Sports

Soccer on TV this weekend non-stop? How do you and your family cope?

With the European Championships now under way, alongside the Copa America, 15 hours of live action awaits this weekend. Is it possible to watch it all and still have peace at home?
11 Jun 2016 – 8:00 PM EDT

Outside the Box with Simon Evans @sgevans

So what are you doing this weekend?

If you like soccer then your Saturday and Sunday probably look a like this:

Saturday, 9am: Albania v Switzerland. Time for a quick coffee break before Wales v Slovakia at 12pm. Break for lunch and at 3pm it’s England v Russia, followed by USA v Paraguay at 7pm and Colombia v Costa Rica at 9pm.

Sunday, 9am: Turkey v Croatia. Another quick coffee before Poland v Northern Ireland at 12pm, followed by Germany v Ukraine at 3pm, Ecuador v Haiti at 6.30pm and Brazil v Peru at 8.30pm.

Not bad eh? 15 hours of live international football, morning, noon and night – and it goes on like this until the end of the Copa America on June 26. I may need a new sofa by the end of the next two weeks. Actually, my wife is suggesting I may need to buy a second television right now.

Coping with this level of soccer requires strategy. Of course it helps if your partner/spouse also happens to be a football fan. Otherwise that trip to Best Buy might be a good idea. Either that or you have to build up an incredible amount of credit in brownie points for domestic duties.


But if you don’t want a new flatscreen and if your partner isn’t a football fan, perhaps can you use a bit of patriotism to pull them into the tournaments? Give yourself some leeway and bring a few generations of the family into play. I’m English but I’ve got to watch Wales and the Republic of Ireland for the sake of great-grandparents. How could I turn my back on my family heritage. My wife is a Hungarian but her family hail from Romania and she is a naturalized Italian citizen. That’s Group A, Group E and Group F taken care of.

The family heritage should work for a while but perhaps after a day or two the new-found nationalism will wear off; what then?

You could try inviting some friends around, but not any old friends. Use your imagination. Our best friends include a couple from Colombia and Chile. Ideal. Fire up the grill, open up a bottle of Chilean red and “Oh Juan, do you want to watch the game?” Our neighbors are Polish which should cover some Group C games and the couple opposite us are Argentinian – a good option when it gets to the semi-finals and finals of the Copa.

You might though at some stage, need to leave the house now and then, though but careful planning should see you through. How about we get away from the sofa and go out for dinner? There’s that new Brazilian place we haven’t tried. It is so long since I’ve had a really good French meal. You love Peruvian don’t you? Take care with these choices – Indian, Chinese and Japanese are going to be off the menu for a few weeks.

If the worst comes to the worst, there is always the last resort of the DVR. Catching up with games when your other half is working/asleep/out with friends isn’t ideal though and it means to truly enjoy the game you need to be oblivious of the result before sitting down. That means staying off social media and the internet until you get time to catch-up – some of you may find that easier than others.

It all sounds like a lot of work and strategy for the sake of watching football. But what’s the alternative? You could decide you are going to ignore the Euros and just focus on the Copa before switching attention after June 26’s Copa final. That might be sensible.

But let’s be honest, it’s not going to happen is it!

(Tweet me @sgevans with your best ideas for how to balance the weekend soccer watching with your family and friends using the #nonstopsoccer. I'll pick the best ones to discuss next week.)


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