The borderline between an obsession and a full blown addiction can be a fine one. When comedian Tony Jameson explains how he slipped away from a wedding to make a few vital transfers and took his laptop on an open top bus tour around Newcastle to celebrate a virtual Champions League win you are in little doubt over which camp he falls into.
Jameson, a cheeky Geordie sporting a heavily hairsprayed quiff, has taken the stage at the Dingwalls in Camden Lock to a packed house. The event, hosted by Football Manager creators Sports Interactive, sees Jameson debut his sold out Edinburgh show in London, explaining the impact of everyone’s favourite addictive computer game (which he describes as essentially “like office admin but for football”) on his life.
It wasn’t all fun and games however, as Sports Interactive promised to unveil new features of the game if attendees donated to favoured charity War Child.
It’s fair to say Jameson is playing to a home crowd. Among the audience are the tell tale eye bags of those who’ve spent hours awaiting a chairman’s report, assessing a player’s stats and agonising over formations.
Jameson’s tale is an amusing one – after a footy injury led to a period laid up on the sofa that allowed him to indulge his addiction further and led to him shunning a career as a teacher.
Notable runs include taking Aston Villa to virtual glory only to be abandoned by his star player and powering Blyth Spartans up the league to European glory. The latter represents his proudest achievement, leading to the bus tour, contact with the Northumbrian club and an amusing video of Jameson unveiling a new signing and his statue at Spartans’ empty ground. He even glides by the camera to give a Harry Redknapp-style car-window-on-deadline-day interview.
The biggest cheers of the night went up for Football Manager’s crowning glory; the players that might have been. The addictive game thrives on stats and some players appear far better than in real life, as such pictures of the likes of former Aston Villa and Anderlecht striker Nii Lamptey and Nigerian defender Taribo ‘That Haircut’ West.
Jameson’s audience revel in the show’s identifiable moments and his ability to undermine himself is consistently funny. He hints he may develop the act to meet all of his Football Manager underachieving heroes in future.
For Sports Interactive his obsession is an excellent endorsement of a game which is loved by its players and hated by their nearest and dearest. Football Manager may have been the scourge of his early years but the sold out show, and his recent nuptials, mean things are looking up for the talented Jameson.
Sports Interactive support War Child, the charity working to directly transform the lives of tens of thousands of children and campaigning to improve the lives of millions more, whose lives have been torn apart by war. All proceeds from the event went to the charity. You too can support War Child by texting ‘Stop’ to 70444 and donating £3. Visit www.warchild.org.uk to find out more.
To go and see the show visit Tony’s website: http://www.tonyjameson.co.uk/