Rejoice! It’s almost time for the World Cup to kick off! A time for all Englishmen and overpaid football pundits to bang on about that one flukey win back in ‘66 and to spend the next four weeks* hurling abuse at the TV whilst watching England’s footballing chumps besmirch the beautiful game.
The best thing about the World Cup is that it’s a brilliant excuse to sit in front of the TV with a beer without the nagging guilt that you should be out tending the allotment or doing constructive stuff. It only happens once every four years, right?! It’s practically a free pass for sofa-bound slothery! And to make things a tad more exciting, we suggest holding a sweepstake from which you can theme your football viewing.
For demonstration purposes, we conducted our own sweepstake**. With the team names carefully culled from a copy of 4-4-2 and stuffed inside Nick’s filthy, flea-ridden beanie hat, we began our own draw. I drew Sweden, Nick suspiciously plucked out England. These two countries will dictate our month long footballing feast.
Fancy trying it yourself? Here’s six sweet soccer tips on how to squeeze out maximum funtertainment from this impending festival of fusbol…
Prepare your timetable
Check the kick off times of matches and circle them in red pen in your Radio Times. This effectively bagsies that viewing slot from the rest of the family and would quite possibly stand up in a court of law should it lead to arguments. No Radio Times? Simply hide the remote control until kick off.
Make your nest
Comfort is paramount. Select your favorite armchair, plump up your cushions, remove and banish any pets that may be residing in your chosen viewing room that may howl, screech or meow over the commentary. The same goes for small children. Staying on point, my viewing will be conducted from the comfy folds of a poang armchair, courtesy of Swedish flat-pack purveyors IKEA. Nick will be reclining in a deck chair, with a knotted hanky perched atop his noggin to complete the look.
England produce the world’s finest beer snacks; pies, pork scratchings, crisps, the lot. Nick has the ALL the choice. Swedish snacks – on the other hand – are an unholy mix, consisting largely of salty liquorice sweets and jars of pickled fish. The most palatable snackage I could muster was a bag of potatischips saltade, a potato-based snack foraged again from IKEA, the quality of which would have Gary Lineker sniggering into his beef and onions Walkers.
Set the ambiance
To avoid the monotone, half-time blather of Hoddle and co, sound should be muted and suitable team-themed music played instead. Again, Nick has a vast catalogue of bands and artists from which to choose. The Who, Bowie, The Smiths… whoever he god damn fancies. Sweden are, again, less well served. The obvious choice would be Abba***, but The Soundtrack of Our Lives – defunct indy psych-rock, delivered with aggressive gusto by living viking Ebbot Lundberg – will be blaring out from my tinny iphone speakers.
Assemble the booze.
Quite possibly the best bit. Nick’s beverage of choice will be a North Brewing Co. Transmission IPA, a beer which he championed in this recent piece for the IndyBest. As it happens, Sweden have a pretty healthy brewing scene from which to plunder. Look beyond Kopparberg’s sins against cider and you’ll discover a whole host of breweries pumping out tasty wares. My liquid refreshment will be provided by Pang Pang, Sweden’s smallest brewery. In particular their zesty Flamingo-Go IPA will be gracing my gizzard and help wash down the potatischips.
Don’t go silly.
Stay sharp! There’s no sense in guzzling so much booze and ruining the match. Beer is to be tasted and enjoyed. We are not beer-sozzled heathens and will be drinking like the professionals we are, allowing one pint per half, followed by a post match pint with which to celebrate/commiserate.
Enjoy the football, and up the blågult!
Brewery: Pang Pang, Hökarängen, Stockholm, Sweden
Beer name: Flamingo-go
*Or two, when we crash out of the first round.
** The world’s worst sweepstake, what with only two of us taking part.
*** Overrated rubbish