10 March 2014

Apparently, we play on Tuesday. Go figure.

Such is my attitude towards the Champions League second-leg that I could't really be bothered to look up the date of the match. I assumed, rather casually, that it would be on a Wednesday. Imagine my surprise and chagrin when I learned, thanks to the ingenious invention of Daylight Savings Time, that the match, is in fact, Tuesday. See, on Sunday, when we changed our clocks forward a full hour, I had to do a lot of calculated research. Does London use DST, for example? Apparently, it does. What about Munich? It does? Will wonders never cease. I thought it was a uniquely American practice, like using inches for height, or using 'football' to refer to a sport where one rarely uses feet to advance the ball. At any rate, having overcome my initial surprise, I then had to set about with the algebra. It started off as one of those word problems I struggled so much with as a lad.

If an American fan is living in Chicago and wants to watch a football match involving a team based in London but playing in Munich, at what time will the match come on? I rubbed my eyes. Math was never my strong point—and the idea of referring to it as 'maths' boggled my mind. Nonetheless, I soldiered on, horrified at being dubbed a plastic based on more than my geographic ineptitude but now on my failure to commit to memory the time and date of this particular match. Now, on to the algebra.
  • (Chicago time minus six)+1 = (London time)+1 = (Munich time)+1
I think this is right. Therefore, a match that kicks off in Munich at 7:45 will happen at 2:45 Chicago-time. I may have forgotten to carry a one, cross-multiply, or use pi. Maybe it's Avogadro's number that I need. At any rate, now that I know when the match will happen, I can go only to more or less ignore it, much as I did the last second-leg we played. I'm not superstitious—much—but I am curious about how my actions disturb the universe. In the 6-3 loss at the Etihad, for example, I was at the pub and went to the bathroom three times, missing each of our goals. The first one felt like a coincidence, the second was a lark, but the third felt like kismet. With this indisputable evidence at hand, I have no choice but to not watch the second leg against Bayern, which incontrovertibly produced the famous win last time 'round. Here you were, all this time, believing it was goals from Giroud and Koscielny, along the fine, fighting spirit in the squad on that historic day. 

Nope. It was all down to me being chained to a desk, unable to watch the match, a plan that I very nearly scuppered by doing all that calculating to find out when the match would actually happen. With that in mind, I'll do my level-best not to watch it again Tuesday. In fact, I won't even bother with a proper preview. What does one say, after all, about going in to face a squad that has only conceded five goals in seven Champions League matches (three of those in a pointless group-stage match against Man City) and 11 goals in 24 Bundesliga matches? 

No, instead, I'm going to about my Tuesday, blissfully ignoring football until around 4:30pm Chicago-time. I'm sure you'll thank me when my ignorance, in all of its considerable glory, bestows upon us another fantastic result. That's my plan, and I'm sticking to it.