For those of you with even the vaguest interest in football, then you'll be aware that the Euro 2004 championships have just kicked off, the second biggest football tournament in the world. This promises to wreak havoc with my sleeping schedule and for the coming week I am fully expecting to be a shell of a human being.
During the last World Cup two years ago, which was co-staged by Korea of course, I set myself a mission to watch every single game of football - 64 in 4 weeks - without compromising a lifestyle which celebrated late night to early morning drinking hedonism. It almost killed me. I would work in the evenings, then go out and get plastered, and then either have a few hours sleep or just not sleep at all, before watching football from 7am to 2pm. This routine went on for three weeks before getting a day's break, and by the end of it I was gaunt, pale, ill and too spaced to think. While watching the matches, I'd find myself passing out. In the third week, it was more about endurance than enjoyment. When finally, there were two days break from football before restarting, I was a very relieved man.
This tournament isn't as gruelling in terms of quantity of matches, but the times they are on are. This week, there are two games daily, at 1am and 3.45am local time. I plan to watch every game. From next week it's just the one game, at 3.45am, so that's ok.
It's going to shatter me. I work hard at my school and I need my rest during the week. My schedule for the coming week will be:
1am. Wake up. Have dinner. Watch the first match.
3am. Shower for my coming day.
3.45am. Watch the second match.
5.45am. Go to bed.
10am. Wake up and run to school.
7pm. Return from work. Go straight to bed.
My students better not expect Nev-teacher to be his usual chirpy playful self this week. And they damn better well be quiet in class.