Not your typical TV dinner

Just like Chelsea, our US blogger has had a busy Christmas, but still found time to be following the Blues despite the hectic fixture schedule...

More than 10 percent of Chelsea’s whole Premier League season is squeezed into 11 days at this time of year. It’s incredible when you think about it.

The campaign kicked off on August 11 and does not finish until May 12, stretching for nine months. It lasts long enough for a human baby to be created - yet four out of the 38 matches are played within the space of 300 hours.

This crucial period is the fulcrum around which the halfway mark pivots. Our hard-fought win against Watford is followed by Sunday’s game against Crystal Palace, the first opponent we will have taken on both home and away.

The crowded fixture list is in contrast to American football. Coincidentally the regular NFL season finishes on Sunday - with only 16 contests it is done and dusted in four months - although it lasts 17 weeks because everyone has a scheduled bye week.

This serves two purposes. It gives the players a two-week recovery break from being repeatedly body-slammed, and lengthening the campaign means more airtime to sell advertising and commercials. This is also of course why games that ostensibly last 60 minutes usually take around three hours.

Funnily enough, this Christmas it was easier for me to watch the Blues than my NFL team, the New Orleans Saints. I was in Charleston, South Carolina for the match against Leicester City that kicked off at 10am Eastern time, and I streamed it live on my laptop sitting in our rented apartment.

The following evening, the Saints took on the Pittsburgh Steelers in a roller-coaster showdown vital to both sides’ playoff hopes. The drama unfolded while I was in a buffet restaurant - as I don’t have the NFL digital package I was following it via updates on the web.

But when I went to the counter to get some turkey, two chefs were huddled over a phone watching the nail-biting climax. It was a tiny screen 10 feet away, but I saw the referee thrust his hands into the air signalling that the Saints had scored a touchdown to clinch the win.

I’ve watched Chelsea play while I’ve been eating in a restaurant - but I’ve never seen a club I support score on a chef’s mobile before.

For the Watford fixture on Boxing Day, I was in North Carolina and back to tuning in on my laptop. Two wins either side of December 25 was a perfect Christmas present.