AS (both) regular readers of this column will know, I’m quite a fan of The Beautiful Game.
I’ve travelled around Europe watching Newcastle, I’ll lend my support down at The Vic whenever I can and if there’s a game on the telly, it’s safe to assume that I‘ll be watching it somewhere.
So as you can imagine, when the football season finishes in May and all of our overpaid primadonnas jet off to Las Vegas to blow their fortunes on the spin of a roulette wheel, I’m at a bit of a loose end when it comes to finding something to watch on the box.
But over the last few weeks, I’ve become hooked on the basketball which is beamed live from America so I’ve had a few late nights to try and catch the action.
For anyone who hasn’t watched it before, it’s typical American glitz and glamour, it’s fast-moving, end to end and there’s none of the rolling about on the floor like there is in football every time there’s the slightest touch from an opposition player.
The other thing I’ve noticed about it is how much of a part the crowd play.
Every game seems to be packed out, the crowds are cheering their teams on and people are generally enjoying themselves.
Waitresses weave their way around the crowds selling refreshments, and from where I’m sitting it looks like the fans really let their hair down and enjoy the entertainment on offer.
Imagine if the football over here was like that?
From my experiences, we shell out top dollar for tickets then spend ages queuing for a cold pie or polystyrene cup full of lukewarm tea/coffee/hot chocolate/dishwater.
You might treat yourself to an overpriced beer which you have to chuck down your neck during the half time break as you face being shot out of the ground and slapped with a banning order should you dare to drink it in view of the pitch.
If you’ve got a child with you, they cannot take their bottle of pop to their seat unless they have taken the top off because as we know, bottle tops are deadly.
As you make your way out of the stadium, dodging piles of police horse muck and feeling about sixty quid lighter in the wallet, the tannoy will remind you that the team are are at home again on Tuesday so you can do it all again.
I bet those basketballing Yanks don’t have a matchday experience like we do.
But, hey, the footy fixtures are out soon and I can’t wait for August.