The Premier League season has ended, FA Cup Final is over, Europa League has a champion, the other big leagues of Europe have also finished. With just the Champions League final left, there is an unpleasant empty feeling that comes from a weekend without Premier League games that I haven’t felt for 9 months (minus international breaks).
Luckily, it is a World Cup year and we have something to look forward to starting up in just a few weeks now. This might make it easier for some of us to cope with the off-season, but for me the excitement of the World Cup is making me much more anxious than if it was a non-World Cup year. With so much more to speculate about than just transfers, I can’t get the game out of my head. So here’s some things I’ve been doing to get me through to the World Cup, and hopefully it will help you all as well.
1. Read soccer books. I just finished Soccernomics by Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski. I thought it was great to read just before the World Cup, it gives a great perspective to many aspects of the game. Also, check out The Gaffer’s Ultimate Guide to the Best Soccer Books for more.
2. Play soccer video games. A great way to spend some time normally used to watching games, also perfect for playing with friends or family. FIFA 10 and PES10 are the two current games to be released for multiple systems that have many of the leagues around the world, but last month EA released its Official 2010 World Cup South Africa game which is specifically for this summer’s tournament. Featuring a complete simulation of the World Cup, but also 199 national teams which you can take through qualifying and to the World Cup Finals.
3. Watch matches on your DVR/Tivo or old season review DVDs. If you’re like me, you have probably saved the best matches of the season on your DVR/Tivo, or maybe even all of your favorite team’s games. Watch them again, watch season reviews of the last 3-4 years. Watch with a different eye than you would have before. Now that you know who has qualified, which groups they’re in, and for the most part which players will make their squad, watch with an eye of how this person will impact their team in the World Cup.
4. Get out and play soccer. My favorite on the list. Get out and play with your friends. Have some fun, wear your kit, have a cookout afterwards, and get some of that great fresh air and exercise!
5. Get your home theater set up for the World Cup. You now have less than 25 days to get your viewing place for a month to your liking. Get the new HD-TV you’ve been saving up for ready, and make sure you have it set up correctly. You don’t want to wait for June 10 and be waiting for the cable or satellite guy to show up!
6. Listen to podcasts, read articles, and stay up to date with World Cup news. EPL Talk and World Cup Buzz have big plans for the summer, stay up to date with all of the news and analysis heading into and through the World Cup. Daily podcasts and articles will provide you with interviews and analysis of the tournament. Also, follow EPL Talk and World Cup Buzz on Twitter and Facebook to keep up to date with all the news, as well as the sister sites for that leagues respective national team coverage. Which other podcasts and blogs from around the Internet do you like?
7. Give your family and friends some time. Use this time to do something that you’ve wanted to do, but didn’t want to leave for a weekend because you didn’t want to miss a game. As reader John Griffin posted to our facebook page, he said he was going to take a beach trip. Perfect opportunity to take a break and return to the World Cup with a fresh mind. However, not to stray too far, John also mentioned watching some other forms of the game such as the “Football League playoffs, Magners League playoffs, Guinness Premiership playoffs, Super 14 playoffs” and of course the Champions League final. Thanks, John. Also, thanks to reader and commenter, Jason has mentioned paying more attention to the MLS. With the other leagues throughout the world coming to a close, the MLS runs through the summer, and has a chance to come center stage for the soccer viewing community until the big tournament starts.
With less than 25 days remaining til Mexico and South Africa kick-off World Cup 2010, we can get through this just as we do every year, we just need to stick together. What will you all be doing to get your soccer fix until June 11?