Lost Weekend: Lamenting Monday Night Football

Red All Over The Land's John Pearman talks about a footballing weekend lost and wishing it away as we wait until Monday night to see The Reds in action again
Red All Over The Land  |  2nd February 2019

There was time when I rued to loss of a Saturday game when Sky switched our match to Sunday. 

I thought I’d never get used to it, but I suppose I have done.

It meant just twenty-four hours before I could get to the game but now we have Monday night football and as Bob Geldof once sang, “I Don’t Like Mondays”.  MNF as the Sky marketing team like to brand it; while the slightly less favourable refer to it as, ‘The Carra & Gary’ show.

Sadly, despite my loyalty to Carra,‘The Saint & Greavsie’ they are not.

MNF means a lost weekend, what was once the habit of a lifetime is no more, taken away from me and thousands of others by television.  Saturday [and then Sunday] saw us going through a ritual performed all over the land.

Get up, get in the car, on the bus or train, meet the crew and it was off to the game we’d go.  Our entire weekend was built around it – it seemed sacrosanct.  

So here we go again, another weekend without football.  What can we do to replace it?  Going shopping with the wife can lose you street cred.  It’s happened to me you know.

“Never thought I’d see you shopping on a Saturday, have you packed up going” said some eagle eyed former associate.  You can’t be arsed to explain to them the games been moved to the graveyard slot of Monday Night for the benefit of TV.

Then comes Saturday afternoon and no disrespect to Jeff Stelling and his ‘Goon Showesque’ pundit panel, they’ll never replace the real thing.  I want to spend my Saturday watching somebody scoring for Liverpool and not be told about somebody scoring for Stenhousemuir in the Scottish lower divisions. I’m sure Stenhousemuir fans, if there are any watching, would be pleased but when you’re chasing a league title in the English Premier League, sorry it’s hard to get too enthusiastic.

If one of our rivals are in action – or even Everton – finding out every five minutes or so how they’re progressing doesn’t help, that’s the job George Sephton should be doing or the PA shouter at wherever we’re playing.

 

And no matter how they try, a Sky or BT presenter reading out the results at 5pm will never replace the lilting lyrical tones of dear old James Alexander Gordon.  He could make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up when he read them out.  Sky & BT just adopt a matter of fact tone and long before they’ve reached the results from the Welsh League your interest has waned, well mine has.

 

It’s just about the time of day when you start to envy those followers of Accrington Stanley or Grimsby Town who have at least have had a game to watch. 

No point in looking to see who’s on Sky’s game of the day or the even now somewhat pointless MOTD because one thing for sure, Liverpool won’t feature.

We’re not even playing Sunday so trying to fill the vacant space on Sunday becomes even harder than on a Saturday.  Okay, maybe I will keep an ear out for news on Manchester City but how can I bring myself to watch them and then have the Sky crew telling me how many points they are behind us….I bloody know and yes I do know how many points we’ll be in front if we win, lose or draw at West Ham, I have a calculator on my phone should my brain start to fail me.

 

So Monday arrives, you’ve read the Sunday papers but they didn’t mean anything; you’ve scanned the morning papers and they mean even less.  I’ll go to my usual port of call and my Blackpool supporting mate will be able to tell me all about how his team performed but when he says, “Oh your lot are playing tonight aren’t they” it feels like a boot in the proverbials.

A weekend without Liverpool playing is like a ‘Lost Weekend’.  Saturday and Sunday were rendered by the TV moguls as nothing more than irrelevant and Monday morning the same.  Travelling down to the soulless London Stadium for a Monday nighter and then having to travel back and not getting into a warm bed until early Tuesday morning doesn’t exactly have an attractive appeal.

I never thought I’d say it, but I’d rather have the evils of Sunday football because that’s a little compensation for the loss of Saturday.  Monday can never be that and I don’t give a flying whatsit for the thoughts of Carra &Gary.

 

You can buy ‘Red All Over The Land’ for £2 outside the ground at every home ground and the majority of away games.

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