It’s finally over, ladies and gents. The 2018 World Cup has drawn to a close in the spectacular fashion that it deserved to.
But whilst we all marvelled at the theatrical finale, the curtain was falling. Who thought, as we watched a rain-soaked trio of supposedly interested politicians molest the footballers in front of them, about what happens after?
Like that eighth Stella last night, it’s all fun and games until time’s up. No one ever thinks about what’s next. Sadly for you, dear football fan, the sporting equivalent of some Aspirin and a McDonald’s breakfast cannot be enjoyed for another three pain-inducing weeks.
When the Premier League does eventually return, we’ll all undoubtedly rejoice.
Until then, however, life shall be bleak and life shall be miserable. But fear not, bravehearts. Over here at Paddy Power, we’ve thought ahead and devised a series of activities for you to fill your gaping diaries with: activities that will surely provide greater entertainment and joy than the awaiting of football’s return.
Give them a try and remember, things will get better. Good luck.
1) Get collecting
This is one for the thrill-seekers. Be it stamps, train numbers or something even more novel, collecting needless tokens of trivial sh*te that – sorry, philatelists – ultimately mean nothing to anyone apart from your lonely self is a grade A way to pass the time.
Did you know that a Mr Graham Barker has collected his belly-button fluff every day for a record 26 years? Strikingly, the fella has only amassed 22.1g of the stuff which, given how little that actually is, makes you wonder whether it’s really worth it. Still, roaming around your own external orifices has to be better than living without football, right? It might be a pleasant little distraction.
2) Book a flight
Getting out of the country – especially given football’s recently delayed homecoming – is the perfect act of escapism and, like a summer break, is bound to clear the mind and refresh the soul.
Destinations preferable to a football-void Britain include the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, the Dharavi slum in Mumbai, and an abandoned industrial estate in Slough. Take your pick, they’ll be riotous in comparison.
3) Watch something else
We know it’s a bizarre suggestion, but there are other sports in the world than football.
Were you aware there’s a cycling race on right now called the Tour de France? People ride for days on end and then they win pretty tops to wear. Yes, people actually watch it. It’s a ‘sport’, of course.
Failing that, there’s always Formula 1, archery and the annual silent dictionary reading competition. Better than nothing, yeah?
These take up time and energy and will keep your mind and heart from wandering football-bound and so keep your sanity in tact. By marathons, though, we don’t mean the athletic type. Running, you see, is reminiscent of the sport you’re trying to forget.
Try something else, something better than living without the beautiful game. We’d recommend marathons of Radio Four, Countryfile or even those quaint little shows about old people riding steam trains and river boats up and down indefinitely until one of their pacemakers fails to keep ticking over. Thrilling stuff.
5) Get sh*tfaced
We don’t mean happy sh*tfaced, sipping cold Coronas on a beach before staggering gleefully into a vibrant bar during happy hour. No, we mean desperate, sad, end of the month type sh*tfaced.
Stock up on the Frosty Jack’s, Buckfast, Skol, and any other grotesque poison with a percentage on the label. Drink liberally between sobs and then fall back on a semi-cooked kebab and box set of Daybreak before falling asleep, partly comatose, and with a now defunct liver. Football’s absence will hit hard early.
6) Check the socials
Between Love Island updates and your mate Barry’s boring partner (usually both together), you might even stumble across a gem or two to occupy the mind.
Who knows, you may well find some trivial article that pretends to be funny whilst telling you not to think about football as it repeatedly brings up football.
Or you’ll at least have the transfer rumours.
7) Pluck your own eyelashes
Let’s face it, life’s crap without football, isn’t it?