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October 2, 2006 | by  | in Opinion |
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The Fans of Armchair Stadium

It’s Saturday night, and there’s some kind of sporting fixture beaming in from some light-drenched stadium somewhere far away. You and your compatriots have nestled in around the television with your eyes firmly fixed upon the hurly-burly that’s about to ensue.

You take a quick look around the living room; nothing much out of the ordinary, just the usual clan of sporting comrades, each with their own style of appreciation, and with their own unique way of unleashing it. This week, we pay homage to these fine bastions of sporting frivolity; these servants of fandom who make Armchair Stadium an intriguing place to be.

The Filler

Perhaps the most common sporting fan, and perhaps the most unheard of. The Filler occupies a strange place in Armchair Stadium, in that he’s simply there to watch the game take place, no more no less. With steely resolve, he perches himself upon the couch and stares with nonchalant amusement, taking time to mouth “Oooh!” or “YES!” whenever the game dictates it necessary. He’ll casually toss around some obvious points of commentary (“Wasn’t that a very good try?!”) but won’t delve deeper than that for fear of reprisal from some of the more ardent pundits in attendance. He usually feels happy following a win, but is usually bored with his surroundings less than ten seconds after the game has finished.

Starts the game: Sipping beer, making polite commentary.

Finishes the game: Sipping beer, making polite commentary.

Catchphrase: “Wasn’t that a very good try?!”

Eye for Candy

It should be noted that Eye for Candy isn’t always associated with a particular group of Armchair Stadium; she flutters and flirts with any number of those in attendance, such is the flimsy nature of her attention. But one thing that does remain constant is her flagrant inability to maintain any interest in the game other than to drool nonsensically over those who are playing it. While other Armchair Stadium pundits are screaming blue murder over a particularly bad refereeing decision, Eye for Candy will instead offer intelligent insight on the relative “hotness” of some player’s legs, or indeed whether or not said player has the stamina to play “all night” if you “get her drift.” Armchair Stadium almost certainly does “get her drift” and is usually none too amused by whoever’s decision it was to drag her man-craving ass along. It usually comes as a surprise if Eye for Candy can tell what sport she’s actually watching.

Starts the game: Asking who’s playing tonight. Will continue doing this throughout the course of the game.

Finishes the game: Counting thighs like one would count sheep before bedtime.

Catchphrase: “Oh my god, go Daniel! Oh my god, so hot. Oh my god.”

Coach

Coach is a good sort, lets be clear. He’s honed his skills as a player/fan/ connoisseur over a number of years and has accumulated an almost encyclopaedic knowledge of the subtle nuances of the sport, its tactics and its history. He’ll position himself somewhere near the centre of Armchair Stadium, sometimes surrounded by a couple of flunkies, and will read the game like a poet with poise and grace. He’s seen the ups and downs of sport many a time, so he’s accustomed to whatever happens come full time, and will have some thoughts where things should head from there. His passion is unrivalled, and one usually feels emasculated by his vast canon of knowledge. He knows how to block out Eye for Candy, since she’s more often than not attached to him in some capacity (girlfriend/wife).

Starts the game: The same way a computer boots up; numbers flashing, statistics and facts darting across his mind.

Finishes the game: With his mind ablaze with recurring themes, points of contention and analysis.

Catchphrase: “ Looks like they’re going to [technical term] and [technical term] while [technical term subverted, reversed, translated into Spanish then back to English], just watch. See that? Told you so.”

The Sheik

Every Stadium has at least four or five of these, and Armchair Stadium is no exception. The Sheiks are the type of fans who’ll scream bloody murder over every single facet of play, good or bad, until their throats ache and their left arm is suitably tingly. Their passion for the game often coalesces with their insane excitement and often leads to a temporary state of amnesia; they cannot for the life of them remember just what the hell happened during that game, but will somehow manage to remember the result. They will scream and screech for no other reason other than some vague recollection tells them that they’re watching sport, and are therefore entitled to.

Begins the game: ARRRRRRRGH! IS THE GAME STARTED?!

Finishes the game: ARRRRRRRGH !THAT GAME WAS GOOD/BAD!

Catchphrase: Some variation of “ARRRGH!” “YAAARGH!” or “GOOOOOO!”

The Eternal Cynic

Easily the most annoying attendee at Armchair Stadium. No matter how well a team is playing, no matter how beautifully the game is flowing or how mammoth the fixture is, the Eternal Cynic will always find a small piece of unhappiness to latch onto. For example: Player A had a terrible game last weekend, but is proving himself worthy of selection this week with an almost flawless performance. The Eternal Cynic will scoff, finish his ten-dollar pack of Ranfurly and mutter, “Pity he couldn’t do this last weekend. Useless.” It should also be noted that The Eternal Cynic is usually suffering from some sort of irreparable mental disorder that inhibits his ability to enjoy life, and should probably look in the direction of Eye for Candy and see if he can somehow reanimate his night. Needless to say Eye for Candy is none too charmed by this, and will usually respond to The Eternal Cynic by pointing out the gorgeousness of Player A’s thighs, much to his disdain.

Begins the game: Despondent, bitter.

Finishes the game: Despondent, bitter, perturbed by Eye for Candy.

Catchphrase: “Useless. Just useless.”

Give yourself a pat on the back if you can identify each character next time a sportrelated gala event comes to your Armchair Stadium.

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