Help! Free Setanta will ruin me

The gradual withdrawal from society by at least two of this blog’s authors accelerated disturbingly this past weekend after we learned Rogers is offering its digital cable subscribers a free month-long preview of the Irish pay TV sports network.

All-sports cable networks aren’t new, but a channel that features almost nothing but top-flight European club football certainly is, at least for me.

A tide of panic raced through me on Saturday as I scanned all the live and repeated football I now have unfettered access to.

Setanta destroys a supporter’s life very simply: by sucking up all his free time. Everyone has a vice that feeds his or her subconscious desire to basically do nothing. It short circuits the part of the brain that nags you to do things like shower or learn a foreign language.

Of all the hard drugs I’ve never done, I’d say Setanta is most like heroin in that it lulls you into a catatonic state during which you only move to eat or go to the washroom.

For example, watching a replay of Sunderland vs. Tottenham on 9:15pm on a Saturday night is not very tempting in of itself. But once you’ve been watching football for nine straight hours it is simply a way to feed the beast.

And why walk 10 minutes to the pub to watch football when you can just open your eyes and look at the same screen you were staring at when you fell asleep the night before. I think it’s dangerous to eliminate at least occasional interaction with human beings who, unlike a television, respond when you yell at them.

An Irish colleague remarked in bitter frustration today that he’s got free Setanta too, and he’s a Bell subscriber.

“The wife really loves that,” he said, rolling his eyes. He went on to mention he spent the previous night watching a Liverpool – Manchester United match from 1995 while pretending to play with his children. “Yeah, I was watching that too!” I said, just enthusiastically enough for us to immediately back nervously away from each other.

I am almost certainly going to shell out $15 a month to feed this addiction come April. As that guy with the rolled up collar skulking around the playground of my youth suggested, I really do want something that will make me fly.

If this site turns inactive by mid-month, then perhaps one of our handful of readers should send someone down to Yonge and Davisville to make sure we’re not eating cat food and using newspapers for toilet paper.

It’s going to get worse before it gets better.

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7 Responses to “Help! Free Setanta will ruin me”

  1. What do you do when rugby or aussie rules comes on?

  2. I hope you’re not talking about me in this post, Grant. There’s nothing wrong with falling asleep on the couch watching a replay of the Carling Cup final (especially this year’s — yeesh) and then waking up, four hours later, with another replay of the Carling Cup final on, and watching it to its conclusion (for the fourth time).

    Now if you’ll excuse me, a replay of Celtic/St. Mirren from this past Saturday is on…

  3. Avram Grant Says:

    Chris. I close my eyes and think of England.

  4. Avram as a setanta subscriber I can tell you – you haven’t hit rock bottom until you are watching a 0-0 Stoke game you already know the result to. Then its time to concede you have an unhealthy addiction.

  5. After almost twenty-five years of problematic, very life-threatening, boozing I come across this website today as I observe one-year of soberness. Absorbing Issue. I had a 6 figure business, a military and athletic background, satisfactory home and family, and just estimated I would always make it or get away with my alcohol addiction. And like so many ahead me, I crashed and burned-out. We have to discover our bottom or, kick the bucket…and many of us do just that. I was once arrested a couple years ago functioning, somewhat, at a .43 BAC. Hurting from the inside out, back and forth from jailhouse, I learned my bottom. I did not wake up 1 day thinking to demolish my career and distress the people I love so very much, but there I was. I’m not sure that anybody but some other alcoholic/addict and God really understands that point of hell on earth. Now is a good day, nevertheless, a very good day!

    • The above is, most certainly, a spam comment. But the self-critical language about hopeless addiction, elevated blood alcohol and problems functioning seemed way to well suited to this post to reject the comment. So I approved it.

      I think we at SCG can all find that this e-spambot has a lot to teach us.

      Also: I like the phrase “I learned my bottom.”

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