I still believe in the free football streaming dream. I think back to those days of Iraqgoals, and all the time it’s taken us moving on through Sopcast, MyP2P, and all the dark corners of the internet in search of a world where we could watch football in high-definition, gratis, all of the time. It’s not arrived, but there’s a handy alternative in following a game on Twitter. You don’t want to actually read the tweets - that would be horrific - but check the number of new tweets that appears on your timeline after each update, and with a bit of practice you can put the game together from that. If there’s 5 new tweets, it’s just some midfield play. If there’s 10, someone’s had a near miss. 15 new tweets = a bad foul. 20 = someone’s hit the woodwork. 25 = a goal. 7,503,324 new tweets = a cat on the pitch. For some, a quick cut to the absurd during a moment of extreme tension. For others, a golden opportunity.
Anfield Cat is head honcho of those. Last season, as Liverpool and Tottenham played out a dour game at Anfield, it was livened up by a cat strolling onto the pitch. Not an uncommon occurence in football, but this time, it was different. The official account was up within two minutes. And then the unofficial account, and three others claiming to be ‘the original.’ This was a true schism, real modern-day Rome vs Avignon shit. Eventually, Twitter settled upon @AnfieldCat as the true voice, with tens of thousands of people deciding to follow it for… well, no. I have no fucking idea what people were expecting from it. What they got was some standard football zingers.
Now, football zingers appear to be the main thing keeping Twitter going. No matter whether you tweet on politics, burlesque dancing, food, or gun ownership campaigns. There are campaigners for an independent Kurdish state who know that in order to get the right amount of media penetration they’ll have to crack a couple of gags about Frank Lampard’s weight, and that’s why we have mystifying figures such as FourFourTom - gaining incredible levels of followers in a tiny space of time because people just can’t get enough of the craic. AnfieldCat, however, is in a league of it’s own. 75k followers from 329 tweets, one of which is ‘Daniele de Missi’ (123 RTs, 7 favs.)
This is the football world we have built for ourselves. We demand ‘intelligent analysis’, and hold that up to be wittering on about tactics, with articles that come highly-recommended but scarcely-read, with the only popularity going to one-liners about the same old shit, again and again. There’s not even the artistry of your standard FootballStupidHumorComedyJokes accounts, and added to it all is the vile CATS, HA HA HA scourge which has plagued the internet since it began. Haha, Robbie Keane’s signed for Al-Wasl, they were his boyhood club you know. Emile Heskey, ha ha, he never scores goals. Fernando Torres, what an awful player he is now. Lampard, overweight. Rooney, granny-shagger. Steven Gerrard, what an overrated… nope, apparently that’s sacrilege even in this world.
“Why would Stewart Downing make a good tennis player? He never hits the net”
“so it turns out Andy Murray is infact Scottish, not British.”
“John Terry has rushed into the adjacent court to join in with the “not guilty” celebrations of somebody he doesn’t know.”