Our Euro 2008 woes
I’m telling you, this so-called dream job is not all it’s cracked up to be. Anyone keeping up to speed with the Reuters Soccer Blog at Euro 2008 will by now have noticed a trend — it’s hell out here.
There you were in your airless office, up to your eyes in paperwork, wondering what we all did so right in a previous life that qualified us to go and watch some of the best teams in the world play football, for nothing.
And it’s true. Sometimes, for example, I find that my allocated seat is not on the front row, exactly on the halfway line, and it can take up to five minutes to get it sorted.
There are occasions when the volunteers bring only one complimentary bottle of water, even on warm days, and don’t get me started on the number of times I’ve had to click my fingers to ensure a snappy delivery of a team sheet to my desk.
Once the match gets underway we are expected to follow what is going on with nothing to help us but our own two eyes … and a TV monitor, and sometimes a radio commentary, and with any number of “minute-by-minute” internet trackers, and maybe a colleague or three to consult over the correct spelling of Wojciech Lobodzinski, oh, and another one in the office watching the replays just in case we’ve missed anything.
But as our bloggers keep telling you, the match is just the icing (too sweet) on the cake (probably stale) and we soccer journalists really earn our corn by finding the stories beyond the 90 minutes of action.
Obviously, we bring a great depth of experience and analysis to our coverage to such market-moving events. Stories on how David Villa bent his finger back in a freak celebration injury, the controversy over the government-imposed limit on the variety of sausage available in the fanzones and whether Greece will play five, six or seven defenders in their next match, are all delivered with crisp authority.
It can be gruelling work so, if you’ll forgive me, I’m going for a little rest before taking my place pitchside for the Austria-Germany nude five-a-side game (see photo).
Mitch Phillips, Vienna
PHOTO: Erotic actresses from Austria and Germany play a five-a-side beach soccer match on the Danube river island in downtown Vienna, June 15, 2008. REUTERS/Christian Charisius