You should keep in touch with the weather lad

21 02 2014

Wherever you find football fans you’ll find weather therefore a football fan simply has to keep in touch with the weather.

The weather and football, football and the weather, these two things go together like fish and chips, Mills and Boon, Exchange and Mart or the banter and dickheads.

It’s safe to assume that most football fans prefer a balmy Saturday over a wet Tuesday, or even a balmy Tuesday over a wet Saturday. In this sense most football fans are like any other normal person; they don’t like to be wet. This isn’t much of intellectual breakthrough as football fans aren’t “like” normal people, they are normal people.

Some fans might wear “Oh look I’m ostentatiously watching football whilst I’m wet” as a badge of honour, other fans might see sopping wet jeans as a mark of authenticity but neither of these groups will have enjoyed the experience of getting wet.

Then again, there is something noble, if futile, about a few diehards refusing to give in to the heavy rain. Who said improving your soul was a comfortable experience anyway?

In case you’re wondering we’re not dealing with the luxury end of football here.

There are a couple of practical reasons why the switched on fan should keep abreast of the weather situation. Firstly you need to be sure about the kind of coat you’ll need, secondly you’ll need suitable footwear.

Picture this horrible scenario. It’s raining but you’ve turned up in his brand new suede Trimm Stars instead of your more rain resistant leather effect Trimm Trabbs or Italian hiking boots. Picture the brand-new trainers ruined by a colour bleed. He won’t need to see the dye streakiness, or hear everyone telling him that he should have worn a sturdier pair of shoes, to know he’s ruined a brand new pair of trainers. He’ll know, he’ll be able to feel it in his soul. This fan will have ruined brand new trainers because he forgot to check the weather forecast.

Every time it rains some fans will turn up in the wrong attire.  We’ve all seen these unfortunate creatures standing at the side of the road hoping that Quasimodo’s posture will prevent more rain going down the necks of their saturated jumpers. These fans look dishevelled because they didn’t bring jackets, and they didn’t bring jackets because they forgot to check the weather forecast.

The solution for football fans is simple; keep abreast of the weather forecasts.

There’s no finer, or more accurate, way to keep abreast of the weather forecasts than the Met Office website. Simply visit the website and you too will be prepared for up to five days in advance! Visit this website and protect the integrity of your footwear!

Knowledge of the weather is invaluable under normal circumstances but during the last few weeks it has been essential. In the last few weeks I’ve wanted to watch football matches but the rain, rain, rain kept falling.

The juxtaposition of rain and desire to watch football meant developing three layers of plans; a plan for Bangor games; a back-up plans if our game was called off and alternative back-up plans if the back-up plan fails, or, 1. Bangor City > 2. FC United  > 3. Anything else.

I need plans because I haven’t got the impromptu planning apparatus; I seem to be the only Joe Schmo without a smartphone in this smart phone obsessed world. Consequently I need to know what I’m doing before I leave my house. I need to know which games are off and which are on as soon as possible. As you can imagine things can get a little fraught when you’re waiting on information.

Things also become fraught because there’s so much detail involved in the planning of trips, there are just so many variables; you need to check the Met Office website to check the weather around Bangor City’s and FC United’s prospective matches, you need to check google maps to find the location of a new ground in relation to the station, you need to check Qjump to find the train times and you need to check the home club’s website to check out ticket prices. The Met Office website was often the most valuable as it helped me to prepare for the worst.

The last sentence contains the final reason for checking the weather forecast; it will help you develop spiritually

Let’s start with the idea that when football matches are at risk the internet becomes an irritating friend, but a friend none the less. There are two ways to look at the internet helping you to find out about a postponed football match.

1. Bad – The trouble with the internet is that your hopes are raised and dashed with the uncaring brutality of a stormy sea. For example, what the Met Office renders hopeful the twitter contact renders dispiriting.

2. Good. A twitter contact has saved you the time and energy of travelling to a match that’s been called off.

I go for the good side.

The Met Office website helped me immensely in the last few weeks because I was prepared for the worst but I was still able to be hopeful for better. I’m sure that the last few weeks has enabled me to deal with all sorts of things.

I think I may have found the path to patience and enlightenment, I’m certainly more prepared for the travails of existence. All it took was a few weeks of bad weather and an interest in football and I was on the path to enlightenment. Just do what I did and you too can learn patience.

In the days before the match everything is horribly hopeful, confident tweets tell you that everything is fine and “The game will definitely go ahead”. Then you’ll read less than hopeful tweets that cause you to worry so much you’re prompted to visit the Met Office website. You try to remain hopeful even you know it looks like the heavy rain is forecast. It’s not looking good but you remain hopeful. You check the club’s twitter feed and take the fact they haven’t tweeted for 16 hours as a good sign. You desperately kid yourself that everything still looks good.

Saturday morning is filled by hope as you begin to begin your newly learned ritual, “The 9-11am twitter postponement search”. This is where the patience comes in useful. This is generally what has happened.

Check facebook / twitter / club website / wait for texts for news of Bangor’s match >
Hear/ Read / See something that says the match is in doubt >
Look up where FC United are playing and try to find out whether the  match is at risk, find that it could be >
Check the Met Office Website >
Check Bangor City / FC United sources on twitter >
Hear Bangor match is off >
Check the Met Office Website >
Check who else is playing near FC United >
Find FC United’s match is off on twitter >
Contemplate if it’s worth going towards Manchester >
Look for something more local >
Find out most local matches are off on twitter >
Decide that I can’t be bothered going towards Manchester just to tick a ground off on some stupid list >
Watch TV all afternoon.

In this situation another tale of postponements could bring you down, waiting for tweets could become intolerable. You could start to wonder why things aren’t being updated. You could wonder why club officials are so fucking inconsiderate. You could start to fret about why they don’t seem to be holding a pitch inspection even though you have a train to catch.

I can deal with anything now. After a few weeks practice you’ll also start to stop worrying, you’ll realise that there are other trains, you’ll let nature take it’s course. You’ll know that they were never going to play this match anyway because you’d checked the weather forecast on the Met Office website. You were prepared.

Basically my sense of patience was reinforced because I keep in touch with the weather.




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