So, my favourite sporting event gets underway in just under two weeks.
I remember running home from school to watch the opening match of the first tournament I can remember. I arrived home part way through the first half. As our television took a long time to warm up in those days (didn’t they all?), my mum turned it on early, so it was ready for me to watch. I may have mentioned to my parents every day for the previous month how much I was looking forward to the tournament! The preview magazine my dad bought me was already falling to bits by the time the first match started.
I’ve greeted each World Cup since with the same childlike enthusiasm. There have been changes; money has become comparatively more important compared to what happens on the pitch; television has made the game global, so there’s no longer a thrill of watching a team of unknown and naive players from an obscure corner of the planet. The plethoa of games on television, and the Premiership’s pull, means anyone can watch the world’s greatest players every week instead of once every four years.
But, as far as I’m concerned, it’s still the World Cup. The greatest event on the planet.
So, what has this got to do with writing?
Well, I’ll be glued to the television for nearly five hours a day, for a month. That’ll have obvious effects on my output.
Secondly, one of the first things I ever wrote out of school was a ‘future history’ for a future tournament. I’ve always had a soft for Peru, and I remember they went on to win! I also had some feel for marketing, and realised England would have to do well if anyone was going to be interested in reading it. So, it was an England v Peru final.
My efforts never made print, of course, and as FIFA own the rights I’d possibly have been sued anyway.
To keep this post focussed on writing, I do have one football-related novel I’ve been working on. I put it down a while ago as I wasn’t convinced by the ending. Other than that I was happy with it, and I keep meaning to revive it. It’s a tongue-in-cheek horror about supernatural goings-on at a football club.