10 ways to cure your Fifa World Cup blues
So, the World Cup 2014 is officially over. But before you begin studiously ignoring that football exists until 2018, you might want to consider other ways to fill all your newly-found free time. Now that you’re not challenging your friends on score predictions (Germany beating Brazil 7-1? We all totally called that), howling jeers at your screen or cheering on your favourite team, you’re likely to feel a football-shaped void in your life. Fear not, friends — tabloid! has rustled up 10 ideas to help you cope with the loss and get by the next few weeks.
1. Take up football as a hobby
We all know that a few weeks of watching the World Cup and yelling things like “foul!”, “goal!” and “that was so offside” makes you a professional athlete. You might be as unnatural at intercepting balls as a sloth is at running marathons, but — wait, what was I saying? Just YouTube sloths being cute. Or check out Dubai Sports World at the Dubai World Trade Centre for some indoor action. It’s on till August 30. www.dubaisportsworld.ae.
2. Play FIFA 14 on XBox
Choose from any selection of teams to represent. If it’s your first time trying your hand at it, you probably won’t be able to figure out how to get your guys to stop running away from the ball rather than towards it. You’re also likely to smash all the keys on your controller at once thinking that’s an effective method of scoring — but who’s to say it isn’t?
3. Break a world record
Miroslav Klose isn’t the only one who can leave this World Cup with a legacy (he scored the most goals ever in the history of the World Cup, in case you were wondering). You can be your own hero and try to break the “longest time controlling a football with your head without dropping it” record, for instance. If you can do this for longer than eight hours, 32 minutes and three seconds, you’ll have earned yourself a lifetime — or at least a couple of weeks — of bragging rights.
4. YouTube Zinedine Zidane’s head butt
Watch it on repeat. This is a fix-all solution to any football-related dilemma you’re facing. You might find yourself thinking that watching it on your 10-inch tablet screen isn’t doing the memory enough justice, but you can always acquire a projector and project the immortalised moment onto every wall in your apartment.
5. Read a book about sports
Those can’t play — read. In other words, for those of us who can’t kick a ball in between two goal posts to save a life, there’s no better way to unwind from all those pent-up World Cup emotions than to get lost in the pages of a book. Not sure where to start? Grab Nick Hornby’s Fever Pitch and go from there. Highlight your favourite passages for maximum pretentiousness.
6. Watch a movie about sports
For those who stopped reading after college, there’s always the odd good sports movie to keep you busy. The Sandlot, A League of Their Own and Remember the Titans are all great options. Personally, we think a Mighty Ducks marathon is just what the doctor ordered — even for all you Joshua Jackson haters and hockey non-believers out there.
7. Learn a new language
Is Germany your favourite team? Do you always try to read the players’ lips when they yell things to each other in German, even though you don’t speak an ounce of the language? Well, you don’t have to feel left out anymore. You have four years to take lessons and come prepared for the 2018 World Cup.
8. Go to the gym
For a select few of us, the hardest part of watching the World Cup is remembering just how unfit we are. This is especially true when players like Alexis Sanchez take off their shirts post-whistle to reveal, like, an eight pack. The stamina on these men is unbelievable. All of a sudden, losing your breath from climbing up the stairs feels a lot like failure. But four years of a regular gym routine can change everything. Let’s start with cardio.
9. Take up gardening
You may think that gardening has nothing to do with football, and you’d be completely correct. A nice change of pace might be what you need. Grow some tomatoes or start with something simpler and easier to master, like basil leaves. Before you know it, you’ll be making pesto out of your own backyard and the stress of watching penalty shootouts from between your fingers will be but a far away memory.
10. Get over football
And move on to cricket. Did you know that the Cricket World Cup is happening just next year? Sure, you’re going to have to wait until 2019 for the one after that, but it’s a start. If you thought watching football semi-finals drag into 30 minutes overtime and then penalty shoot-outs was a big deal, just keep in mind cricket Test matches can last for days — and we’re not even being figurative.