Never again

It’s my own fault. I should have gone to the pub.

Nearly every week I go to the football bar here in New Orleans to watch Chelsea. I prefer to be with other fans and I feel I need to make an effort to be part of the Blue community in the States. We are lucky in America in the sense that we can watch every fixture and although I can do it from the comfort of my own living room, it’s not the same.

Allowing for things like the weekends I’m away and games I’m playing in clashing with Chelsea’s matches, I probably go to my local for Saturday and Sunday contests 30 times a season. It’s not a great effort to have to drive four miles to be with my fellow Blues.

But not last weekend. I was still jet-lagged from four weeks in Europe as I had only returned to Louisiana a few days previously. In addition, my pub team had a match on Friday evening, and at 8.30pm, we lined up against an under-23 division one side. We only had eight players show up - they had a full squad, including three substitutes. Somehow we held them to a 2-2 draw, but we spent the whole game harrying, covering and closing down so by the time I got home close to 11pm, I was truly a jelly-legged wreck.

So, when the alarm sounded at 6am for the 6.30am kick-off against Watford, the thought of getting ready, getting dressed and driving to the bar was too much. Instead, I stumbled downstairs and collapsed on the sofa.

The streaming was patchy in the first half and if I had been fully awake and more alert, I would have restarted my modem and router at half-time. However, I didn’t and it worsened after the break. The picture was fuzzy, it froze repeatedly, ghost images streaked across the screen and I occasionally lost visual completely.

I missed César Azpilicueta’s decisive third goal, the most important few seconds of the whole contest, as he scored during a temporary blackout. I was sick to death of seeing the words, ‘connectivity issues’ mock me on the screen.

Two fellow Chelsea supporters made it to the pub. But I didn’t. So come Saturday at 11.30am, I’ll be ready to see us take on Bournemouth. I’ve certainly learned my lesson.