A new season is barely underway, but my Obsessive Liverpool Disorder (OLD) is in full swing. I know from reading the comment section of this blog that OLD is a common affliction. Some of us are young, but OLD at heart, and for others OLD is a lifelong affliction.
There is no cure for OLD, even if it is generally considered impolite to interrupt your best friend's sad tale of losing his fiancé to a freak incident involving sheep and a deep frier at the State Fair to celebrate Coutinho scoring in the third round of the League Cup. It sounded like a boring story anyway.
The first two weeks have been a struggle with my own form of OLD. My aunt inexplicably planned a family reunion in Northern Wisconsin for the opening weekend of the Premier League.
Then the FA moved Liverpool's home opener to a Monday night to coincide with my transatlantic flight from Chicago O'Hare, leading to the following Twitter exchange with TLO Chicago correspondent, Steph:
@80couches In the actual airport? Not offhand, sorry. I know there are several restaurants where you can probably ask them to put it on— steph. (@epic_skyline) August 16, 2015
@epic_skyline I'm just lucky they didn't reroute the flight to Stoke.— Zachary A Marx (@80couches) August 16, 2015
As I nervously watched the minutes tick by whilst waiting for the bus from Milwaukee to Chicago O'Hare, I wasn't worried about missing my flight, but instead worrying about missing a few precious minutes of football. Because priorities. If the capricious travel gods saw fit, I could watch 50, perhaps even 55 minutes of Liverpool's tilt against Bounemouth.
I became downright despondent when I saw the long, winding security line facing us after check-in. I kicked myself as I turned on my football app to remotely "watch" the game progress. I could have, no should have, taken an earlier bus.
This isn't the first time I've been caught anxiously checking my phone every thirty seconds or so, waiting for any update from a Liverpool match. A chance. A card. A goal. Please, just give me anything.
As I finally approached the X-ray machine, I was filled with hope and dread. Although I would soon be out of this nightmare of shoeless droves, I would lose touch with Liverpool for a precious few minutes whilst everything was scanned. Standing in line as my phone was systematically scanned, I thought that anything could be happening. Did I miss a goal? A sending off? Did Jurgen Klopp replace Rodgers mid-game?
I raced out of the security checkpoint, one unlaced shoe on, the other left in a panic along with loose change, a belt, and a Taco Bell receipt. Then I felt a buzz in my pocket. Dear lord, it could be anything. My hand shakily reached for the phone to read "Liverpool-Bournemouth: 1-0." CHRISTIAN BENTEKE HAD OPENED HIS LIVERPOOL ACCOUNT!
Suddenly, I felt rather foolish. I readjusted my pants, wishing I hadn't been so rash to discard my belt, and I wondered if I should have kept that receipt for tax purposes or something. I tied my one shoe, made my way to C Concourse, and wouldn't you know it? Even managed to watch 20 minutes or so in a bar before my flight.
I finally sat down on the Boeing 777, and should have been relieved. But. But there was another 15 minutes yet to play. I casually reached for my phone, and preceded to check the score until the final whistle blew. Now I could relax.
Or at least I could relax until next week.