So away from the usual work musings and serious stuff and on to the long awaited craze starting this weekend. Touted (by me and by many) as ‘probably the best game in the world’ (I’m sure Carlsberg will probably agree as well seeing their investments in sponsorship in the most successful team in England), the Barclays Premiere League is once again set to tease and entertain football crazy fans all around the world. Look no further than the recent Liverpool FC tour in Asia, where thousands of fans crowded, jostled, lurked around to just catch a glimpse of their footballing stars in reality, up-close and not too personal.
This year for Liverpool’s recent trip to Singapore, I wasn’t one of those fans. I was, about 8 years ago when they first came. I was crazy, I had insane desires, to just be at every location the players were going to. Back at the hotel, the training session, the team bus, I was there. So why wasn’t I that person this time around? Was it age? No. Was it because I was no longer that fan? Definitely not. The answer was so clear to me. Rewind 8 years, and there I was (the scene still quite vivid in my mind), banging on the doors of the limo that Patrik Berger and Jari Litmanen were in, shouting my voice hoarse and hoping to snap a few pictures at the same time. I was there, up-close! Nothing beats seeing them ‘live’ rather than on the telly every week…. that was just a fleeting thought however, as the crowd started to push and mosh their way to the car, it wasn’t that fun anymore. Thoughts of being trampled on under that crowd eroded any ‘fan-like’ behaviour I had, and that fear gripped me as I struggled to stay on my feet and away from being run-over by the limo. I made it out, alive and probably in more pieces than one as my shaking hands tried to do a physical audit on myself.
So as the ‘greatest’ team came by Singapore again this year, that clarity of the past transformed into an epiphanic moment. I still could watch and see them up-close and pretty personal and I wouldn’t be caught in the mad hustle and bustle of a fanatical crowd.
HDTV and a subscription to the sports package by Starhub was the answer and I’ve been enjoying the comforts of a cosy chair, chips and drinks ever since. So you know where I’ll be when it kicks-off this weekend, enjoying the comforts and watching my stars with utmost clarity in high-definition (and possibly savouring a Carlsberg and saying ‘probably the best beer game in the world’).