Sunday, 24 January 2010

Stress level

I told myself before the game that it didn't matter. I told myself that league position was more important. BUT the FA cup always gets you in the end and I sat there pointlessly shouting at the screen, twiddling my thumbs and trying to keep my blood pressure down. Watching live for some reason is easiest. When you're at a game defeat is much easier to deal with, the match passes quicker and control over internal organs is greater. Watching on TV is much more stressful for some reason. I bet more people have heart attacks watching at home than they do at actual games. It's even worse on the radio. perhaps it's something to do with the effort put into perception and imagination. At the ground you have the whole pitch and get a feel for the ebb and flow. On TV you only see a window; you can't see the player just off screen who is going to comfortably make that crucial tackle. On the radio you imagine it all, listen to the crowd, listen to the intonation of the commentator and as such your mind's eye puts you in a permanent state of anxiety. I always complain about commentators who are distracting because they say 'errr' or 'you know' too much but perhaps that is a deliberate ploy to stop their listeners dropping dead at the wheel while listening to the match on their way home from work.

I knew that Leeds would get a last second equalizer last night. It didn't stop me from feeling sick about it when Beckford's pen hit the back of the net. Occasionally I allowed myself to get absorbed in what was actually a fantastic cup tie but then frustration kicked back in as I realised that by not burying any of the many chances (including a penalty- that's four misses in a row for Defoe) we would 'do a Spurs'. I'll probably go to the replay just to avoid the anxiety of watching on TV or listening on the radio.

After the game I thought I deserved some cheering up so I went in search of sweet things from the 'treat cupboard'. After much deliberation I settled on two chunks of Toblerone and a long chewy sweet called a 'stinger' that I'd put in the fridge earlier. I had tried to eat one a few days before (possibly after the Liverpool game) but found my teeth and jaw weren't up to it. On that occasion the thing had ended up about eight foot long as I pulled it in to ever thinner strands. The fridge thing worked. I broke a piece off the Stinger and chewed away almost contentedly while 'The Wire' whirred into life on the PS3. As the opening scene unfolded I threw caution to the wind (or with gay abandon as it was when I was a kid) and bent the Stinger back to snap off a massive chunk. Before I knew it this thing exploded in my hands and pieces of sharp chew were over my jumper, the chair and in my hair. I got up and looked in the mirror. A small sliver had embedded itself in my forehead just above my eye-brow. As I pulled it out it actually drew blood. An inch lower and I could have been in hospital fighting to keep my eye, surrounded by disbelieving doctors muttering about how if I'd been ten the social services would have been called ages ago.

I ate the bit I pulled out of my head. I don't think I would have done if it had gone in my eye.

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