In New York, I had a second monitor on my desk for Premier League games. I was five hours behind the UK, which meant mid-week fixtures fell within working hours.
Whenever there was a Liverpool game, I would block out time on my calendar so nobody booked a meeting, tune in to the game, and pretend to be on a very important video call. I became adept at stifling groans of despair or, on rare occasions, goal celebrations.
So nobody disturbed me, I wore headphones. Usually, I could only pick up American commentary for the games. Without fail, this was always amusing. An American-English version of the beautiful game.
“Mo Salah kills the ball like a bag of cement.”
“It’s still a shut-out here at White Hart Lane.”
“In the six, there’s nobody better.”
Still, nobody in the office called me out for watching games during the workday. Could be they chalked it up to British eccentricity. Could be they didn’t even notice.
Colleagues sometimes questioned me about football hooligans. Stories of English fans abroad were treated with more fear than a bad brunch. So perhaps they were worried I’d “kick off” at them if I was disturbed. My normally placid exterior a sea of foaming rage.
Either way, whenever anyone tried to get my attention I minimised the window showing the game, pointed to my headphones and mouthed, “I’m on a call”. Then I turned back to my screen, unmuted the commentary, and carried on with my day.
There are currently 634 (5789)
of you on this list.
On with the show.