There’s a pub in West London where I head for the football. It makes its money from the football, not Friday or Saturday nights, but the football. Football night is money night. It gets rammed.
It is also located in a part of town where Greece’s triumph in the European Championships filled the streets with blue and white support typical of the Greeks, so I thought there could be a good atmosphere!
I enter the bar just before 6pm and find that the screens do not have the football showing, but instead the Paris Hilton Does Something Normal But In A Slutty Way show.
I ask the barman if they have the ESPN channel. ‘What game is on?’ That’s Vinny. He catches on quick he does. ‘Everton v Athens’ I say.
I went through a degrading perusal of a red top’s TV guide with him to find the match, only to be told ‘Well I can put that on, but at 7:30pm it will be changed to Man City and Arsenal’. And just to add insult to injury ‘Both screens’.
I resign myself to be the one man of the pub watching the Europa Cup. The London Greeks taking no more interest than the Athenians, don’t show up at all.
I sat down opposite a group on Italians having their dinner. One of the girls looks to the screen as interest in the slutty Yank is halted by the wide empty expanse of beige seating and asks quizzically ‘Is that Lazio?’ A number of seconds later ‘Noooooo, it is Everton’, says a guy who is adept at overcoming the challenge one gets abroad when deciphering the three letters shown in the top left corner of the screen.
I like the way he said Everton. Not ‘Ever-tun’ as we say, but ‘Ever-ToNN’. It gives a verbal clenched fist to the name. Nice. Later on he said to his friend ‘I will have a ‘Kronen-BerGG’’. Great.
I remained in my place 'til half-time, still the one person of the pub watching the football. So much for those who believe ‘playing in Europe will promote Everton as a brand’. I decided to leave as the Arsenal and City support was growing.
There was a news report a few weeks ago commenting on Liverpool potentially crashing out on the Champions League. The running metaphor being that the Champions league was haute cuisine, where as dropping down to the Europa Cup was the ‘footballing equivalent of the transport caff’.
As I pushed away my empty plate of burger and chips, I think he was right.
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1 Posted 03/12/2009 at 09:06:39
Then I went back again for the Bate game — same problem as you Nick — 6pm, locals in the pub for a drink after work, landlord fumbling with the remote trying to find ESPN, then me, Billy no mates, standing on my own watching the game, fielding the question, ’who’s playing then’?
Then same thing again — Benfica, by now the landlord is starting to give me that kind of sheepish smile and towards the end of that night I am starting to receive the condolances of the arriving Fulham fans for their later game against Roma.
And then its back to The Ship again the weekend before last, now full of Man U supporters, the landlord has now got my pint ready and a big grin on his face.
Well last night, I thought I would give ESPN a miss and spend the evening with my wife - we had a nice meal, watched the One Show and shared a beer or two at home. I bet the takings at The Ship were down by a couple of pints last night and there was one less ESPN viewer, but maybe it was meant to be like that!
2 Posted 03/12/2009 at 09:19:37
Before that I’d lost out to the horse racing, tennis and the dog frisbie championships..
Although those dogs are pretty funny.
3 Posted 03/12/2009 at 10:02:02
When Newcastle are at home quite a few of them congregate here for a few pre-match bevvies. One of my best memories was the AJ derby (3-0) when the 12 or so plastic kopites with geordie accents were taking the piss before the game; (I had my colours on) Newcastle had a home match and the Newcastle supporters on the way to the game ’supported’ Everton as I went wild with each goal. Quite a few free bevvies came over that day!.
However, similar to Nick’s account the manager told me he was only putting the game on until the Arsenal match started as there were three Arsenal supporters in and only one Evertonian.
However, when Bily scored last night there was a massive cheer from half a dozen lads at the end of the bar - turned out they were a bunch of shopfitters from Walton up here on a job - (4 Evertonians, one red, one Man U supporter) had a great laugh and... too many pints!
...and we watched the whole game
4 Posted 03/12/2009 at 11:08:41
In all there were about 10 people in the pub - 4 watching the Blues game, 2 watching the Utd game and 4 disinterested punters at the bar. Another local has got rid of Sky altogether. With turnouts like that, it makes me wonder how many pubs will be showing live football in a few years time. Apparently, the pub licences are astronomical.
5 Posted 03/12/2009 at 11:21:53
Would it be illegal for a pub to screen matches from the net onto their big screens? Doubt the brewries would let that happen though...
6 Posted 03/12/2009 at 11:47:49
and pubs will always do it. South Road in Waterloo is the same, they all had the Hull game on too
7 Posted 03/12/2009 at 11:49:57
Asked if they were showing the game, ’what game?’... ...’won’t know until ten minutes beforehand’.
Went somewhere else.
8 Posted 03/12/2009 at 12:59:03
I had the same problem. Went my local boozer (south london) which actually calls its self a sport bar. "you got the match on", won’t know till kickoff.
Anyone know what gear i would need to buy to stick a satalite up in the attic and get the games on foreign tv?
9 Posted 03/12/2009 at 14:07:10
There’s several test cases going through the courts now for the pubs right to show foreign channels on the basis of freedom of services..
I would assume showing an internet feed is an even more grey area...
But then again, why would you put a dodgy internet stream of very poor quality and constant interuptions when you could simply buy a sub for Digitalb, Sky Italia, Nova, Art... or one of the other various packages...
Or, use your wit and simply decrypt them!
10 Posted 03/12/2009 at 15:24:11
11 Posted 03/12/2009 at 20:46:23
You’ve only got to walk around these parts to see how popular Everton are.
Always more than a few Everton shirts around town and everyone in front of the TV was a blue last night - about 10 of us in total.
Puts other alleged big clubs, such as Spurs, Villa, Arsenal and Chelsea to shame. Only the usual glory-hunting Gobshites following United or Liverpool outnumber us. Makes one proud to be an Evertonian.
12 Posted 04/12/2009 at 10:05:20
13 Posted 04/12/2009 at 10:28:51
Nothing on that page will get you Premier League football.
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