You know what? Thank goodness for football. Without it I wouldn’t have a clue what day it was, or whether time was even still operating on its usual trajectory. How is it that every year – between pyjama-wearing, chocolate-eating Boxing Day and the drunken-singing, stranger-kissing New Year’s Eve – the world seems to stand still? Is it Wednesday? Or Saturday? When do the bins go out? The fact that the bin day changes as a result of Christmas only throws up more uncertainty: working out the day of the week is hard enough, but adding an extra day to that calculation is not as straightforward as it sounds. At least it isn’t for me.
However, as mentioned in my second sentence (and subsequently disregarded for the remainder of the paragraph), this year, at this uncertain time, football is my calendar. Each day of the week (bar Friday the 29th) throws up a different Premier League fixture (or 8), enabling me to keep track of passing days by checking my fantasy football team and either laughing or crying. It occurred to me today that from Christmas Eve through to the 27th December – otherwise known as ‘Sterling goal and 3 bonus points’ – I left the house just once. Perhaps this could be understood if I’d gone for a long Boxing Day – otherwise known as ‘Why, oh why, didn’t I captain Harry Kane’ – walk, but the shameful truth is that I stepped outside for no more than 5 seconds to grab a cold beer from the garden.
Thursday the 28th – today, at the time of writing – exists simply as ‘Please don’t let Zaha bang a hatty’, with my Dad hoping to close the points gap between us with a big performance from the Palace winger. Friday the 29th, from my perspective on a cold, Thursday evening appearing only as a distant opportunity, is the one day without any top-flight football. Who knows what life I’ll lead without the restrictions of constantly checking updates on the BBC Sport app? After football-less Friday however, the weekend comes around again, bringing with it the Premier League fixtures that signal the stability of consistency that will soon engulf the British public.
I’ll admit that sentence was not intended to be so poignant, especially since my point is that football returns to its largely structured ‘games happen at the weekend’ system, as appose to unravelling the simplistic tendencies of the human race. Anyhow, let’s leave that potentially eye-opening concept in 2017, and look to a fruitful 2018 – a year in which I dream of Birmingham managing more than 0.5 goals a game.