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May 07, 2005

You can run, but you cannot hide

Tonight, I went to the Hobgoblin in Akasaka to watch the second half of the Chelsea/Charlton match. Usually, a trip down to the pub to watch football is a guarantee that you will not run into any Americans (not that there is anything wrong with that). And I am sure that you can imagine where I am going with this already.

Before I can even take the first sip of my pint, the guy next to me asks "do you follow any of this soccer stuff?" uh oh...what followed was a rambling 45 minute conversation, including the merits of american football over baseball, how soccer is really neat, and how it was really 'great' to see Chelsea lose to Liverpool since they tried to buy their way to greatness.

There was nothing wrong with any of those ideas really, and it was nice to talk to another American that likes football. But I had to wonder if he really does understand - all the chat meant I never had a chance to get into the flow of the match. Probably, he was used to having more time to get his views across without missing anything - after all, the average American football/baseball game lasts closer to three hours than two, with plenty of breaks in the action.

Pundits will tell you it is the commercialisation of the game and that they need that time for advertisements. I disagree - that extra hour ensures you can prattle on to your heart's content and still not miss any of the action.

As for the match itself, Chelsea were awarded a a dubious penalty in the 90th minute and converted to give the home fans the win they wanted before they handed out the trophies. It was an awful way to end the game, and I left the pub ¥2,000 poorer and in no way more relaxed. Of course, the next match starts in thirty minutes and if I go to Hobgoblin Roppongi, I should be safe...

Posted by Kirk on May 7, 2005 11:05 PM