Are You Having An OFF SEASON?
This offseason – albeit only a few weeks in – has been the best football time of my life. Why? Not because our Reds made it into the top three. Not because it looks like Virgil might actually be in the lineup (bench) for the first matches of 21/22. And not because it is increasingly obvious that – knock wood – we may be starting to win the COVID battle and fans will be at Anfield and out of their seats screaming all next year.
This has been a great time because of the EURO 2020 theater. This event emerged in front of me – LFC friends talking about them – by happenstance. I had no idea what the European competition was and that I’d get to enjoy watching our team of magicians on different stages.
In fact, as I type this watching ESPNHD, many groups have already completed two matches and the knockout stages are approaching quickly.
Bearing that in mind, and knowing I’d rather not talk about Kane’s 100Million Euro offer from City, I’m going to share some observations from a season completed, a life disrupted, and the beauty of football being reintroduced from the EURO 2020 direction.
Observations on Football – Summer 2021
Watching Gini on the pitch for his country without Virgil beside him was a treat. We get to see his true playmaking and execution, as Winaldum has been wearing the captain’s armband during his country’s matches.
Whether it’s an officiating thing – many familiar ref faces – or a rules thing, I’m just thrilled with the calls. Watching EPL, we all usually cringe whenever we see a ‘divey’ player head toward the box. In the EUROs I don’t think I’ve seen more than one penalty kick, and the players seem to be staying more upright.
If you haven’t seen the half-pitch shot and subsequent goal during the Scotland/ Czech Republic match, Google it. UEFA in its continued support of fan joy has taken the video down because of copyright. In the match, Czech Forward scored the longest goal in EURO history.
More glee is present in getting to see our players on the pitch, even if they aren’t with all their Reds mates.
There’s concern and cautious relief…
Christian Eriksen. ‘Nuf said.
There are questions…
Why does ESPN Tim Howard sound like the smoothest and fastest speaking carnival barker, when EPL Tim Howard squeezes out words as if he’s getting an electric shock if he finishes a sentence on air?
Now that we’re truly into summer, when will the rules changes to handball start being discussed? Related – Do we as fans every get to see ratings on the referees?
Will referees take note of the EURO behavior regarding VAR and finally leverage the technology pitch side?
As LFC supporters, what are the cheering rules re: EURO teams? Are we required to root for English and other non-continent sides exclusively?
Corollary question – When Scotland play practically anyone, do we cheer for the side with more LFC players or the side with better LFC players?
Second corollary question – Who are the players we need to keep, and what players have served their purpose?
Why the heck does every player who just sprinted 60 yards at full speed to the goal line and was HORRIBLY missed by a crooked pass, happily turn around after crashing into the barriers to give everyone a ‘thumbs-up’? I’m serious, is this a sarcastic response or are footballers raised in Canadian boarding schools? I mean, that’s exceedingly nice. Why aren’t they popping back up and giving the passer a different finger?
Is there a secret signal from the players to the sideline when it’s a performance injury versus a ‘cart-them-off’ injury? To my eye, you can tell by the pace of the medics if it’s a ‘Grealish’ or something like Virgil or Eriksen?
There are answers… (not verified and not to any of the questions above)
Speaking of Jack Grealish. He was born standing up. That’s why he so often is found horizontal on the pitch. He’s very tired.
VAR is a psychological test dreamed up by the clinicians at Broadmoor Hospital.
The red Carlsberg cans for our EPL title were kinda great with all the signatures on them. But at the end of the day, I still have three four-packs in the pantry. It is Carlsberg after all.
Corner taken quickly. I use this phrase all the time. I find it’s great if you mumble it and wave to a boring group of people you want to walk away from.
And there are tears…
For people we’ve lost in the ‘real’ world. For results that weren’t as we hoped. For institutions that have gone away, to never return. And serious, unabated, wet, sticky tears of joy that a saying perpetually ascribed to the sport of baseball, rings true and loudly right here. “There is always next year.”
One more not-so random answer…. On Saturday, August 21, 2021, I will be wearing a scarf at 7:30AM ET, and so will you. #YNWA