Streaming Football Matches: An unspoken pain

Being forced to endure a never-ending, testicle-itching rant from your father about his generation’s struggles would suggest that we have it pretty handy in the 21st century. I mean, he’s talking about a time when there may have been only one Playboy magazine to be shared amongst the entire male population of the town. Where a young, spotty man-boy mightn’t sleep for a week after accidently touching the local shop-keeper’s daughter’s breast while buying some milk.

Whereas, these days I could google-search the very darkest fetishes my sick thoughts could conjure, and be almost guaranteed an eight-minute video on that theme. For anyone with doubts, Google “two girls, one cup“.

Actually, you know what, don’t.

But there’s one thing that really itches my back. Something that truly grinds my gears. In a world where all I need is a head-set to call some lad in China a pr*ck when he’s beating me in a game of FIFA, there is still a certain area of technology that has simply not caught up. An extremely sensitive subject for many, including me. Whisper it. Streaming football matches.

You all know the craic. Unless you are privileged enough to have both the Sky Sports and BT packages, then it is quite likely that you have streamed a football match before. But you have never spoken about the sheer grief that accompanies this.

“Sure Jaysus lad, why would you pay forty quid a month to those Sky d*ck-weasels, when you can stream the f**king thing on FirstRow?”

How many times have you said this? How many times have you done your best to convince yourself that you’re making a mug of your Sky Sports-possessing friends by catching the latest El Classico for nothing?

“Martin Tyler? Sure the American commentators are better anyway; get rid of Sky, lad!”

Your pride is all that stops you from breaking down and telling your slightly richer friends what it’s really like to live on the bread-line of sports entertainment. The words “penis” and “blender” spring to mind.

All I wanted to see was Liverpool vs West Ham. That’s all. Instead I now know that there are hot singles in my area, and I can become a millionaire by following five simple rules. Both very useful to know, but good grief, I just want to see how bad the left-back is playing so I know what witty tweets to retweet.

But the worst is far from over.

You can hear the sound, so you know Liverpool are making a dangerous counter-attack. But every time you try to get rid of an ad, bam! – Your screen lights up and you have “won the lottery”. You try to “X” out of that and bang! – Betfair 365 is ramming its latest specials down your throat. Liverpool have scored but heavy beads of sweat are burning ridges in your forehead as you attempt to evade clicking on a link that could melt your laptop with a virus.

Twenty minutes later and you have finally managed to rid your screen of any aggressive advertisements. You can see the light at the end of the tunnel. You put down the blunt weapon you had been holding to your throat and sun shines again.

Sure streaming is grand, isn’t it?

Then you realise the stream you’re watching makes it look like the game is being recorded by an orange. The sound and visuals are completely out of sync. The commentary is in Spanish. Liverpool are 2-1 down.

In a time where it is literally possible to shit above the clouds, why can’t I watch a football match on my laptop without feeling the need to bathe with electrics? Streaming football matches may be on a par with the pains of childbirth. That is certainly up for debate. But, when my fellow sports-loving friend, with a big Monday Night Football head on him, asks what I thought of the match last night? Well my heart may break on the inside, but I’ll look him straight in the eye and say,

“Aw lad, hooked my laptop up to the telly, found an unreal stream. Are you still paying for that Sky?”

*Featured image from IGium media group.