The Euros. Summer football. European time zone. Superb. Let’s get ready. There is much essential planning to be done, stocking up and dates in diary to cancel, so I hope my little kit bag guide will help you enjoy a memorable tournament.
THE WALL CHART
The very most vital piece of kit this. No armchairer worth his salt can watch even the opening ceremony without a completed chart. I have never entered a single tournament unprepared on this front. Chas linked us to the one in The Mail on Sunday, and genuinely top notch it is too. Down to the re-cycling depot in the village I went yesterday, and successfully unearthed two of the very same.
I have to confess that I do not enter predicted scores, only winners/losers through to group stages and beyond, but perhaps you are more thorough.
Also essential is to have more than one chart should there be other footballistas in the same house. “Told you so’s” are an essential part of the chart experience, and evidence is crucial.
My Son and I have a simple points system for the group stages, with 4, 3, 2 and 1 points allocated to the final group standings. In other words, we have something meaningful attached to each and every game.
On this subject, I am less than my usual tolerant self. Get real and do the healthy eating early in the day, because with first group games at 2pm, there’s no room to manoeuvre from then on. It’s junk food, so let’s just deal with that like adults. Pizzas will form the foundation of the tournament, and my personal recommendation is to get down to the supermarket and stock up on Dr. Oetker Ristorante Pizza Pepperoni. Cheap, thin bottoms and the connoisseur’s choice. I say so. My Son says so. We know what we’re talking about here. They come in at a modest 750 calories. In other words, some morning fruit, with as many as two of these boys later in the day, and we’re still within acceptable boundaries of a controlled diet (oh big smiley face).
Now this is a very complex topic, so strap on and listen carefully. Get this wrong, and you have four very messy weeks ahead. My advice here is for the alcohol abuser only, so all tea totallers can boogey on to the next section.
Let’s be realistic here, we’re talking eight hour sessions, so careful thought is required, otherwise things could get very out of focus before the final whistle of the last game of the day.
Rule number one, is never mix the grain and the grape. You’ll need to be in good condition to crack on the following day. I think the real pro could alternate grains and grapes from one day to the next, but you must be the judge of your own abilities on this one.
Pacing yourself can be greatly aided by keeping an eye on alcohol content. Peaking early can be fatal. As our own Ant knows, there are some very delicious feminine, light, fizzy and rather cheeky white’s out there to ease yourself into a session. Sturdy reds to wash down the tobasco drenched pizza, sherry to savour the evening fixture, and port to complete the day.
Grains. Simple formula here, and you all know the drill. Light first, Special brew last.
A final recommendation for the dedicated follower. Drink your way around the map of Europe, selecting only beverages brewed in the country of the side you will be following in any particular match. Belgian ales brewed by monks, German lagers, Russian vodkas and so on.
FAMILY AND FRIENDS
There will still be lawns to be mown and dogs to be walked, perhaps you hoover things in your house, I don’t know, but do deploy evasion tactics. Personally, my calf muscle is going to break rather badly tonight after surfing, and when during the tournament I bravely go out in the car with surfboards on the roof, it will be to considerately lend them to a mate in need for a few hours. I’m like that. You too may have hobbies that require attention, so all I’m saying is the key to a successful tournament is in the planning.
Always a tricky subject, but one I enjoy. There will be nations you harmlessly enough enjoy to “disrespect”, and of course beware, there will be Spurs players on display. If there are any “sensitives” in your household, a cautionary pre-tournament warning could be displayed. A friendly Mr Marmite DJ style A4 banner forewarning loved ones, perhaps.
So, in conclusion, you have two days remaining. Please remember that tournaments begin with a sprint. Three matches a day winds down to a more relaxed pace as things progress to the later stages, so don’t knock yourself out in the early rounds.
In the words of Keith Richards “I’ve done world tours I didn’t even know I was on”. Stay focussed, plan well, and you’ll remember the thing. Enjoy.
written by MickDidit