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NEW ARTICLE: Happy Monday's; Streaming of Wembley

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With some parts of the UK still suffering the impacts from flooding, a different problem emerged last night in South East London with Charlton fans hunting around for a humble stream.

Monday Night Football was at one stage a regular feature on the Charlton calendar during the Premiership years. It’s hard to believe it was 16 years ago when ‘ohhh Eddie Youds’ was reverberating around Liverpool Street station ahead of a cracking 2-2 draw with Spurs. In 2002, another Monday night trip to White Hart Lane saw a certain Chris Powell grab the winner, while in the same year, Jonaton Johansson’s injury time overhead kick brought to an end a memorable 4-4 encounter with West Ham.

But those days now feel a lifetime ago. And with it, circumstance change. While a Monday night trip to Sheffield would previously have been jumped at with no consideration, work and family dictated this was never on the cards this time.

So what do you do ?

With the game not being shown on UK television, this was going to be the first time many of us would jump two feet into the world of streaming from the internet for a ‘big game’. Rumours of streams from broadcasters in Australia to Bugaria were doing the rounds in advance, but until the referee blows that whistle and the picture is in front of you, you can never be fully convinced.

Being able to stream the game in your front room is great, being able to watch it with others is even better. Big games are for pubs, not front rooms. A post-work routine of putting the kids to bed and eating dinner was put on fast forward, and the drive from Sidcup to SE7 was completed in a record 13 minutes.

Walking into the chosen venue, the worst fears were realised. The place was packed, but no one was watching the screen. A trawl through a thousand channels was yielding no luck. This is a disaster; sitting at home is the wife watching the game on the iPad on a perfect stream, and I’m left with nothing. Confirmation a pub five miles away is meant to have it on had us back in the cars and racing round South London again.

Whilst in transit, Callum Harriott scores. I’ve always wondered what it must be like not following football and sitting in traffic lights seeing the bloke in the car to your right going batshit, fist pumping all over the place. They have to score two now to knock us out tonight is what I’m pessimistically telling myself.

We managed to get to the pub with around 15 minutes of the first half to go. Reassuringly, the pub had a perfect picture, and already a good 50 or so Charlton fans in. More kept filing in as word got around.

Everything seemed to be going well, but the second half saw us coming under a bit more pressure. It’s fair to say that the pub wasn’t Mark Clattenburg’s greatest fan club. Suddenly, they’ve levelled. That’s it, we know where this is going. I’ve yet to see a big Charlton game in a pub and us get a result unless Dennis Rommedahl is playing, and tonight I’ve no doubt will be any different.

The earlier perfect stream is starting to get a bit yippy. No more than a couple of seconds, but not what you want when the mood is starting to sour. Then Johnnie Jackson took a deep breath and paused to take a free kick. And paused. And paused. And paused.

After the initial ‘wahay’ at the freeze, everyone goes silent, waiting for the picture to re-emerge. 10 seconds later, someone holding their mobile like they’ve just pulled out a Willy Wonka Golden Ticket cries ‘I’ve got a text. It says GET IN’ He waves the phone around above his head from side to side, looking for reassurance from a doubting public.

It definitely says GET IN.

But GET IN what ? Has someone got a new job? Have they just had sex? Or have we scored?

Everyone is doing that excited but cautious thing that just looks like you really need a wee. Someone else says we’ve scored, but he’s a known wind-up so I’m not trusting him.

Suddenly, the screen catches up.

The camera is on Simon Church, and Wednesday are kicking off. Suddenly, everyone goes loopy nut nut. What had lasted no more than 30 seconds had seemed to last about five minutes. The timing could not have been more pertinent had it tried. “

Wemberleee, Wemberleee…” echoes round the pub with beer getting spilt all over the place.

The rest of the game is just an anxious blur. Clattenburg continues to get more abuse, and every hoofed clearance gets a roar. No one is clamouring for pretty football in this place, the further it gets booted the bigger the cheer. The couple of incidents near the end where they could have / should have scored were cheered as if we had scored ourselves. The free kick on the edge of the box was definitely the one where we were going to blow it. We’re in ‘Wigan time’ the pessimist told everyone. But this time it come to nothing. This was going to be our night.

Suddenly, the five minutes were up and Clattenburg was blowing his whistle. Beer is sloshing all over the place. ‘Wemberleee, Wemberleee….’ gets sung increasingly loudly , on and off for a good 20 minutes. Strangers hugging each other with high fives all over the place, whilst oop north Sir Chris is cementing his legend status doing chin ups on the Wednesday crossbar.

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This bonkers, bizarre, unorthordox cup run continues. Monday Night Football is back with a bang.

And we still managed to miss both goals. How Charlton is that?

Comments

  • Nice tale AFKA. And now a big Sunday game, just like the old days...

    But over my way (Surrey/London borders), it was strictly home streaming, never a chance any pub would have it. In the Prem years on Mondays I'd go into my local & have to ask them to switch the TV on whenever we were on...
  • Glad to hear your mission was completed & that you had a great evening.

    Kind of wish I'd been there with you all, wine glass( bottle) in hand....

    Sounds a lot noisier than in Sheffield TBH....

