Thursday, March 25, 2010

I love watching football down the pub

We don't have Sky and I don't have a season ticket but I do have a Premiership football habit. Since our son is either away at university or too tense on match nights like last night to be in the same room as his hyper-tense father, I've recently taken to watching matches down the pub. I'm lucky that there is a small pub not far from where we live that is patronised largely by middle-aged blokes who also want to watch the match. At first I was a bit nervous going in there alone. Now I've realised I'm not the only one who slips in just after kick-off, has a pint for the first half and a pint for the second and then slips out of the door the minute the final whistle is blown. Obviously you won't know what the result will be but no matter whether it's good or bad you are guaranteed that you get to share the experience, be it joy or pain, with some other people who feel the same way. I wouldn't miss it for the world.


  1. I indulge in a similar experience with rugby. We don't have TV in my house but I do like watching rugby. Here in Utrecht there are two choices - the big Irish pub or the small Irish pub. The big Irish pub is packed and not conducive to the experience that I want. The small Irish pub has an older clientele who are all genuine rugby fans. Only possible downside is that everyone there supports 'anyone but England' and the barman has a shirt for every team playing the English. For me that just adds to the experience.

  2. I like watching football in the pub too. I like the sociability and communal aspect. They also turn the commentary down at half time so you don't get too much waffle. In fact I'm often surprised how different my view of the match is compared to media consensus afterwards. Also in London for international matches you somethines get to talk to foreign fans which adds another level of enjoyment.
    Of course like live matches you do occasionally get the man behind loud mouth but he usual goes home at half time.

  3. But the problem is that there's no crowd segregation. It's okay for England matches, when home support is bound to be dominant, but you never quite know for a Premiership match whether the pub's going to be full of opposition supporters. In which case, I'm afraid, I just quietly skulk away...

  4. Can't quite put my finger on why but there's no phrase/ expression that grates on me more than "down the pub". I think it's the "ironic" use of "fake-prole" vernacular. You go "to" the pub. You watch football "at" the pub. And even if your chosen pub happens to be at the foot of a hill you go down "to" it.
    No offence and sorry to be annoying. It's just a quirky bugbear of mine.
    Can't watch football in pubs anymore, since the smoking ban. I watch it on BBC online text ("page automatically refreshes ever two minutes"). A friend of mine used to follow cricket, ball by ball just about, on Teletext.

  5. Maybe I say down the pub because to get to this particular pub I have to walk some distance down the hill.

  6. If I watch football in pubs it tends to be by accident, really, but it is good fun. I'm only interested in my own team and I attend all of their games in person, home and away, so any pub match tends to involve me observing the fans of one or another team as much as the match.

    I shall frequent my local during the World Cup though. Rather a lot, in fact.

  7. @ richard Lowe:

    *scans whereabouts*

    "Would the idea of accompanying me to the local hostelry be agreeable to you? Please note that we may have to walk down a hill."

  8. The people I have met who don't actively support their clubs but watch football in the pub are complete arseholes in my opinion.
    I am trying to save some cash and don't go to live games at the moment so I go to the pub. If anyone else says 'Don't stand next to me wearing that shit' in reference to my shirt then I'll have them arrested for abusive behaviour.
    Most of them are man u or tottenham.