To the ongoing debate of TV versus actual attendance I would add two factors: inertia and flexibility.
Both kicked in yesterday.
There is a theory post-pandemic – though the Covid numbers seem as high as ever – of “HTGO” (hassle to go out).
I admit being prey.
It’s a hassle to arrange and to organise – let alone attend – and, as often as not, once you do, you find you are missing out on some enticing sporting fixture.
Yesterday I had a long lunch with old friends in a pub that they own.
This would not have impinged on watching the Champions League except that we had a guest for dinner and I would have appreciated my normal and necessary afternoon nap.
I chose to watch Bayern v Villarreal, assuming that Real Madrid v Chelsea was already settled after Real’s away win.
The score flashed up that the Blues were leading 2-0, so I switched over to watch an enthralling game in which two top teams went head to head.
I’m no particular fan of Chelsea – and am not shedding any tears at their current travails – but I had to admire the way they took the game to Real Madrid.
Real have given up galacticos but have some sensational South American young talent like Rodrigo and Vinicius Junior.
The old master Luca Modric is, like fine wine, improving in his later years. Fatigue got the better of me at extra time so I followed the radio commentary.
Real are through.
Bayern losing appears to create a clear path for Liverpool and Manchester City who play tonight.