Confessions of a Frustrated World Cup Fan

PHILADELPHIA - SEPTEMBER 26:  Sean Sams (C) walks as he provides directions to telemarketers during the last telemarketing shift at Spectrum Marketing Services, Inc. September 26, 2003 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Spectrum Marketing Services, Inc., which had been in business since 1974, and as of January 2003 employed 125 people, was forced to close it's doors due to the Do Not Call Registry.  (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)

Raise your hand if you live in these great United States, you work full time Monday-Friday, or close to it, and you’re a passionate football fan and love the World Cup with every fiber of your being?

If you’re anything like me, your hand is probably (frustratingly) raised high in the air because of your inability to experience the World Cup live in all it’s beauty during your 9-5. When the weekend comes, temporary freedom is restored into your life and your sense of purpose is redeemed. But for 5 straight days, all the numerous ways one can follow the competition, whether it’s mobile, online or the myriad of official iPhone applications, become simply useless and meaningless as your DVR fills it’s belly of footie while the clock tics away at the office.

In the days leading up to BWC (before World Cup), you’d check your iPhone, twitter or your favorite Internet site every 15 minutes in your attempt to keep up with every tidbit of news and analysis concerning your country, chosen country or the World Cup in general.

Now you sit in your dingy cubicle as another day of torture comes your way. In your mind, you try not to visualize Portugal’s opening match or how the Italians will defend their title. You reach for your phone to check twitter just once before work ends knowing the matches await you at the end of your commute. You hesitate as you fully realize that the 15-20 journalists you follow will have ruined the score for you making the matches seemingly irrelevant upon your arrival home thus destroying your evening of HD football on TV.

This feeling of anxiety is only equaled by the excuse you know you’ll have to come up with in order to miss work on Friday when both the United States and England resume group play with everything on the line. There’s no way you’re missing that day of matches. A stomach virus, a fever, a cold? What will your boss most likely accept? Does he or she think you’re flaking out to watch the World Cup? Decisions to make, actions to ponder, priorities to rank,…

Stuck at work during the World Cup, you plan your entire day, hell, your entire week around the three matches on offer each day. “How can I most effectively make this happen and still enjoy the Cup the way it was meant to be enjoyed“, you strategically think to yourself. The answer is simple and to the point. You wait. You patiently wait until the seconds turn to minutes, the minutes into hours and the hours into a full day. You rush home and flip on the 7am match knowing that you’ve made it, you’ve don’t it again, you’ve successfully avoided all scores and everything slowly comes into place.

You know your patience has paid off when the voice of Martin Tyler, Ian Darke or Derek Rae pierce your ears like angels singing your name. The incessant drone of the vuvuzela is now music to your ears because you realize all is right in the world. You likely spend the next 5-6 hours in a state of World Cup drunkenness until your heavy eyes force retirement from couch to bed. When you wake up the next day with formations, tactics and player analysis running, no sprinting through your head, that sinking feeling you get in your stomach only goes to prove you’ve now to do it all over again.

Such is the day to day activities you experience and will continue to experience for the next three+ weeks. Unless you have enough vacation or paid time off available, which most of us don’t, your dull days at the office and on the job will just have to continue as the World Cup matches become your daily holy grail.

20 thoughts on “Confessions of a Frustrated World Cup Fan”

  1. One word:

    combined with my cox internet at home(cox login = espn3 access) I can log in to watch the matches. And with how boring these ones have been – I’m getting plenty of work done with them on…

  2. I’ve been using my DirecTV HD DVR to record the matches and working hard at avoiding news of the results so that I can enjoy them when I get home.

  3. works at my office and it’s helping me learn Spanish! I leave the headphones on and whenever the commentator raises his voice I open the window to see whats going on.

  4. I cannot wait that long. I listen on…a little dodgy at times but better than nothing. Vacation next though and all will be well.

  5. Good feedback from all, but keep in mind that ESPN3, or aren’t always available while at work if you work in a more professional environment.

    If you work in an office where those sites are frowned upon, the occasional sneak isn’t enough for me as opposed to sitting in front of the TV with my attention fully devoted to the game. I’d simply miss way too much of the action, build up play and wouldn’t be able to follow the game tactically the way I wanted to.

    1. Not only that, but many ISPs don’t have access to ESPN3, so you may not be able to view it at your office even if you wanted to. Plus, many businesses block certain websites from being accessed and if they have see heavy bandwidth being used to watch either ESPN3 or Univision, you can rest assured that those sites will be blocked. On top of all of that, most major companies in the States monitor employee’s Internet behavior so it’s only a matter of time before your boss finds out which sites you’re visiting when you should be working.

      The Gaffer

    2. One. Quit any job that doesn’t have a core of football fans. (I’m kidding but you you probably hate it thee anyway) two. it helps to live in an urban area. I work in NYC and knowing that people would take two hour lunches at 230, our 500 seat cafe has been transformed into a sports bar. People bring laptops blackberries and the passion for the game and watch in the office not at a bar. three. You plan vacation days once the schedule is released. Want to see every England game look at the brackets and see takes those days off. four. get an iphone or any other mobile tv device and watch the games …

      I’ve had jobs where the boss micromanages your time, makes your life a hell, makes it 110% all about being productive, and frankly I was never as productive as I am now. With a mobile email device you can work on a beach and get more done then in a crappy cube, depending on your job I guess.

      worse case, get sick . Budweiser flu can keep you out of work for two days I hear

  6. my strategy in one word: “tele-commuting”

    Flex time could be an option for some people,. If not, avoid the internet (you’re at work, you’re not supposed to be checking football scores, twitter or facebook) and watch it on DVR or ESPN3 when you get home

  7. Not sure if this works for you americans, but the CBC sports website in canada broadcasts all the games online for free. Try it and see.

  8. I’m an exterminator so I’m out on the road all day long, the mobiTV app for my iPhone has been a lifesaver, I drive with my headphones on and listen to the broadcast and watch the games at red lights and in my accounts parking lots….needless to say my production numbers have been down this week, I’m not going to get any work done between 9am and 11am on Frisay and next Wednesday for the US games. It is nice to walk into an account and see the games on in their breakrooms, at least I can watch while on the clock.

  9. God bless PST!

    I wake up at 0400, watch the games through to 0900. Then go AWOL for 2 hours during lunch :) Live action, and that’s the only way God intended it to be. Don’t mean to be insensitive to my East coast brethren.

  10. I happen to work in NYC for a German bank which happens to be one of the main sponsors of Die Mannschaft. They have made on of the conference rooms on our executive floors a World Cup Viewing Lounge with refreshments & snacks and, on the trading floor, we’ve got 11 TVs tuned into either ESPN or ABC when the matches are on. Last time around, they even broadcast the matches on our corporate intranet. Makes coming to work a joy (almost)!

  11. I teach elementary school. Last Friday was my last day of work for the summer and all I had to do was packup the classroom. Had Mexico v. S. Africa pumping on my projection screen. I’m off for the entire month now, been rotating between some local bars and watching at home. Living the Dream!

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