I am sat in bar on Manchester’s Oxford Road. Behind me is the empty space where BBC Manchester used to stand – all brilliant but ugly.
Earlier a friend, Paul and I had struggled to find a pub LEGALLY showing Manchester United’s lunchtime game. I am not exactly holding my breath for the long term success of BT Sports if pubs aren’t taking it up. After this, now joined by my friend Dave, we were trying to find somewhere ILLEGALLY showing Manchester City’s game – the new third party has a lifelong love of MCFC among his faults.
Even earlier I have gone to work voluntarily for several hours, taking intermittent turns with another friend (not Paul) distracting each other from work despite the fact that we have both relinquished several hours of our own time to catch up on some work.
Back to looking for somewhere for Dave to watch City – this search had also proved fruitless. Only last season you couldn’t move for people showing illegal coverage of United or City. And now look at it. Annoyingly most of the people telling us they didn’t have the option to show City were showing some other illegal game, proving they had the means. Dave was taking this harder than Paul and I.
Sensibly I raised that I had my work laptop in my bag. There were bars nearby with wifi. I knew Dave knew there would definitely be a way of streaming the game. Issues about security, cost/risk and legitimacy certainly did cross my mind when sitting my laptop on the table of a pub. But Dave really cares about watching City.
That’s why I am sat in a bar with two other adult men watching a football game on a small laptop screen – while listening to them debate/argue about how cocky Joe Hart is.
Sometimes I am amazed that my life isn’t the focus of a reality TV show.