Martin Smith: Break from football has been a relief as much as it has a deprivation!

An upset Brighton fan. Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty ImagesAn upset Brighton fan. Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
An upset Brighton fan. Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images | Getty Images
We’re going to miss it you know, the lockdown.

I don’t just mean sheep roaming the streets, cleaner air, family Zooms and clapping for carers.

For some these have been welcome distractions from difficult times spent looking after dependent elderly or trying to contain and entertain live-wire children bursting to get out. Heroes are everywhere in this.

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But for most people, the non-heroic majority, it’s been more of a forced holiday, albeit a holiday on less or no pay where the nagging fear of potential infection has been like thinking, as you dash through duty free, that you might have forgotten to lock the back door.

Time spent working from home, tending plants, tuning-up motors, tackling those tricky decorating tasks, learning to bake, draw or down-dog. Basically anything but think about football.

Which, let’s be honest, has been a blessed relief at least as much as it has a deprivation.

With no games there are no embarrassing collapses, no crowing commentators or told-you-so pundits, no gut-wrenching epiphanies as last night’s last-minute capitulation floods back into your mind at 5am.

Who needs all that?

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Who misses the false hope and the trauma, the eons of collective time spent deludedly turning over the ‘if-onlys’ and the ‘how could theys’ of games.

Nah, sod it, I’ve had enough of football addiction.

As if it won’t be too weird when it comes back anyway.

If we’re ever allowed to go on holiday in, say July, we’ll be coming off the beach into pubs to watch last season - but live?

A last season that will actually be pre-season as we finish the games off through high summer, no tour trips to Matlock, Scandinavia or Thailand this year lads.

And if last season becomes pre-season where does that put next season? It’s way too confusing.

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So I won’t be bothering with all that lashed-up, last season backlog business with no crowds where the only noises are ‘man-on’ shouts from the players and the habitual cajoling claps of the coaches. Why do they do that?

No, the break from football has been so liberating and opened up new worlds of daily walks, tomato plants and trying to avoid seven-day drinking.

Frankly who needs football? Oh but some of it is on free-to-air TV you say?

I suppose the odd game couldn’t do any harm…

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