure surely of Jamie Carragher’s and Gary Neville’s slightly condescending assessment of our hopes.
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But that won’t matter, as they’ll be muted by a three-year-old’s tantrum.
A beer may be opened. A few large packets of crisps ordered in the weekly shop. And our hopes of survival will play out in front of our eyes over the next few hours. It’ll seem strange. We’ll hear Ben Godfrey’s barks at his defence; we’ll watch for our names and wishes on the scoreboards. But mainly we’ll watch that little white ball, being pinged around the yellow shirts, our hopes and dreams of survival with it.
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Our hopes and dreams of what might have been are never far from our thoughts. We’ll be there for that moment, just not quite as there as we’ve been before.
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