The day for going cold turkey

Kevin Borras is not looking forward to joining the escaping dyspeptics as they rise too early and travel too far If someone has bought you a stressbuster for Christmas, one of those squidgy rubber things with a bizarre face that's horribly reminiscent ofRay Parlour, I have one piece of advice. Throw it away and go to a football match. It's said that Christmas is the most stressful time for a family, and a large percentage of couples who split cite differences at Christmas as the catalyst for their break-up. Well, excuse me for being Desmond Morris for a minute, but I'd like to know how many of them had been to a match on the Boxing Day. Very few probably.

I don't have a particularly large family and neither does my wife, but on Christmas Day it feels like half the population of north-east Surrey has come to my house to talk about previous Christmases, people they knew who had died at Christmas and about how people who don't celebrate Christmas must feel left out. I hate it. Just give me my presents and leave on the tinsel-covered horse you came in on.

Of course they don't leave. There has to be an argument over which channel's broadcast of the Queen's Speech we watch before anyone can go. For the majority of what's meant to be a day of celebration, I sit there looking forward to Boxing Day and going to see Wimbledon play.

I always go to the Boxing Day game. I don't get to as many away games as I would like these days, but I haven't missed a Boxing Day game since 1978. Usually, thanks to an understanding computer (one that understands that most football fans don't want to travel up and down England's fine motorway system when they have a hangover and would be instantly sick at the merest mention of the words "mince'' and "pie'') most of the Boxing Day fixtures are reasonably local affairs - today's fixtures include Crystal Palace v QPR, Coventry v Forest, Manchester City v Blackburn - at worst, you have to drive 50 miles.

But this season has seen an ominous shift away from the fan-friendly fixture with a number of Premiership games bringing together teams from opposite ends of the country (Chelsea v Manchester United for example) and several kicking off at noon.

"Oi, FA, noooo! You may well be the governing body of the world's most popular game, but that doesn't mean that you have to make us get up at eight o'clock in the morning to go and see it being played by professionals when we, and indeed they, would rat

h er be at home with the wife and kiddies.''

Normally, I quite enjoy travelling to away games. Bumping into fellow supporters gives you a sort of sense of belonging, born of brief motorway service station camaraderie, but I take exception at being expected to drive to Southampton this morning for amidday kick-off.

What's the big idea? Would a three o'clock kick-off mean that there would be more alcohol-sodden people in the ground than usual? No it wouldn't. A three o'clock kick-off would mean that we had three more hours for the effects of the previous evening to wear off. (I don't feel any sympathy for the players. For the money some of them earn I'd give up Christmas altogether).

My favourite part of Boxing Day football is half-time. I love looking round the ground trying to spot who's brought cold turkey sandwiches wrapped in silver foil. Last year one of my Main Stand compatriots at Selhurst Park bought such a huge bird for Christmas he was still eating cold turkey sandwiches at the beginning of this season.

So, if you're reading this at a match, or you're going to a game later on today, have a scan around the ground at half-time for the Bacofoil Brethren. It might be more fun than the game, Ipswich fans.

n Kevin Borras is a contributor to the Onion Bag magazine.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode
tv
Life and Style
Upright, everything’s all right (to a point): remaining on one’s feet has its health benefits – though in moderation
HealthIf sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
News
Kristen Stewart and Rupert Sanders were pictured embracing in 2012
people
News
President Obama, one of the more enthusiastic users of the fist bump
scienceBumping fists rather than shaking hands could reduce the spread of infectious diseases, it is claimed
Sport
Mario Balotelli posed for this selfie during AC Milan's 5-1 defeat to Manchester City
sport
Sport
Laura Trott with her gold
Commonwealth Games
Arts and Entertainment
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman
arts + ents
News
Bryan had a bracelet given to him by his late father stolen during the raid
people
Sport
France striker Loic Remy
sportThe QPR striker flew to Boston earlier in the week to complete deal
Extras
indybestSpice up your knife with our selection of delicious toppings
Sport
sport
News
Orville and Keith Harris. He covered up his condition by getting people to read out scripts to him
People
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

ERP Business/ Implementation Analyst

£40000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: This is an e...

M&E Construction Planner Solihull

£45000 - £55000 per annum + Car, Healthcare, Pensions: Progressive Recruitment...

Senior Java Developer

£45000 - £60000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Leading Sof...

Chemistry Teacher

£90 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Randstad Education are looking fo...

Day In a Page

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried