20 Dec Football Birthday Party
There is no specific age for a football party. Incidentally, if I could decide, I would do a football party to celebrate my own birthday. I don’t see why it limits itself to a children-less-than-10-years-old party. And as I don’t have a choice, I am going to dream up a birthday party which all ages, generations and preferences can enjoy.
T-25 It’s time to prepare the invites. Two options, dependant on several things. According to the time you have, the energy you have, the imagination you have… There are fantastic ready-made invites and there are invites that you can do yourself, which are equally as brilliant. As far as I’m concerned, I’m saving my energy for the pitch.
T-20 I’ve got the invites. Now the next step is to fill them up. You can do this as a household, whilst stating that like football, it doesn’t work if you play solo. Therefore, we’re playing as a group regardless of the consequences this might have!
T-17 I’m reading the Match of the Day magazine. I’m reading 100% Arsenal, Man City, Chelsea… I push myself a little bit, needing to brush up on my knowledge. Penalty. Stop the game. Penalty. Penalty area. Extra time. Corner. I am ready. The afternoon is beginning to take shape.
T-15 I place some orders. Some cones from Sports Direct. Some green tableware, black balloons, a garland, party bags and some gifts. I opt for little football bits and bobs: some football confetti, some fake tattoos, a hamburger shaped rubbers, a football maze game. The biased have the hard life.
T-10 I tell myself that if there was a dress code for each team, it would be super. Just to identify who is Chelsea and who is Manchester United. Only thing is the Chelsea blue is not exactly one of my favourite colours on the spectrum. Therefore, I go for trendy colours. Old pink/foliage green for my team and turquoise/mustard yellow for Gabi’s team (It’s thanks to this type of information that we realise that she prefers Sarah Lavoine as opposed to Brazil).
T-7 Get the playlist together, print out the printables, print the list of games and the games themselves…
T-1 The evening spent in my kitchen – I have a go. I’m making a piñata cake!! Yes, I know! A sponge cake in a semi-circle tin and then I make another one to create the ball. Once they’re cooked, I make a hollow in one half them and fill the one which is the base with sweets. I put the whole semi-circle on top of the hollowed circle. I cover my semi circles with octagons in sugar paste that I prepared while my semi circles were cooking. Done in a flash!!! I love this expression…
T-1 The evening continues – now in my living room – I have decided to do nothing at all. I am going to watch “Bend it like Beckham”. Errr yes! It is imperative that I relax ! I’ve got goose bumps !!! While I’m at it, regarding my research, I read TATANE‘s manifesto:
“Because we play football. Because football is a game which must continue being popular. Because the stadiums ought to be overflowing with men, women and children. Because Garrincha could step back before delighting everyone by scoring a goal. Because playing football is not a serious profession. Because we can play very seriously. Because, we can play football when getting up late. Because playing football has never stopped anyone from thinking… Because the game might just save the world. Because nothing is ever truly damned. Because football plays itself. Tatane, no football is not dead. Tatane, yes football is a beautiful sport. Tatane, no footballers are not heros. Tatane, yes, the bodies are the mastermind. Tatane, no, liking football isn’t rough. Tatane, yes, we can think with our feet”.
Now I’ve got goose bumps and I’m blubbering. It’s beautiful football, it’s my life from now on. It puts stars in my eyes, makes my hairs stand on end, I get the impression that I’m living through a cosmic experience.
13h I’m going to the park. It’s 13h and there’s no one here. I invest in a huge pitch. I mark out my territory with my cones from Sports Direct. I unfold the picnic table. I cover it over with a tablecloth. And I dress my table as if I was doing a wedding buffet. Champagne flutes, placemats, paper cups, straws, plates, and some cupcake cases. Green, black and white. Cakes, sweets, juice, champagne and beer. I remind myself that this is a football party, it’s not a reception at the Versailles castle! I add some garlands to the mix that I hang up from one tree to the other, I blow up several balloons with helium that I attach to the playing field using little tent pegs (my favourite thing from Sports Direct is the hiking/camping section).
14h30 I think that I’m ready. I get dressed. Hideout in the woods. I clamber out of the woods with a look that is very Céline 2013, with my Juventus shirt which is old pink coloured to perfection and sprayed with my name of course ! What’s good about Céline is that it never ages ! A little like me…
15h My friends are here! Everyone has played along. The colour codes have been respected. I’m ecstatic! This is the football spirit!! We have a little glass of something to give us all a bit of Dutch courage, this is also the football spirit…
15h10 We firstly get ourselves into the teams. Yes, because some of my friends don’t know each other, and consequently don’t know the power that their opponents have to cause trouble. I had done the job well, we are almost equal. Equal as we have 22 therefore perfect for two teams, where it spoils itself is that there are 6 girls-5 boys and 6 boys-5 girls. Right we’re not going to get caught up on the gender ratios…
15h15 We start with a little bit of training. I have thoroughly studied all of the videos of the Three Lions, I have seen what they would do at St George’s Park therefore we will simply do exactly the same. I’ve appealed to the sports coach in order to establish the level and have a laugh a little bit as well! For real, your husband, partner, brother in law, lover maybe can do the trick. All it requires is that you immerse yourself into the role of playing, that you wear the right kit, that you have a whistle around your neck and that each action is followed by a YES COACH!
15h20 The introductions with the coach are made. We can commence! I am going flat out. A little warm up is necessary. A 20-minute job with 3 stages: going slowly, speeding up and then a sprint.
15h40 Some stretches. You have to go through it all. Calfs, thighs, bum, toes… The coach is good, a teacher that uses Iyangar to get us up to scratch. He doesn’t let anything slide.
15h50 The coach has asked that we split up into our two teams. Each team behind the captain. It’s not a laughing matter at all. Once the teams are established and split up, we must think up team names. Réal Madrid, FC Barcelona, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspurs, it’s a little overrated. We feel that my friends are intellectuals, they think hard about it. Are they stalling for time…
15h55 We are all pretty warm, but here we go again! In a relay by team, we run with our legs straight and rigid (there and back), run with our legs kicking our bottoms (there and back), we run with our legs folded up as high as possible in front of us (there and back), we put out the cones and do a dribbling exercise, make a cone pyramid and we do a session of penalty shoot-out. Operation bowling, getting rid of the pyramid. It’s the best thing!
16h30 End of the warm up!!! Ahahahaha. It’s not very funny. They’re crazy the virtues of sport… We will be able to take things seriously. But before we do so, we’re commemorating this moment: a team photo!! It’s funny because everyone gets involved, we’re believing it, we’re in the premier league, one team in a human pyramid and the opposing team posing to show off their best features…
16h35 We have a drink!
16h40 First half: half an hour, stopwatch started! The coach referees… People start revealing their true character.
17h10 Half time/a little drink/a snack/some cake/the candles…
17h20 Second half: half an hour, the stopwatch sets us off!!
17h50 We give extra time a miss. We go directly to the music to celebrate the Victory!! It changes the match, it makes us dance and laugh. Rhoooooh, the spirit of football!!
18h15 Some leave and some stay. It’s a birthday party, we open the presents, we drink one last glass, we tap ourselves on the back and… shall we have a third half?!
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