On Saturday 19th March, I turned thirty years old. I felt like I should write something as apparently it’s such a big milestone.
I don’t really see any difference between being 21, 25 or 29… but being thirty. That’s different. That’s scary. Not scary because I suddenly feel old, in fact far from it, I truly believe the old adage 'you are only as old as you feel', and I have felt seventeen ever since I was seventeen. No, it’s more that I have just come to the realisation that I am now thirty and I am still in a day job that I despise. This is not a new thing. In November I walked into work to find a piece of paper cello-taped to my computer that said ‘Happy 7 Year Anniversary’. I then realised that I had been in this job, this job that I have always disliked, for almost a quarter of my life. A-QUARTER-OF-MY-LIFE! Then, last week I received a four paragraph email about how we need to ensure we change the tea-towels in the office more regularly… and suddenly I panicked. Not because I was worried that we didn’t have enough tea-towels to be able to fulfil this crazy dream of changing them with more regularity, but because I was wasting my life.
I was originally going to write this as a blog for my website (tomholmescomedy.com if you’re interested), with the focus being the impact my milestone change-of-age would have on my comedy career, but said comedy “career" is basically dead in the water. I currently have five hosting gigs in my diary between now and September, and while I have blocked out the whole of May and June in my diary due to my impending son (good name for an 80’s martial arts movie), there is definitely not enough happening to talk about. In fact, I don’t want to talk about comedy at all. So many of the comics I started with are now on TV all the bloody time, and while I’m not jealous... I am jealous.
So, I was wondering what the crux of this blog should be. Should I contemplate huge existential musings that growing-up should evoke? Should I reveal my plans, hopes and fears for fatherhood? Should I dissect, in depth, how my life hasn’t really panned out how I expected, and how suddenly I have become an adult in a dead end job, with the potential of never truly reaching my dreams of being a writer? Or… should I talk about Fantasy Football?
Since I single-handedly masterminded the world’s biggest FPL Podcast by introducing my co-hosts Craig and Ash to each other, fantasy football has become an increasingly pivotal aspect in my day-to-day life. Is that sad? Yes. I don’t really care. 10,000 listeners a week mate, get over it. I have realised that, you know what; it’s good to have a hobby. I should have a hobby now I’m thirty. Old men need hobbies. In fact, do you know what, I have NEVER had a hobby - other than drinking, which is becoming increasingly difficult to commit to due to impending son (I’m seeing Jean Claude-Van Damme playing both him and his evil twin brother) and the fact that my hangovers have become progressively more soul destroying the older I am getting.
I think that the reason my 2015/16 Fantasy Premier League season has been the most successful of my six FPL seasons to date, is the amount of time I’ve spent on it. Obviously, being in the hotseat as one of the hosts of a weekly Fantasy Football Podcast helps to keep you focused and forces you to do a certain amount of studying (unless you’re in San Francisco for a few weeks, where apparently they don’t have computers). I could have ambled along and simply accepted my role as the whipping boy of the podcast, but no; I decided that I could put the time I spend sat at my desk to better use than simply counting down the time until I have my eleven o’clock Nature Valley Honey and Oat Bar (other confectionary is available… like Toblerones, for instance). As a result, I have finally found a legitimate hobby. I have found a hobby at which I am not terrible, but one that is harmless and won’t impact on my home-life like heroin or Call of Duty might. It’s also a hobby that the Gaffer Tapes have been able to build a community around and has come with some success… did I mention the 10,000 listeners a week? I’ve never played computer games other than a brief love affair with Goldeneye on the Nintendo 64. I’ve never been into goblins like Ash or betting on the Scandinavian Women’s Leap-Frog Regional Championships like Craig. But Fantasy Football, that can be my vice, my pastime.
So, what I am trying to say is that it is ok to commit time, thought and energy to Fantasy Football. Good bloody luck to you. Granted it’s a hell of a lot easier nowadays when you can simply log-on and tinker with your team on a computer, perhaps whilst listening to the world’s biggest FPL podcast (10,000 listeners a week, bruv), rather than sending your team in the post to The Sun newspaper like the old days. I’ll eventually stop drinking one day, I’ll eventually get bored of re-watching The Soprano’s boxset every year and I’ll probably even get bored of watching big cat sightings on YouTube, but Fantasy Football… that is my new - and first ever - hobby.
...and that… is goal of the month.