(the author’s set following the season finale of “Dream Team”)

Though making cryptic reference to being “outnumbered 3 to 1 by people as keen not to watch football as I am to watch it” (translation : the dude’s whipped), the London Review Of Books’ John Lanchester is enjoying the World Cup on his own personal TV….locked in his bedroom. (link courtesy Sam Frank)

It™s a widescreen tv. By this I don™t mean a pimptastic 60 inch Sony or anything, just a normal-sized telly in a 16:9 aspect ration. And here™s the thing: the 16:9 screen is a zillion times better for watching football on than the old-school 4:3 tv. The main differences that you can see who the player is passing to, and what his options were; you can see what the players who haven™t got the ball are doing, instead of being focussed solely on the man in possession. You can watch the whole trajectory of passes, instead of scanning around as the ball flies. I couldn™t believe how much better it is.

I thought this was a blinding revelation, but it turns out that if you say this to someone who has a widescreen tv, they stick their tongue under their lower lip, assume a vacant expression, and say, ˜Durr™. In other words they regard it as a famous self-evident truth that widescreen tvs are much better for watching football. But the thing is, I don™t think people do know that. Certainly I™d have bought one years ago if the adverts for them, instead of wanking on about lifestyles of the rich and famous, and pretending that the pictures are better, which they aren™t, had just said, ˜buy one if you like football, because you can see where the ball goes™. A bit like Kingley Amis™s character Garnet Bowen, who dreams of marketing his own brand of beer with the slogan: ˜Bowen™s beer. It makes you drunk.™