Bringing back the sleepover

So, it’s World Cup time.  It’s winter.  I don’t have TV.  Nor do I have a car to use.

This is slightly problematic.

Long ago I realised that I have the potential to be hugely addicted to sport on TV.  I’m not talking about following a favourite team in the English Premiership or the Super 14 Rugby here.  I’m talking about the ability, nay, the compulsion to watch and possibly obsessively follow everything from NBA basketball to every single top-flight league in world football, all major international rugby competitions, international cricket tours, NFL, NHL, professional golf, cycling, dammit I could probably get absorbed by snooker, darts and beach volleyball without too much provocation.  In short, I am a Sky TV sales rep’s wet dream.

Hence I no longer have a TV that can receive or playback anything other than DVDs.

I still manage to follow NZ rugby and my childhood favourite, the F1 Grand Prix using the wonders of the web but it’s just not the same.  Now that most of these things are broadcast in HD the spectacle is even more amazing.  I haven’t got an HD tele at home so we still watch ‘old skool’ DVDs (I mean, that technology is from, like, the 90’s dude).  So whenever I see glimpses of Formula 1 cars in super slow motion bouncing over chicanes at 200mph, the tyres bulging and morphing under the stress all in vivid, glorious HD, it’s enough to make me choke up and water at the eye in a manly kind of way.

I’ve long been an advocate of utilising the local pub to watch the ‘big games’.  Joining in with a community of like-minded, sports-mad fellow fans to whoop, holler and occasionally berate the TV in a sort of tribal ecstasy.  That’s all well and good when the event in question is on at a respectable time i.e. not during work hours or after 10pm or earlier than 8pm on weekends.  Most pubs aren’t open during the week for the late night ‘pajama games’ when you just want to be able to curl up on your own couch, preferably with snacks and devour the game from every possible angle.  So occurs a kind of diaspora of the tribe to various friends’ houses who generously pay their Sky TV subscriptions so the rest of us can watch the game live.

For those ‘jaamie’ games this is still slightly problematic.  And it’s compounded during an event like the football World Cup.  There are games all over the place – it’s being played in South Africa (in case you didn’t already know) and South Africa was designed to have the worst possible time difference from the rest of the world.  Using public transport is a bit difficult at two in the morning as it’s non-existent.  What to do, what to do?

Enter Adam, one of the generous friends mentioned above.  Any of our sensitive, sport & video game-hating friends should stop reading now…

“Hey why don’t you come over to my house, stay the night and watch every minute of rugby and football that’s on in this 12 hour period (a veritable feast – 4 rugby tests and 3 World Cup matches) we’ll eat pizza, drink beer and in between games shoot down and blow up supernatural Nazis like this.”

It was brilliant.  We started off with a very nice gin & tonic before going lowest common denominator the rest of the way.  I slept on the couch resisting the temptation to watch European club handball and international wood chopping all night long.  He even offered to drive me to football the next day.  Even though England drew with the USA.  What a guy.

I say let’s bring back the sleep over, men.  Call it something else if you wish but why not all pay for a Sky subscription communally, set the living room up for sleeping marae-style and gorge ourselves on sport.

And they said that sport and politics don’t mix.  Who’d have thought that Communism would offer up another solution to being car-free?

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