The Premier League is a long, arduous marathon of a season, spanning nine months out of the year. The seemingly endless stream of matches is only interrupted by the agonizingly painful international breaks and the brief summer sojourn, which is often filled by international tournaments, preseason friendlies and plenty of transfer news. It is a 24/7 league, 365 days a year. Never does a day go by where there is no Premier League news to tell. It is a lovely beast.
So, here we are, at the sunset of another season. A beautiful one that has been filled with so many unpredictable stories, both on and off the pitch. All we have left to savor is 90 minutes of agony and ecstasy as we indulge ourselves in ten live matches played before our eyes, all at once. Strangely, Premier League season finales leave me saddened because they’re over too quickly. While a typical Premier League weekend spans from a near dawn kickoff on a Saturday morning, where my body clock automatically wakes me up for my weekly trip to Starbucks for a cup of tea, with enough time to rush back for the ESPN2 broadcast. That takes me all the way through to Sunday, and sometimes even a Monday. But for this Premier League Survival Sunday, or whatever you want to call it, it ends too quickly. And with so many matches all at once, and so many highs and lows, the time goes by even more quickly. I love it, but then it’s over. Just like that.
This one will be quite a ride. It’ll be the first time when all ten final matches will be shown live. If memory serves me correctly, we’ve been able to watch most of the matches on the final day for the past two years, but there were often a few of them that weren’t shown live. And only on replay afterwards. But what’s the point in watching them then?
To me, there’s nothing else like the final day of a Premier League season. It’s one of those bizarre days where everyone — from the players, managers and supporters in the grounds — have their minds in two or more places. All of them are watching or playing the game in front of them, but they’re also paying attention to what’s happening in the other games. Hearing wild cheers from the crowd as news comes in via mobile phones and portable radios that a goal has been scored in a different part of the country is a bizarre phenomenon. I can only imagine how difficult it must be for footballers to concentrate on the game at hand.
And then there’s the mad English football fans like us who are watching the games on television and the Internet, trying to act like mission control where our eyes are darting back and forth across the screens, as we watch all of the permutations that happen before our eyes. Or some of us may choose to watch one match with in-game highlights featured in it. Or some of us may try different strategies altogether.
Personally, I haven’t figured out what my strategy is going to be quite yet. I definitely want to see the Swansea against Liverpool match, for personal reasons, but for one of the first times this season, I may have to skip giving it my full attention to pay attention to the several matches that are of higher importance on Sunday.
For some of us, our Sunday may be free to plan as we see fit. But I know for many of us, there are “minefields” in the way such as Mother’s Day obligations (no wonder the Brits have their Mother’s Day in March, not May), as well as Sunday morning church services, etcetera. Luckily, Mrs Gaffer realizes the importance of the day, so I have the morning to immerse myself in Premier League football before I rush off to meet her for a Mother’s Day lunch afterwards.
What about you? What are your plans for the final day of the Premier League season? Will you be watching it at home, at the pub or on the road? Share your stories in the comments section below.