How to survive the football season

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The shadows are getting longer, autumn hangs in the air and you know that before long every weekend for at least a couple of hours you’ll become a football widow again. You know that your normally kind, mild-mannered other half will once again undergo a weekly Jekyll and Hyde style transformation into a football supporting monster. 

If, like me, you dread the end of summer when the league games, cup fixtures and if you’re really lucky, Champions’ League matches all start up again, here are a few tips on how to get through those football blues. Or reds. 

Get hold of a copy of the fixtures list so you’ll know well in advance when the matches are, especially those all important local derbies. This way you can avoid disappointments when arranging social events together. By showing an interest in his favourite hobby you’ll also win brownie points as he’ll think you’re genuinely interested and taking his football seriously. 

Remove all breakable or precious objects from the vicinity of the telly. A radius of about 6m should do it. Plants, glass and porcelain ornaments should all be stored safely. Pets and children, especially small ones which have the tendency to stand in front of the screen and press buttons, should also be kept in a different room for the duration of the game whenever possible. The most vulnerable object will be the remote control so it may be wise to cover this in protective bubble wrap. It may also be useful to leave an unimportant object handy which can be hurled across the room when the opposition score from a questionable penalty. 

Learn to speak a few octaves lower. This is a useful way to get through to men in general but especially during a football match. Men function on a different wavelength to women and have the ability to switch off entirely to a woman’s voice. A lower tone, however, is instantly heard and often rewarded with an answer. 

It’s only a game. You and I both know it’s just 11 men in one colour of shirt against 11 men in another colour of shirt all fighting over a bit of air-filled leather. But whatever you may think you must never say these sacreligious words. Just be quietly smug in the knowledge that you know you are right. 

Become invisible. While the match is on don’t walk in front of the telly, do vacuuming or have long phone conversations with your mum while in the same room. For their own safety keep small children away. 

Go out. Use the time positively and do something for yourself. This is a whole two hours every weekend, plus the post-match analysis and reports of other games, when you won’t be bothered by your other half. 

Take up a hobby. Try knitting, reading, baking or walking. Use the time wisely and at the end of two hours you will have something to show for your time, certainly more than just a sore throat from cursing loudly at the goalie for missing an easy save.

Remember it’s the testosterone speaking. In the past men would have gone out to hunt or fight and this used up their testosterone. Now we live in peaceful times where the most fighting you might have to do is keeping your place in the queue at the supermarket. Men still need an outlet for their aggression and better that they shout and swear at their team and the ‘bloody ref’ than take it out on anyone closer to home. And whatever they might say during a game, they don’t mean it. Honestly!

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