Happy New Year! Yes, I’m a day early, but let me be the first to congratulate you on 2015, the year that you quit smoking, get back into shape, and stop sabotaging every meaningful relationship you enter. Maybe it’s true that you’re just recycling the same list of resolutions you make every Jan. 1st, but this time will be different. I believe in you, even if you don’t believe in yourself.
But before you get down to the business of disappointing yourself and others, you’re going to be nursing a hangover from all of today’s cheap champagne. And as any serious drinker will tell you, the only guaranteed way to battle that hangover is to drown it in more alcohol. You may be worried about how to deal with the awkward questions you’ll face about why you’re drunk off your tits before lunch on a Thursday.
The correct answer is ‘because of the awfulness of the world around me,’ but if you need a little white lie to appease your spouse/kids/parole officer, the Premier League fixtures on New Year’s Day should give you plenty of just cause to hit the bottle.
Drink every time Manchester United suffers an injury. If it’s a defender, drink double, and be thankful this game didn’t start this summer.
Bojan Krkić, the once new Messi, plays for Stoke City, a club best known for long throw-ins and “wet, windy nights.” Finish your drink every time Bojan does something skillful and adventurous, because Stoke doesn’t deserve him.
At some point, Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross will fly recklessly into a challenge. Drink. If he escapes a deserved red card, make it a double. If the commentator mentions that “he’s not that kind of player,” pour an entire bottle of Scotch into your mouth and throw the empty at the television. He is exactly that kind of player.
Has Crystal Palace appointed a new manager by kickoff? It’s Pardew, you say? Doesn’t matter. The Eagles are shit and they’re getting relegated. Drink.
Tom Cleverley will spend approximately 80 percent of his time on the pitch pointing at the ball and other players while not doing anything of actual use. Drink every time you notice this, but be warned: You will be dead by halftime.
There will be plenty of other reasons to imbibe liquid poison during this game, but consider: Any moment now, your very existence could be snatched away. A comet could hit this planet and wipe out all traces of life on earth. And yet you are spending two precious hours watching Aston Villa play out a dull goalless draw with Crystal Palace. If this is the match you chose to watch, you won’t find the answers you need at the bottom of a pint glass. Get help.
Roberto Martinez seems like a very nice man. He’s a progressive manager, and from his media appearances, he also seems to be a real student of the game. He also might be a fraud. Everton are secretly dreadful this season. Drink every time you convince yourself otherwise.
Liverpool vs. Leicester City
Is Mario Balotelli being blamed for the pile of shite that Liverpool turned into this season, despite the fact that he will almost surely start this match on the bench? Drink one for poor Mario.
James Milner will likely be starting his third successive game up front for Manchester City. Read that sentence again. Drink to quiet your mind.
If you happen to remember what the point of Jozy Altidore is, good for you. That deserves a drink.
David Silva is magic. Don’t take him for granted just because no one really wants City to win the league again. Drink to his health.
Newcastle United vs. Burnley
Try to guess Burnley’s starting XI. Or maybe just name Burnley’s best player. Hell, name any Burnley player. You can’t. Drink.
If you’ve ever made a terrible life or career decision that you regretted almost immediately, you know how Rio Ferdinand feels sitting on QPR’s bench. The finest defender to come out of England in at least a generation, a man who has won every prize in club soccer, and he’s now Richard Dunne’s understudy. Every time announcer mention ‘Manchester United Rio,’ drink, but pour one out for Rio first.
Southampton vs. Arsenal
Victor Wanyama facing off against Mathieu Flamini.
West Ham United vs. West Bromwich Albion
There was a time when Sweden played England and the supporters of the latter chanted “You’re just a shit Andy Carroll” at Zlatan Ibrahimovic. At the time, Carroll hadn’t yet been completely found out as an average carthorse of a striker, so it wasn’t as funny as it is now. Drink because … holy shit that actually happened. Just drink.
Who do you think will be the next young manager to take on the Spurs’ “project” before inevitably having his career derailed? If you think you’ve already figured it out, congratulate yourself with a drink.
Chelsea gave its record signing away to AC Milan for free, and four months later, Milan is already dumping Fernando Torres off on someone else. Torres cost 50 million pounds and is the biggest flop in modern league history. For probably 17 of the 20 clubs in the league, a mistake like that would have painful, long-lasting repercussions. Instead, Chelsea wrote off the loss, bought better players, and are now title favorites. Life isn’t fair. Drink forever.