What Do Men Even Do When There’s No Premier League?

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As the Premier League bids us adieu for a brief period, I think it’s time to unravel the enigma that is the male species during the off-season. Ever wondered what men do when they can’t obsessively analyse every pass, every goal, and every post-match interview? 

First and foremost, let’s address the undeniable truth: gaming becomes their alternate universe. As the Premier League takes a breather, men don their virtual – and sometimes physical – jerseys and engage in FIFA battles so epic, it’s hard to imagine that they don’t get paid for it. Hours upon hours are dedicated to fine-tuning their digital skills (or attempting to), strategizing every move, and engaging in some not-so-humble trash-talking like 19 out of 20 teams didn’t fail to secure the title. It’s their chance to prove that they can conquer at least the virtual realm.

The off-season also unleashes a hidden talent: becoming the ultimate armchair manager. With no live matches to scrutinize, Nigerian men transform into football pundits with years of experience and analytical skills. They debate endlessly and noisily about transfers, tactics, season-ending projections and managerial decisions. They know just who will win the title next season, and who the top 4 will be to make it to the Champions League, even though they were all surprised this season. Suddenly, everyone becomes a self-proclaimed expert, armed with opinions that rival those of seasoned pundits. Prepare yourself for a whirlwind of very loud football banter, where even the most outrageous predictions are thrown into the mix. How will Chelsea win next season’s PL title?! Haba.

As the debates simmer down, another aspect of the off-season emerges: the pursuit of physical prowess. It’s time to witness Nigerian men turn into fitness fanatics and iron benders. With no live matches to sweat over, they hit the gym with a newfound determination. Trying to sculpt abs and bulking up biceps becomes their goal as if preparing for a mythical football showdown that awaits in the distant future. Be prepared to witness their dedication and perhaps, if you’re (un)lucky, they’ll even drag you along for a couple of workouts.

As a football lover myself, I’m happy to suggest a few activities to ease the pain of no live matches to satiate your thirst for football. 

First, fire up your gaming console, gather your mates, and enter the world of EA Sports. Unleash your virtual skills with FIFA tournaments, trash-talk with finesse, and revel in the glory of victory without breaking a sweat. Remember, bragging rights are just as sweet, even if they’re won from the comfort of your living room.

The off-season is the perfect breeding ground for intense football debates and banter-filled conversations. Gather with your fellow football-loving buddies at the local spot, armed with opinions and a few beers. All it takes is for one person to say “Haaland is better than Salah.” Boom! Dissect the highs and lows of the previous season, make outrageous predictions for the upcoming one, and unleash your wit in a battle of words. Just be prepared for the relentless teasing that comes with being on the losing side of banter. Remember, we’re bantering, not fighting.

No live matches? No problem! Transform your yard or neighbourhood into a football sanctuary. Organize street football tournaments and showcase your skills like a true Nigerian football wizard. Papilo! Embrace the passion, show off your flair, and create unforgettable moments that rival those of the greats. Good luck to anyone 30 plus, though; don’t forget that healthcare is expensive. But who knows, you might just unearth the next Nigerian football sensation right in your backyard. There’s also no better time to dive deep into football history. Immerse yourself in documentaries, books, and online archives that chronicle the captivating stories of the football legends and prodigies. Learn about their triumphs, struggles, and the iconic moments that shaped the game we love. Expand your knowledge, and become the go-to football encyclopaedia among your friends. 

Apart from playing football or gym workouts, you can also explore other fitness activities such as cycling, hiking, swimming, or martial arts. These activities provide a mix of physical fitness, enjoyment, and an opportunity to try something new. You can also expand your sports interests by watching different sports during the off-season. Explore sports like basketball, tennis, rugby, or Formula 1. This can broaden your sports knowledge and allow you to appreciate different athletic performances.

As the 2022/2023 football season draws to an end and all that’s left is finals and praying for Manchester City’s downfall, this is the perfect time to catch up on some of the activities you may have sacrificed for your love of football. You can support your local teams, and even finally take your girlfriend out on that date. It’s also summertime, so there are loads of parties and fun activities for you to get lost in. Go to the beach and play some volleyball, go paintballing or go-karting, go to an arcade, play basketball… there are loads of fun things for you to do to let off all that football stress and keep your competitive spirits up. You can also explore other sports like basketball, tennis, golf, or cricket, and you can even start your own sports blog. There’s so much to do!

Embrace the virtual victories, engage in spirited banter, and create imaginary football legacies that will be remembered for generations. The off-season may test your patience, but embrace new hobbies and experiences and you will conquer. So, my brothers, hold your heads high and embrace the football drought with courage, for soon the next season will dawn upon us and the roar of the crowd will fill our hearts once more!

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