The football season has officially drawn to a close. Manchester City are champions, Huddersfield, Fulham, and Cardiff are departing us, and Liverpool have still not won a Premier League title (some things never change). After all the excitement of the final day, you may start to realise that your weekends are barren and have lost all meaning, leaving you in a void of self-loathing in which you question your whole life just to fill the time. But don’t fret, for I have been there and will share some tips on how to adjust to the only thing in your life that matters walking out of the door.
Go for a walk or run- now that your life isn’t spent in either a pub, stadium, or your front room, you can go and experience the beauty of the outdoors. Walks are particularly effective as they can last a long time with very little difficulty or effort and this gives you a long time to ponder the many mysteries of life. Personally, I like to think about how boring walking is and pray for August, when things make sense again.
Actually play football- hey, you’ve watched thousands of hours of this stuff, why not actually try playing it, if Mustafi can do it then surely you can too, right? Wrong. Trying to replicate what you see happening is really quite hard, and you will soon figure out why some chump from Germany who can barely tackle makes several times the annual salary of a nurse in one week. As good as an idea as this sounds like, I fear it may simply depress you further as another shot rolls along the ground, skewing miserably wide, as you wonder why you are this useless. Sorry for wasting your time.
Play FIFA or Football Manager- once you realise that the great outdoors isn’t for you, dive inside and try what EA Sports and Sports Interactive are legally allowed to call a simulation of football, of course anybody who has watched real football knows that it is very rare for someone to flick the ball up for themselves and volley it in from 40 yards, but nobody would ever play PES so EA can do what they want. I’m getting side-tracked. These two have all the hallmarks of watching football, you are inside and have very little input on what happens after the computer scores a 94th minute winner after having 24% ball possession and 1 shot on target all match for the seventh time in a row. This frustration is an easy way to channel the hate you have built-up by having nothing to do by being able to yell at virtual Eric Dier, rather than the real one.
Manically refresh twitter or the BBC Sport gossip page- nothing makes you more interesting to talk to than finding out that some Turkish player being linked with United had an expected goals rating of 35.6 last season and 4.2 successful dribbles per 90. A lot of people will understand what those mean. But on a serious note, if the first thing you do after somehow getting out of bed in the morning isn’t finding out that the Mail Online is reporting that Joao Felix is close to joining Juventus, then this might not be the article for you. I’m sure there’s some other way you can spend your time.
Travel to new places- now that you have nothing better to do at weekends, you are free to explore places you have never been to before, shockingly the world is quite large when the longest journey you take isn’t from your house to the pub and back again. I have long since maintained that places like Bolton and Stoke have a lot more to offer than merely the football stadiums that are there. A Saturday stroll through the city centre of some Northern industrial hub is just the cure for the feeling time is going excruciatingly slowly, and HOW IS IT STILL JUNE? SINCE WHEN DID MONTHS LAST DECADES?????
Attend pre-season friendlies- if you have successfully made it to July without clawing out your own eyes after realising that they don’t automatically show you Eden Hazard on a mazy dribble then congratulations, football is nearly back. However, there is about a month and a half of pre-season still to go. But some football does exist, and good clubs may be closer than you think. Take a look at your local club’s schedule and see who they are playing, often a large league club will be in town (or there u23s, but still a proper football team). This wet and slow excuse for football should work as a stop gap for a while, and help you remember that the pain is nearly over, but also a painful reminder of everything you have lost.
Talk to human beings you don’t know from the pub- as much as Mark and John from the pub are great, they are thirty years older than you and you have never actually had a conversation with them that wasn’t about Jorginho being caught in possession. Use the contacts app on your phone for the first time and text some of your “friends” to hang out. When you realise that not everybody wants a scathing review of the way Watford set-up, you can pretend to have seen a TV show that wasn’t on Sky Sports and pretend that work is interesting. After you get back, you have my permission to watch reruns of Premier League Years.
Read a book (that isn’t the FourFourTwo season preview)- a large part of your formative years were spent learning how to read, and although FourFourTwo’s season preview edition is completely riveting and definitely a pre-season must, it might be a good idea to use that skill to read something else. There are a large selection of books you could be reading, some of them are even about football, who knew? You’d be amazed how time flies when you are reading a good book, you’ll be reading for what seems like hours, and you look at your watch to discover it has actually been twenty minutes… God damn it, why is nothing as exciting as the end of the second leg of a Tottenham Champions League game?
Learn a language- there is nothing quite like knowing another language, it opens so many doors. The romance of French, the raw sexuality of Italian, and the formality of German, and the most important aspect on knowing a new language, the ability to read foreign language football newspapers. Sure, you could use these languages to go to the country and soak up the culture, but who cares about some old cathedral? How many thirty yarders were scored in there? Publications like La Gazzetta Dello Sport and L’Equipe are full newspapers devoted to sports (which in the newspaper industry is a word that means football and maybe some other stuff if those pseudo hobbies are lucky.) Being able to read these will take up more precious hours before you can go back to sleep and dream about when you could watch football instead of this boring garbage you are having to do.
Take up day drinking- I know this sounds bad, but if you remember the things that you did whilst watching football, drinking during the day is probably on that list. Whilst watching live football is merely a pipe dream at this stage, day drinking is certainly something you can still do, at the very least to merely numb the pain. You can start slow and build up how much you do a day until you no longer realise that days are still happening, and the next thing you know that glorious first day of the season will be upon you.
I know life feels pointless (if you know, you know) right now and the walls keep crashing down around you, but I hope that these tips will help you to stave off the feeling that existence is pain. What am I talking about? Even I don’t believe me, the next few months are going to be tough; I’m going to go and get started on number ten.
Views expressed in InQuire's satire articles are those only of the writer and InQuire does not endorse any of these opinions, this section is dedicated to entertainment purposes only. We use fictitious characters in our stories, except in regards to public figures being satirised directly.