    :-)
  • It was one of my more surreal moments watching football.
  • Best title ever!
  • Had the rare privilege of seeing us on live TV here.....first time this season as well. I thought we played well in the first half, but Wednesday shaded the second. That Banks-esque save in the 90th or so minute will long live in the memory and got a yes as loud as when we scored...the only witnesses to me going bat shit mental where several Sulphur Crested Cockatoos, a Kookaburra and Charlie, my bemused Labradoodle...all in all a good Tuesday morning.
  • Ha, quality Tel
  • Good read AFKA, personally i find watching a live stream very overrated... you spend ages looking for one and when you find one its a few minutes behind and keeps buffering... Rather follow the match thread/twitter.
  • Knew we were gonna all right when Llera walked away from the free kick at death. Knew he would score if he took it. Was watching on iPhone not even a iPad so often hard to actually see the ball. First experience of actually getting a watchable stream. Thanks to the the thread on here.

    My ten month old didn't seem too impressed as I jolted him awake on my shoulder when we won but hey ho.

    Not sure I could have handled dodgy stream in a pub atmosphere though.

    Valley beam back for the quarters?
  • I can't believe how excited i got watching the match on some dodgy Arabian Tv channel , that kept having pop up ads appearing in the middle of the screen , especially when the goals went in , i wish i'd heeded peoples advice and got ad blocker installed first.
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  • edited February 2014
    Sneaked on here at work and read this article....What a great story. Put a big smile on my face. And I couldn't help but chuckle at the last bit.

    I'm very familiar with all those troubles people have to face when watching games on crappy streams. Maybe it's time for me to introduce the Chinese online network PPTV..... They usually show 5-6 Premiership games every week - that's quite a lot I think. It's been a real surprise this season that they're also doing Championship games and a lot of FA Cup games, all with English commentary. The image quality is great and looks very good even on a big TV screen. Plus, it's free and totally legal (PPTV's a bit like American's Netflix but you don't have to pay to get their services). I'm just not sure if it would work as perfectly for people in England. ( @Siv in Urumqi and @Stu_of_Kunming have you ever used it when you're back in England? )

    The only reason that I didn't bring it up on here earlier is that you need to download the software which is in the Chinese language so obviously it'd be hard for you to navigate. I'll try to do a step by step tutorial later when I'm at home if anyone's interested.

    Oh, sorry to be off-topic.... AFKA, terrific article!!!
  • Good read AFKA, personally i find watching a live stream very overrated... you spend ages looking for one and when you find one its a few minutes behind and keeps buffering... Rather follow the match thread/twitter.

    The stream on the 'live media ...' app someone mentioned on another thread was excellent.

  • Sneaked on here at work and read this article....What a great story. Put a big smile on my face. And I couldn't help but chuckle at the last bit.

    I'm very familiar with all those troubles people have to face when watching games on crappy streams. Maybe it's time for me to introduce the Chinese online network PPTV..... They usually show 5-6 Premiership games every week - that's quite a lot I think. It's been a real surprise this season that they're also doing Championship games and a lot of FA Cup games, all with English commentary. The image quality is great and looks very good even on a big TV screen. Plus, it's free and totally legal (PPTV's a bit like American's Netflix but you don't have to pay to get their services). I'm just not sure if it would work as perfectly for people in England. ( @Siv in Urumqi and @Stu_of_Kunming have you ever used it when you're back in England? )

    The only reason that I didn't bring it up on here earlier is that you need to download the software which is in the Chinese language so obviously it'd be hard for you to navigate. I'll try to do a step by step tutorial later when I'm at home if anyone's interested

    Oh, sorry to be off-topic.... AFKA, terrific article!!!

    Yes, please.
  • Amazing how times change. I too watched on a stream and it made me think how much technology has moved on since I was listening to crackly radio commentary on RTM walking around my dining room until I found the tiny pocket of reception in deepest, darkest Croydon.

    Maybe in another twenty years we'll be watching it from the stands sat in our living rooms through a dodgy Chinese virtual reality feed!
  • I watched the QPR game round a mates on a stream. Perfect picture on a big tele. Got an alert on phone from Betfair though to say we had scored 30 seconds before it had happened on the screen.
  • Sneaked on here at work and read this article....What a great story. Put a big smile on my face. And I couldn't help but chuckle at the last bit.

    I'm very familiar with all those troubles people have to face when watching games on crappy streams. Maybe it's time for me to introduce the Chinese online network PPTV..... They usually show 5-6 Premiership games every week - that's quite a lot I think. It's been a real surprise this season that they're also doing Championship games and a lot of FA Cup games, all with English commentary. The image quality is great and looks very good even on a big TV screen. Plus, it's free and totally legal (PPTV's a bit like American's Netflix but you don't have to pay to get their services). I'm just not sure if it would work as perfectly for people in England. ( @Siv in Urumqi and @Stu_of_Kunming have you ever used it when you're back in England? )

    The only reason that I didn't bring it up on here earlier is that you need to download the software which is in the Chinese language so obviously it'd be hard for you to navigate. I'll try to do a step by step tutorial later when I'm at home if anyone's interested

    Oh, sorry to be off-topic.... AFKA, terrific article!!!

    Yes, please.
    Just wasted too much time on finding a file sharing site for the Sheff Wed video. Will definitely do it tomorrow night.
  • Bump

    Two years ago today. Seems like a lifetime ago writing something positive about Charlton....
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