This guy’s just finished watching a live football match every day for a year
A total of 365 games and 1,051 goals later, Tomasz Mortimer tells the tale of his personal football Everest.
In theory, it’s every football fan’s dream to watch the beautiful game all year round – but in practice is it all it’s cracked up to be?
Tomasz Mortimer, 26, from Nottingham, is a man who knows. The Hungarian football writer took on the mammoth task of watching at least one live half of football every day for a year from September 2017, and he’s just emerged on the other side.
Game 365: Slovakia 3-0 Denmark - 🌍 Friendly— Tomasz Mortimer (@TMortimerFtbl) September 5, 2018
To say this 🇩🇰 side probably haven’t trained together, they were pretty organised at the back, and had a big chance to equalise in the 1st half. 🇸🇰 did have all the game, but it wasn’t embarrassing at all
Motm: Chris Haagh#ends
The 365th game was fittingly strange – a 3-0 win for Slovakia over a makeshift Denmark side who were without their top players after a contract dispute – but how did Tomasz’s crazy scheme come about in the first place?
“It was the international break and there was barely any football on, but there was a Hungarian game,” Tomasz told the Press Association.
“So I sarcastically tweeted something like: ‘Yay, at least we have Hungarian football today’, then my mate replied saying, ‘Do you think it would be possible to watch a game every day for a year?’ and I was like, ‘Yeah, I don’t see why not. I might try it’.”
As someone who watched a lot of football in the small hours while at school, college and university, this was something of a nostalgia trip for Tomasz, so he committed to the challenge on Twitter, and went for it.
Okay, for the next 365 days I'm gonna attempt to watch at least a half of live football every single day. Here starts the thread...— Tomasz Mortimer (@TMortimerFtbl) September 6, 2017
Despite pledging to watch at least a half of football every day, Tomasz said he doesn’t think he missed more than 20 minutes from a single game.
Meanwhile, the matches he watched took him all over the world, with the Premier League just one of many divisions he took in on his journey.
Game 4: Stoke 2-2 Man United - 🇬🇧PL— Tomasz Mortimer (@TMortimerFtbl) September 9, 2017
As Premier League as it gets. Draw about deserved, Stoke so dogged.
Motm: Maxim Choupo-Moting
Game 15: Benevento 0-4 Roma - 🇮🇹 Serie A— Tomasz Mortimer (@TMortimerFtbl) September 20, 2017
So one sided. Roma barely out of second gear throughout. Dzeko could've had 6
Motm: Edin Dzeko
Tweeting the score each day – along with the league, a brief game description and a man of the match – those who followed the thread were kept informed on fixtures they might otherwise have been completely unaware of.
Game 25: Honved 1-4 Vasas - 🇭🇺NBI— Tomasz Mortimer (@TMortimerFtbl) September 30, 2017
Proper captitulation from the champions. Really poor from front to back
Motm: Mohamed Remili
And he even managed to find something to watch on Christmas Day, getting up at 07:00 to watch a Hong Kong senior shield semi-final match.
Game 110: Southern District 0-1 Eastern - 🇭🇰Senior Shield— Tomasz Mortimer (@TMortimerFtbl) December 25, 2017
Eastern well in control until a crazy red card with 10 mins to go left them hanging on. Onslaught at the end was great entertainment and included a last second open goal miss. Woof
Motm: Manuel Bleda
But it wasn’t all fun and football games. Working a nine-to-five job, Tomasz was forced to watch plenty of games late at night, while he had to stay sober at social occasions so he could drive home and take in yet more football.
Furthermore, not all games are classics. Far from it, in fact.
“The worst was Royal Antwerp 0-0 Standard Liege,” said Tomasz. “[It] was crap, but it also spoilt my 51-day run without a 0-0, so I didn’t watch the Belgian league again after that in protest.”
As with any challenge, there are moments of weakness too. It won’t surprise you to hear that over the course of a year, there were close calls.
“A couple of weeks ago I almost became complacent and I’d completely forget that I was doing it,” said Tomasz.
“I guess it became such a part of my life that I was watching on auto-pilot by the end, so there was one night where I’d got into bed at about 23:00 then suddenly remembered I still had a game to watch.”
But while there were certainly obstacles to overcome, they were worth overcoming for the views that Tomasz got to gaze upon once in a while.
Niche games were one such bonus, with the Chilean and Algerian leagues proving surprisingly exciting, while the law of averages meant that for every handful of awful games, there were sure to be some crackers in the mix.
Game 177: Al Ain 6-2 Al Wahda - 🇦🇪 Pro League— Tomasz Mortimer (@TMortimerFtbl) March 1, 2018
Crazy. Al Ain cruising 2-0 up with 25 to go before Dzsudzsak came on and scored twice within 5 minutes. A minute later, Al Ain hit straight back, and then proceeded to tear Al Wahda apart. Mad. Ness
Motm: Marcus Berg
“My favourite was Al Ain 6-2 Al Wahda,” said Tomasz. “It was 2-0 with 20 minutes to go, then all hell broke loose.
“Al Wahda got it back to 2-2 and then shipped four goals in 15 minutes. It was madness and basically a title decider. A ridiculous game of football.”
All in all Tomasz was able to watch over 1,000 goals at an average of 2.87 per game. He said that one lesson he’d learned from his experience was not to “commit to a year of doing something every day on a whim”, but will he ever attempt anything like this again?
“I would love to do it again, but by going to a live game at a stadium every day for a year,” he said. “But logistically it would be an absolute nightmare, and I think I’d probably have to win the lottery to be able to do it.
“I did intend to have a break, but I’m actually flying to Finland tomorrow to watch Hungary play in Tampere. So that plan didn’t work out that well.”
It’s safe to say some people just can’t get enough of the beautiful game.