Helping you to plan for the World Cup

Is there anything on earth as inane as a draw for a football tournament? From Graham Kelly’s scarcely-believable falsetto at numerous FA Cup draws in the 1990's, to Charlize Theron’s entirely unbelievable banter at last week’s World Cup 2010 event, they’re like awards ceremonies except far worse.

Everyone there is as awkward as teenagers and there’s a strange sense of anticlimax to the whole thing: the point of it is that it finishes so that everyone can try to get excited by looking to an unknowable future in light of an irrelevant past (England v USA in 1950, anyone?). Maybe I should have just slept through it as Wayne Rooney did.

All that said, it does help me work out my plans for next summer, which basically involve getting married and watching as much football as possible. What could be better? Of course life isn’t quite that simple so I’ve been busy working out what I can and can’t watch. Assuming (with cute English misplaced arrogance) that making it to the final is a given, here’s how things look:

  • Group game 1: USA, Saturday 12 June, 7.30pm. Nothing planned so far for this date, surely no-one will do anything on it now? Please?!
  • Group game 2: Algeria, Friday 18th June, 7.30pm. Can’t see anything getting in the way of this one.
  • Group game 3: Slovenia, Wednesday 23rd June, 3pm. This clashes with a course I was considering applying for, giving me a bit of a dilemma that is likely to be resolved by firm voices elsewhere.
  • Round of 16: Saturday 26 June, 7.30pm, if we win our group; Sunday 27 June, 3pm, if we come second. Now things get complicated: a wedding on the Saturday. But the next round bites me if we finish second…
  • Quarter final: Friday 2 July, 7.30pm, if we win our group; Saturday 3 July, 3pm, if we come second. And yes, another Saturday = another wedding!
  • Semi final: Tuesday 6 July or Wednesday 7 July, neither of which are any good if I’m at the Newfrontiers Leadership conference but I’ll probably watch the game anyway.
  • Final: Sunday 11 July. Nothing planned.

In conclusion, I think I'd prefer England to win their group. As sad as it may be, you always want to see your team’s last game otherwise you feel a bit disconnected, and the odds are that this will be the quarter final at the earliest so I'd rather miss the round of 16 game. And if you're wondering how I can actually have any friends who might invite me to their weddings if I'm capable of thinking like this, well it's beyond me too!