My summer without Gary

You might recall that earlier this summer, I decided not to follow any football news until the new season. With the Scottish football season underway and the Irish League starting on Saturday, it’s almost time to take my fingers out of my ears and visit the BBC Sport website again, though it will not be the same without Fantasy Football to look forward to (I decided to retire from the game because I lost interest towards the end of the season last year). Quite independently, my friend Luke decided to do the same thing (I expect he will say how he found it at some point!).

First, a confession: I did not entirely avoid it. My original plan was to eschew it entirely between the Championship playoff final in May and the start of the season (I think I had intended the English Premier League season ), but I did watch a few games including World Cup Qualifiers, the Confederations Cup, and Cliftonville v Celtic in the Champions League qualifiers, as well as following the progress of Irish League and Scottish teams in Europe (via Wikipedia, I hasten to add, if that helps…). But that’s pretty much it, barring a few retweets (mostly surrounding Arsenal and a Mr Suarez) from friends.

I didn’t really give a reason for wanting to do this before other than that I was a bit disillusioned with football, but I’ve found every summer the transfer speculation becomes all the more tedious, to the extent that even the journalists themselves got bored of writing about it (though, to be honest if anyone has the power to change the situation, it is them!), with even the Guardian referring to Ronaldo’s move to Real Madrid as “Him” going to “Them”. There really is nothing new under the sun.

The big question is, how have I redeemed this time and effort, if at all?

First, I have actually quite enjoyed this time, and part of me doesn’t really want the season to start. I do like football, but much as I like it, I find I enjoy it less each year. I’ve felt somehow liberated from the whole circus.

I’m not sure how much time I actually saved, and I’d like to say that I spent it all reading the Bible or expanding my mind in some way (though I did read through Job and did some studying in Relativity), but I did not.

However, it’s been great getting into other sports this summer, and actually having a summer to enjoy! I think I appreciate things like this all the more, and I think it’s been worth it.

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