L – Lack of Sleep
Most of us need our eight hours of sleep per night, hey I’ll be honest ideally I’m a fan of nine hours but that’s just me. Over the month of the cup there isn’t many ‘rest days’ and you will need to perform regular tasks such as socialising, work, and checking the FTS website for any new blogs. Make sure you get some regular exercise in, and eat right over the course of the tournament. This will help in some way for the lack of sleep your body will be craving. In fact why not get a head start and go for a run tonight and at least get in some sort of shape before the couch requires a minimum of four hours a day from you.
M – Munchies
Make sure you have some snacks hidden away in the cupboard for those early morning starts. You don’t want to miss any of the action because you have bolted down to the local 7-Eleven. Given the timeframes of the matches, toast and coffee should suffice but it’s a special occasion after all so we will forgive you for sneaking a few Tim-Tams in here and there. It could be an idea to keep a tub of your favourite ice-cream hidden at the back of the freezer so when Australia do finally get eliminated you can find a dark corner and console yourself through the magic of ice-cream.
N – Not Knowing the Score
Avoiding scores these days is almost impossible, especially during a World Cup. Outlets such as Channel Seven and Herald-Sun even cover the football tournament. If you don’t want to know the score because you have taped the game and are watching it after work, make sure you tell everyone in the office your situation. Don’t bite the head off the clueless receptionist who tells you the score five minutes before home time. It’s not her fault she asked “what does a brace means? If you don’t know the score disconnect your phone, internet and cancel any wok lunches, otherwise it won’t end well.
O – OMG did u c that
Grammar police look away now. Why not get involved in the conversation by using twitter during the cup. If you are a lover of the English language in it’s purest form you may want to pass on this opportunity as each ‘tweet’ is restricted to 140 characters. There will be plenty of banter during the games and team news beforehand. Make sure you give @FTSAUS a follow, and if you’re new to Twitter, be warned; it can be addictive.
P – Panini Stickers
Be warned they too are known to be extremely addictive. They may seem a good idea at the time and at $1.20 for a pack of five seem like a bargain but just keep this little fact in mind. THERE ARE 640 IN THE SET. If you start the collection, don’t be surprised if you spend the best part of three days trying to find the sticker of some little known Algerian who didn’t even board the plane to Brazil. Look at the bright side; at least you will know your newsagent on a first name basis again.
Q – Quality time with your significant other.
On the off chance your boyfriend/girlfriend/whatever won’t sit by your side for the duration of the tournament get some quality time in now. Dinner and a movie, time with the in laws and visits to her annoying friend whose husband is a dull as watching Sam Allardyce play total football must be done before the start of the cup. You might be at home for the duration of the tournament but between football, work and sleep, your partner could run a distant fourth.
R – Rewrite History
So your team didn’t progress to the second round, that’s ok why not dust off your gaming console of preference and rewrite history with some FIFA – World Cup Brazil. Take on the world with Cahill, Jedinak and Rogic and see if you can take Australia to their very first world cup.
NOTE: This isn’t a paid endorsement, but if the good people of EA Sports see fit they can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org for due recognition of their wonderful product.
S – SBS
You will only need one channel in your house between June and July. SBS and football go hand in hand, and the world cup is their shining jewel. Sure they cover the Tour de France, and have some great shows on throughout the year but let’s be honest cup time is where it’s at for the lesser known network. Other networks will try and take advantage of the cup and use fill in ‘football experts’ during this time, but rest assured these guys (and girls) are pros and cover football full time, not just every time there is a spike in the ratings.
T – Themes
Get caught up in the spirit and bring the flavours of the cup to your living room. Plan you dinners around the teams that are playing that day, with both food and drink. There is plenty of choices around so make an extra effort. The time difference might be a little hard, but choose your games wisely, Mexico could mean breakfast burritos, followed by a trip to the bottle shop that afternoon for a fine selection of international beers or wines. At the very least make sure you have a Brazilian BBQ at some stage over the month.
U – Underdogs
Apart from Australia (who is the biggest underdog in the tournament) you will find yourself following a few underdogs during the tournament. Sure the other team will play the better football and most likely win but for some reason its human nature to support the team with next to no chance. There will be times when the unfancied opponent reign supreme, that’s the nature of sport but something tells me this cup will be less predictable than others. If you are having a punt on the football make sure you choose wisely both about your selection and how much you wish to wager. It’s pretty easy these days to loose cash from your couch, and I’m not talking about those coins that fall down the back.
V – Vladivostok
If you find yourself yearning for an experience in the flesh next time round this destination could make its way to your bucket list. Russia are due to host the 2018 World Cup, but given the location it will be another one of those very expensive ‘money can’t buy’ experiences. If you are convinced you must be at the next cup you should start saving now, whilst you are still caught up in the moment; why not open a savings account for the trip. At the very worst you could be watching the next world cup on your brand new television if the Russian adventure falls through.
W – Where did it all go wrong?
Some coaches will be asking themselves this sooner rather than later. Four years of planning could be lost within four or five days. The cup is a cut throat environment and teams that don’t belong will be quickly found out. Any player with an injury concern or confidence issue can be identified quicker than normal with the focus of the entire football world in Brazil. Players, coaches and staff must be 100% focuses on the task at hand which should provide some excellent entertainment for us back home, or at least the occasional brain snap or moment of greatness.
X – Xtra Time
Yes, ok I’m cheating a bit, but when does the letter ‘X’ get the recognition is deserves in this format? After the group stage we reach the sudden death stage which can lead to both extra time and heart breaking penalties. Extra time can produce some stunning results, and given the variable weather conditions in Brazil could produce some last man standing affairs; literally. Most football traditionalists prefer the game to be decided in extra time if a winner can’t be found in the first 90 minutes to avoid the coin flip nature of the penalty shootout. Neutrals enjoy the nature of the shootout, but this can also lead to tears for grown men who are passionate about their team.
Y – Yesterdays Heroes
During the coverage you will hear about the greats of the game such as Pele, Maradona and Cruyff. We will also get the chance to hear about the exploits of Roger Milla and his Cameroon team, Carlos Valderama and his wonderful hairdo and the tragic situation that saw Andres Escobar killed. These events are all part of the rich history of the cup, why not take the chance to read up on some greats you may not even have heard of too. It might even win you a pub trivia comp down the track.
Z – Zlatan Ibrahimovic
The self proclaimed greatest player in the world will not be at the cup with Sweden failing to qualify. Sure we would love to see him and his incredible talents, but sometimes the best just simply miss out on the big stage. Other noticeable absentees for Brazil are Kaka, Ronaldinho, Landon Donovan, Ashley Cole, Samir Nasri, Mario Gomez, Gael Clichy, and Javier Pastore.Google+