Coping Without The Constant

by Glenn Fitzpatrick

Come May every year, followers of the English Premier League reflect on yet another season of endless drama, excitement, predictability and unpredictability. This year was no different with the relegation battle only resolved at the last possible chance. And so goes 3 months without our constant. We all have our own ways of dealing with it.

If you’re like me, you’ll try fill the void with anything remotely to do with sport. So far I’ve seen the USA almost claim a surprise trophy at the Confederations Cup, England’s U-21s take a battering by the Germans, supported the Irish cricket team at the 20/20 World Cup, cheered on the Lions on tour in South Africa and most recently endulged myself in the action at Wimbledon. None however, come close to the weekly highs and lows that is the Premier League. Other methods of attempted void-filling have included an obsession with the Football Manager game in which I’ve taken Barn United of Northern Ireland from the non-league tier to European success and the odd venture to the local all-weather pitch. Yet I am still left with a hole in my Saturday afternoons. Endlessly I scour the internet for transfer stories and pre-season friendlies and I feel that if it wasn’t for my love of Shamrock Rovers and our own domestic league then I would be completely overwhelmed by severe boredom during the summer months.

I got around to asking an associate of mine, Caoimhín O’ Dochartaigh, an avid follower of several European leagues, namely La Liga for his thoughts. In his eyes, nothing else compares.

Anytime I’m by a PC i’ll check soccernet.com, Four Four Two etc for any sort of update. First thing in the morning I’ll watch Sky Sports News for about four hours straight. Then I’ll watch any sport that’s on after that, golf, tennis, cricket etc but there’s no involvement in it for me whatsoever. It’s absolutely addictive and I cannot wait for August.

The affection for most towards the weekly happenings in the Premier League is so strong, we find ourselves looking forward to the tedious things such as the release of the fixtures list, endulging ourselves in repeats of Premier League Years and the annual yet dreary Master’s Football Tournament. It puts many women through agony, last for 9 months and turns men off sex. No, I’m not talking about pregnancy, it’s the football season and we’re all counting down the days. Regardless of whether our respective clubs’ squads are ready for August 15th there is absolutely no debate to be had as to whether or not we, the fans will be ready.

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