You may have a superb touch, but no footballer can control the weather. Cancelled fixtures are all part of the game in England, but read on here and let Jamie Hamill convince you of a great alternative: The Tour De Fridge!
For all of its wonderful idiosyncrasies, I find my student home Bristol lacks spontaneity in one crucial department: the weather. Nigh on every day I wake to the sound of my housemates sarcastically chanting “rain is it?” around my house. Now for the hardy footballer this isn’t much of a problem; you know the type, the ‘ard centre-half who dreams of mud-bathed glory and running into things – they just crack on. However, in a bureaucratic move that makes Sepp Blatter’s fiddling look a minor travesty, the administration that runs my university league bans all fixtures if there’s too much rain. Drainage difficulties, water-logging, conservation of public land…it’s a recurring tragedy in which the local councils play the tyrant while my mates and I play the fools.
But these particular base footballers have had enough. So I present to you my solution for the alternative matchday, an activity the rain won’t stop: ‘The Tour De Fridge’. A simple sport, began in Australia, I was first made aware of its existence thanks to several videos on Youtube. Each clip showed the same thing, the modest essence of this wonderful game: Boys. Beer. Bikes. It’s very similar to the actual Tour: there’s an element of competition, you need a bike, and drugs remain optional. The only exceptions from the French version are that lycra isn’t compulsory and you’ll get odd looks if you turn up with shaved legs.
The concept is pretty basic: get some wheels, line up a course of houses, pack the fridges, and commence the race. Now, I can hear the protestations already. Chiefly, that this is nothing like football and a rubbish alternative to your missed matchday. Well, allow me to defend my exposition.
Firstly, like a football team, for a Tour to be successful it requires excellent teamwork. The importance of Tim hitting raking passes to Luke is easily comparable to Tim lobbing tinnies to Luke – teamwork, communication, vision; these things are all learnt and practised on Tour.
Secondly, the strenuous effort from cycling house to house is great, but most importantly fun, exercise. I think I can take a risk and assume that most student footballers are not regularly running laps to get fit, because frankly it gets a bit dull. But spending a whole afternoon charging about with your mates on bikes, making gains and fun? Show me a player who wouldn’t enjoy that.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, advancing your mental edge. Playing football is as much about using the mind as the feet, and when you’re at your most knackered, that’s when your game begins to suffer. You have to train to overcome this: you could do circuits and then drills to increase your concentration. Or you could drink ten tinnies and try not to fall off your bike. Now that exercises your mental edge.
In summation, if it rains for the duration of this week (which is entirely feasible) and my next fixture is cancelled, I know where my team is going to be. But seriously Bristol council please let me play football.
Comment below if you can think of any alternatives to cancelled fixtures.Next week, I’ll explain the mysteries of chess-boxing, another match-day cancellation alternative sure to push you to your physical and mental edge!