EURO 2012 (from Malaysia)
It’s that time of the year again where not knowing anything new about football (soccer to some) can get you in deep shit. Not knowing or not keeping up with football will literally be met with jeers, leers and lots of nasty stuff. Keep up with football and maybe just know a little bit more will be awarded with smiles, laughter and a whole lot of brotherly (or humanly) love. Such is the awesome power of the European championships.
As I am writing this, there is less than an hour left till the opening ceremony in Poland where Poland will face off with the Euro 2004 champions Greece. I will be sitting in front of the TV watching every bit of it but I thought that for now, why don’t I just sit down in front of the computer, open my WordPress and just write about the Euro 2012?
As some of you might know, I live in a country in the South East Asia called Malaysia. Not that big a country but with proud culture and rich heritage. Ever since our country had achieved its independence in 1957, we have always loved football. We kinda suck playing it but we loved it. We are below the 100 in the world FIFA ranking but we still loved it. Football is even the national sport here and thousands show up when an international friendly takes place at the national stadium. Perhaps its something that was sparked by the arrival of the best player Malaysia has ever seen. His name was Mokhtar Dahari. I won’t elaborate much but he was given the name Super Mokh and had at one time been accused of using witchcraft because he was so good. His prominence would ignite the flame that is Malaysia’s collective love for the beautiful game.
Now, Malaysia and Europe are really far apart. Even English Premier League games are often watched at night when it is played in the evening there and is also watched at 3 AM when it is played night there. So that’s a really huge time difference. So what does it mean for games at the Euro 2012? Well, from the schedule, most games will either be 12 AM or 3AM Malaysian time. Those are late times to watch football, especially when it happens virtually everyday.
So, the subject that I wanted to tackle (see what I did there?) from the beginning of this post was what does this mean for Malaysians? I decided to write this after being inspired by an article in one of the newspaper here in Malaysia. Basically, Malaysian fans, who are made up of people working from 9-5 and also students, will stay up late at night to watch these games or certain games that attract them.
I personally know how hard it is to time your sleep around football matches in Malaysia. Needless to say, its hard. I’ve watched every Champions League game Chelsea played and they were all at 3 AM. Sometimes, when I had school, I would sleep first then wake up at 3. When I didn’t have school, I’d sleep in the afternoon and stay up all night watching reruns of 30 Rock before watching the game. Again, needless to say, its freaking hard.
For Malaysians, we will probably see a collective Football Fever in which people, tired and exhausted from watching the game all night, go to school and work in that state. Performance will decrease and unless you know football, you’ll be eaten alive by these football zombies. This is also the time where we will see eyebags appearing from students and even the teachers know that its because of football because their husbands probably stayed up late to watch it too. You think I’m joking? This shit happened during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. It’s real and it happened before. Football zombies, they’re real.
This thing is an epidemic but people just need to manage their time around the games. Manage it good and it’d be like nothing happened. Better yet, the ones who just love watching without caring for results can just watch repeats but who loves that, right? Football must be watched live to get the thrill and drama that football always has. The simplest solution for this problem of watching late at night, you ask? Just go to Poland and Ukraine. There, problem solved.