It is hard to believe we have endured only three weeks without Fantasy Premier League in our lives.
Leicester’s 4-0 win over Aston Villa on Monday, March 9 feels like forever ago, the last remnants of a forgotten world we once knew.
Since then, football across the continent has come to a standstill and our favourite past-time has been put on hold.
Amid concerns over the spread of coronavirus, most of us have been confined to our homes, and without FPL, there is not too much to fill our spare time with.
The last few weekends have been surreal, to say the least. Days which should have been adrenaline-filled football marathons were flat and uneventful.
I’d give anything for a 0-0 between Newcastle and Burnley on a Saturday afternoon right now. It goes without saying that I’d take six-goal thriller with huge hauls for my players but I’d even take a bad FPL Gameweek if you offered it to me right now.
Even though the 3pm matches have not been kind to me this season, I still miss that bitter feeling of disappointment and injustice when all my clean sheets are wiped out and everybody else blanks. I miss feeling like the world owes me something because of my poor FPL decisions. Anything would be better than feeling nothing on a Saturday afternoon.
Honestly, I still cannot work out what people who don’t like sports do with their Saturdays. What is that day for, if not for Callum Wilson inexplicably wiping out your clean sheet at 4:45 pm?
It’s actually got to the point when I don’t even know when Saturdays are anymore. Just like the Christmas holidays, the days have blended into one continuous stream of consciousness, minus the endless supply of food, booze and football. It’s Christmas without all the good bits, basically.
I’ve tried my best to fill the void with Football Manager, FIFA, rewatching my DVD of Germany 1-5 England again and again, but it’s not quite the same. They’ll do for now, though.
I must say that I have been using this opportunity to give myself a little breather from the football where possible though.
I appreciate the dynamic is slightly different for those of us at FFS. FPL is still out favourite hobby but a bit of time off work is always welcome in moderation. So, if I do get a chance to switch off from the football, perhaps in an international break, I usually take it – if nothing else to preserve my love of football. Distance makes the heart grow stronger, after all.
My children have been doing a good job of making sure I get that breather from football, although they don’t realise they’re doing it!
Now that the country’s schools and pre-schools are closed, my wife and I are having to balance two very high-maintenance girls, aged three and two, with our lives in self-isolation. If you remember the way Patrick Vieira and Roy Keane used to interact on the football pitch, and the mass brawls they sparked, my children are like that but with more projectile pizza.
Unfortunately, I and the rest of the FFS team do not count as key workers so we’re stuck with the kids for the duration. Maybe if Boris Johnson were to get into FPL that might change. We’ll have to see.
It does mean I’m probably slightly less bored than I would have been if I didn’t have children, and I’m sure there are plenty of readers out there who feel the same right now!
Either way, I’ve still had to kill some time in the evenings.
I recently discovered that my wife had never seen Ocean’s Eleven so, once I’d overcome my shock, I sat her down in front of the whole trilogy. Nothing comes for free, of course, so I was subjected to the Pitch Perfect films as recompense. The first one is entertaining enough, but the second and third are nothing short of absolute trash. Bring back Adam DeVine!
Outside of this tactical game of Netflix tennis with the Mrs, I’ve been catching up on my reading and a spot of fiction writing. I had actually made a New Year’s resolution to get through the backlog of books I’d purchased/borrowed/picked up in the stalls at National Trust properties so I’ve got plenty of stock in-house.
If there’s anyone out there stuck for a book to read right now, I’ve included the ones I’ve finished so far in 2020 below. As some of you may know, I’m a bit of a science fiction enthusiast, so apologies if nothing from my recommendations sounds interesting enough!
- ‘Carrie’ by Stephen King
- ‘1984’ by George Orwell (re-read)
- ‘Flashforward’ by Robert J. Sawyer
- ‘Children of Time’ by Adrian Tchaikovsky
- ‘Space: 1999 – The Final Revolution’ by William Latham
- ‘Military Intelligence Blunders’ by Colonel John Hughes-Wilson
- ‘The Martian’ by Andy Weir
- ‘The Neutronium Alchemist’ by Peter F. Hamilton (currently re-reading)
If you have any book recommendations you think we would like, let the us and the community know in the comments section. Alternatively, if you’ve ever enjoyed any of the books mentioned above, get in touch too.
I’m also interested to hear what you are all doing generally, especially as you adapt to life in the world of social distancing. How are you filling the football void and have you taken up any new hobbies?
I’d like to finish by thanking those of you who have stuck with us despite the complete lack of real football going on at the moment – we appreciate your support!
It has been a strange time for FFS recently but having our core readers stick with us is great to see.
We’re currently running a World Cup of FPL so make sure you’re casting your votes and having your say in the comments section, and there’s plenty of YouTube content both already on our channel and in the production pipeline.