I don’t watch football with myself, which is probably a good thing. I can imagine it is a deeply annoying experience, and I understand why Mrs Marco dreads Saturday afternoons. It pans out a little something like this.
11.00am: I have a few small bets on the afternoon’s games, thus developing temporary affinities to four or five more teams than usual.
12.00pm: Realise who Huddersfield are playing, and that I probably could have gone to the game.
1.30pm: Start tirade about the early kickoff and the teams not being attacking enough.
2.00pm: Start to repeatedly refresh live scores for the Serie B games.
2.20pm: Cheer as Sassuolo score to go 1-0 up.
2.35pm: Call Livorno all sorts of names for leading at Virtus Lanciano.
2.38pm: Comment to nobody in particular how surprised I am that Padova are beating Reggina.
2.50pm: Make cup of tea – never drink tea any other time.
3.00pm: The English games kickoff. Peterborough concede early. I punch the air behind my back.
3.05pm: There have been no goals at Cheltenham. I call them bastards under my breath.
3.07pm: Wycombe go one nil up. I start to cheer, but stop after I realise they no longer have Stuart Beavon.
3.08pm: A Sodje is sent off. “Standard Sodje”, I say, nodding.
3.12pm: Sky Sports go to Huddersfield. It is 0-0. Nothing has happened. I swear.
3.14pm: Nathan Clarke scores. I mention his Huddersfield provenance.
3.16pm: Leeds score. I swear.
3.17pm: Leeds concede. I swear, realising I had money on them.
3.19pm: The Connah’s Quay HT goes through. They’re 3-0 down at Airbus UK. I swear.
3.22pm: Lukas Akins scores for Stevenage. When did Lukas Akins go to Stevenage?
3.24pm: Four players called Chris score in a row, I photograph the screen.
3.25pm: The fifth goal is a David. I swear at him. Then realise it was for Cheltenham and apologise to the TV.
3.27pm: Flick to Sgorio on S4C. Note that TNS are drawing and try to get a bet on them.
3.29pm: Shout ‘Who the hell are Caer Whatever?’ and when did they score against Watford?
3.30pm: Flick back to Sky Sports News and see Bianca Westwood tell us about Leicester’s opener at Watford.
3.32pm: Note that only Everton have scored in the Premier League.
3.34pm: Swear at Arsenal for scoring before I could finish my tweet saying about Everton.
3.36pm: Note that all the games in Scottish Division 2 are 0-1. Tweet the fact.
3.37pm: Kris Commons scores. I call him a knob.
3.38pm: Joe Skarz scores. I mention his Huddersfield provenance.
3.40pm: Start checking on the teams in my bet. How are Wrexham 0-3 down against Nuneaton?
3.42pm: Grumble as Wrexham pull a goal back against Nuneaton.
3.43pm: Mis-hear Chesterfield for Huddersfield, and start panicking.
3.44pm: Disappointment as Chesterfield convert their penalty that should have been Huddersfield’s.
3.45pm: “Oh, York are winning. I didn’t notice that”
3.47pm: Put money on Spurs, who are 0-0 with QPR and MUST win the second half.
3.48pm: Swear as Plymouth concede in the 23rd minute.
3.49pm: Oh. It was a correction. That was 25 minutes ago.
3.50pm: “Sod off, Queen’s Park”
3.52pm: Feel silly for not listening to the Championship halftimes because my ears are attuned to ‘League One’
3.53pm: Think that Tranmere play Oldham every week. Check the fact. Realise they haven’t since April. Lukas Akins scored that day.
3.56pm: Realise that, in League Two, Barnet, Aldershot, Northampton, Torquay and Southend are in a row away from home. Refrain from Tweeting the word ‘Bants’.
3.58pm: See what Spanish game is on at 9.00 tonight. Consider watching the second half.
3.59pm: Realise Sassuolo won, and Virtus Lanciano scored to get a point at Livorno. Apologise to them.
4.00pm: Watch a compilation of Igor Protti on YouTube.
4.06pm: Six minutes into the second half? Spurs still not ahead? How did Gillingham score twice already?
4.07pm: Adopt a grim facial expression as Wolves concede at Portman Road.
4.09pm: Chris Kamara’s update tells us Spurs have hit the woodwork four times, and if anyone is going to score, it will be them.
4.11pm: QPR take the lead at Spurs.
4.12pm: Lukas Jutkiewicz scores. Ex-Huddersfield loanee Lukas Jutkiewicz, as I remark.
4.14pm: Flick over to Sgorio, just in time to see TNS score their 4th goal.
4.16pm: Now begins the anxious ‘something flipped over’ on Soccer Saturday period.
4.17pm: Shit, Birmingham.
4.18pm: Leeds are winning, Cheltenham’s game has more than 2 goals, and I just need an Oxford goal for a fiver.
4.21pm: Huddersfield score! Oh. It was Macclesfield. Crap.
4.23pm: Arsenal score a 6th. I seethe.
4.24pm: Matt Murray comes on, covering a 0-0. I hang on his every word.
4.25pm: Huddersfield score! Hurrah! I sigh, awaiting an inevitable equaliser.
4.27pm: Peterborough’s game now has six goals. They have scored two of them. I laugh to myself.
4.30pm: Elgin equalise at Queen’s Park. I punch the air then grumble about Rangers.
4.32pm: I think about Ian Woan, but am frustrated to not find him on YouTube.
4.35pm: Have settled for Rick Holden instead.
4.37pm: Receive a text telling me Armand Oné has scored.
4.38pm: Christ! Huddersfield scored again, and I missed it!
4.39pm: Oxford scored, too. Start to work out how much I stand to win. During this, Oxford concede a goal and my bet is lost.
4.41pm: Tell Mrs Marco that Crewe are winning.
4.42pm: Finally snap at Paul Merson’s inability to speak English. Tweet a verbatim quote from him.
4.45pm: Realise 14 second half goals have been scored in the Premier League, and I failed to notice 10 of them.
4.46pm: Cheer Wrexham’s late winner.
4.47pm: Start working out how the Championship table will look.
4.48pm: Realise I had forgotten Bolton.
4.49pm: Watch the full times come through. React to 40-50% of them. Screw you, Partick.
4.51pm: Look for acrostic words in the league tables.
4.53pm: Huddersfield are still safe. Fail to notice any of the teams around them.
4.56pm: While impatiently waiting for my bet to be paid out, realise Oxford must have conceded late and lost me £6.14.
5.00pm: Turn over, still annoyed.
So next time Saturday ticks round, think of Mrs Marco, sitting with me doing that, and sympathise.