The first game of the 2010 World Cup took place on a Friday afternoon and was between South Africa and Mexico. The host nation took the lead with a fantastic strike by Tsahbalala early in the second half. The Mexicans equalized about 20 minutes later through Marquez. I watched the game in O’Neills on Broad St, Birmingham.
I’d worked through my lunch hour so I could finish work early and run to the nearest bar to catch the start of the game. After the match, I immediately went home, so I was back in time for the second game of the tournament. A pretty drab 0-0 between France and Uruguay.
The next day, I sat at home to watch South Korea ease past a quite frankly awful Greece 2-0 (Lee, Park) and Argentina beat Nigeria 1-0 (Heinze). I then popped to the pub for a pint with a non-football fan friend of mine, before returning home to see England draw 1-1 with the USA. A game infamous for Rob Green’s goalkeeping howler that allowed a tame shot from Clint Dempsey to go in. And yes, I do remember that Gerrard scored for England following a Heskey flick on after 4 minutes!
Sunday started with a terrible game between Algeria and Slovenia in which a goalkeeping error saw …..well you get the gist.
I could go on, but I really hope you don’t want me to. I hope you’ve got the idea– I love international football tournaments and have a pretty photographic memory when it comes to recalling them. I haven’t looked up a single thing in this post.
Now, I’m not claiming to be the MOST obsessed football fan ever. I daresay there are a couple of people reading this who could also reel off the above information. But the above tale only offers a peak into how obsessed I get every 2 years…
For a start, unless the tournament is in a favourable time zone (Thank you Brazil!), some of the games take place during the working day. If the year is an even number, then it’s fair to assume that I’ll be having two weeks off work in June. If there are days when I have to work and it coincides with a game, then I’ll do anything possible – condense hours, extended lunch breaks, work through lunch.
Naturally, there are occasions when it’s impossible to see a game. I’m not quite blinded enough to miss an important work or life occasion in order to watch Denmark v South Korea! I think on average I miss three games per tournament for various reasons. But this always makes me anxious. I hate it, these tournaments only come around every two years. I don’t want to miss a thing.
What’s worst is if circumstances change and I miss a game. I can just about cope with life getting in the way. But if it’s a case of a late train, traffic jam or overrunning meeting making me miss a game, my anxiety goes through the roof.
Major football tournaments are probably the best example of how obsessive I can get. The NFL, Gillingham FC and a few other sports also get the obsession treatment. The upcoming cricket World Cup is something else I’m rather excited about. There are a few TV shows over the years that I’ve become obsessed by, and I’ve always had a very high level of knowledge about all things Sherlock Holmes. I even forced myself to watch the diabolical Will Ferrell film recently. Don’t laugh at me (I certainly wasn’t laughing), I’m a completest!
On the flip side, try talking to me about something I’m not interested in and you’re usually fitting a losing battle. My attention span is woeful and my mind wanders off, usually to a negative place, very easily.
So what does all this say about me?
- I don’t like change
- I have to plan
- I get obsessed by some things
- This can make me irrational and lose perspective
- I have a fantastic memory for facts and figures when they interest me
- I have a poor attention span.
The most important thing this says about me is that I’m probably autistic.
UPDATE: Last Friday I returned home to discover a letter on the doorstep. After 4 months of waiting I’ve finally got an appointment for my initial Autism assessment. It’s in just 2 weeks’ time, given some of the stories about waiting times I’ve read online this is great news,
I’ve no idea what it will involve, how many subsequent assessments there will be or what the outcome will be. So whilst I’m pleased that I’m being seen very soon, it is pretty scary and a trip into the unknown.
Further news to follow in two weeks…