July 12th, 2010
11:50 PM ET

Armchair Diaries: Good Cup, Bad Cup

Children in Hong Kong pose with Zakumi, the 2010 World Cup mascot, before Sunday's final.
Children in Hong Kong pose with Zakumi, the 2010 World Cup mascot, before Sunday's final.

Editor’s note: CNN's Hong Kong Operations Supervisor Matthew Booth watched every match of the World Cup on television in the wee small hours of the night from a cruel South-East Asian time zone. At the time of writing he is still married, still employed and not noticeably crazier than he was at the beginning.

Hong Kong (CNN) - It’s finally over. The Spaniards have paraded their new shiny trophy around the stadium.

Across the globe, people have jumped into canals and fountains, weeping men are already regretting reckless tattoos, gushing women are naming their new babies Iniesta, and children are dreaming of the day when they might lift the famous old trophy themselves. Millions of inches of copy are rampaging across printing machines for thousands of publications worldwide, and I am at the end of my road.

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July 5th, 2010
11:38 PM ET

Armchair Diaries: Pub vs. Couch

Armchair fan Matthew Booth headed back to the pub for the Netherlands-Brazil quarterfinal.
Armchair fan Matthew Booth headed back to the pub for the Netherlands-Brazil quarterfinal.

Editor’s note: CNN Hong Kong Operations Supervisor Matthew Booth will attempt to watch every match of the World Cup on television in the wee small hours of the night. Can he do it without being fired/divorced/committed to an asylum? Follow his updates here, as he becomes more and more incoherent from extreme sleep deprivation.

Hong Kong, China (CNN) - As the game schedule has become a bit more sensible, I prized myself away from the loving embrace of my couch and went to the pub for Netherlands vs. Brazil. My wife and I arrived five minutes before kick-off, and when we got through the doors I wondered if we had just bumped into some kind of YouTube flash mob.

The place made a sardine tin look like a four-bedroom flat with a harbor view. It was also roasting hot, so squeezing past people to get to the bar was a little bit unpleasant, if well lubricated.

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July 2nd, 2010
12:46 AM ET

Armchair Diaries: 'Frankly my Villa, I don't give a Lahm'

Like father, like son: Matt Booth and pop try to last the World Cup marathon (CNN)
Like father, like son: Matt Booth and pop try to last the World Cup marathon (CNN)

Editor’s note: CNN Hong Kong Operations Supervisor Matthew Booth will attempt to watch every match of the World Cup on television in the wee small hours of the night. Can he do it without being fired/divorced/committed to an asylum? Follow his updates here, as he becomes more and more incoherent from extreme sleep deprivation.

It’s possible I’ve watched a little too much football.

In total, about 5,100 minutes. Which is 85 hours or three-and-a-half full days on my couch. That’s like watching "Gone with the Wind" 23 times. I know some people out there would say, "Frankly my Villa, I don’t give a Lahm," but this has been something of a personal mission for me, and it’s now mercifully approaching the easy bit.

With the quarterfinals played over the coming weekend, then only one match a day for the semifinals, it almost feels like stopping a few meters from the finish line, having a pint and a bit of a lie-down. With a mournfully small amount of sleep during the epic ultramarathon of the first three weeks, we have now entered the leisurely egg-and-spoon race of the final stretch - and that’s just fine with me.

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June 28th, 2010
11:16 PM ET

Armchair Diaries: England are out, hoorah!

Matt Booth’s England shirts find a new home – a trash can in Hong Kong (CNN)
Matt Booth’s England shirts find a new home – a trash can in Hong Kong (CNN)

Editor’s note: CNN Hong Kong Operations Supervisor and England fan Matthew Booth will attempt to watch every match of the World Cup on television in the wee small hours of the night. Can he do it without being fired/divorced/committed to an asylum? Follow his updates here, as he becomes more and more incoherent from extreme sleep deprivation.

Hong Kong, China - Despite wearing my lucky underwear, sitting in the correct position on the couch and the deals I made at half time with various creatures from the underworld, there was nothing that could be done to fight the future that Paul the English octopus had already predicted at a German zoo.

The English are out of the World Cup.

They were soundly beaten, humbled and are on their way back home, leaving the rest of the footballing world wondering what all the fuss was about.

It turns out football isn't coming home - and may not even write a postcard.

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June 25th, 2010
02:30 AM ET

Armchair Diaries: Second week's shouts from the sofa stadium

Superfan Matthew Booth grips his dog while watching a game. CNN Photo
Superfan Matthew Booth grips his dog while watching a game. CNN Photo

Editor's note: CNN Hong Kong Operations Supervisor Matthew Booth will attempt to watch every match of the World Cup on television in the wee small hours of the night. Can he do it without being fired/divorced/committed to an asylum? Follow his updates here, as he becomes more and more incoherent from extreme sleep deprivation.

Hong Kong, China - “Booth! What is UP with soccer man?!” screamed CNN’s Asian Business Editor Eunice Yoon, as I walked into the office today.

She proceeded to hold me personally responsible for bad calls made by referees in the previous USA games and went on to allude to the perfect nature of officiating in “American” sports.

While I did discreetly chuckle when the Americans had, not one, but two perfectly good goals wrongly disallowed, I assured Eunice I had nothing to do with either decision and told her that rage-inducing anguish is one of the best parts of the game.

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June 18th, 2010
01:24 AM ET

Armchair diary : The first week’s ramblings of an exhausted fan

 

Our intrepid armchair fan is fresh as roses after a week of viewing games. CNN Photo
Our intrepid armchair fan is fresh as roses after a week of viewing games. CNN Photo

CNN Hong Kong Operations Supervisor Matthew Booth will attempt to watch every match from South Africa on television. Can he do it without being fired/divorced/committed to an asylum? Follow his updates here, as he becomes more and more incoherent from extreme sleep deprivation

Hong Kong, China - So my wife Veronica has started feeding me multivitamins to keep me alive.

"I don’t want to spend our post-World Cup holiday in Malaysia with you sick and asleep."

Fair enough.

The first week of my TV watching epic has passed in a bit of a spongy blur.  It feels like a long time since Robert Green decided to give the Americans a sporting chance, since the Germans became the first ones to work out how a jubulani works, and an age since the Swiss showed Beckenbauer what a brilliant idea ‘kick and rush’ can be.  What a week it’s been.

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June 11th, 2010
09:42 PM ET

Another greatest day in history

My dog, Buzz wasn’t really interested in watching France vs. Uruguay. Matthew Booth/CNN.
My dog, Buzz wasn’t really interested in watching France vs. Uruguay. Matthew Booth/CNN.

CNN Hong Kong Operations Supervisor Matthew Booth will attempt to watch every match from South Africa on television. Can he do it without being fired/divorced/committed to an asylum? Follow his updates here, as he becomes more and more incoherent from extreme sleep deprivation.

HONG KONG - I don't think I would be exaggerating when I say that today is the greatest day in the history of mankind.

But then the first day of every World Cup is the greatest day in the history of mankind... until the next World Cup.

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June 10th, 2010
12:40 PM ET

World Cup from the couch: Diary of an armchair soccer fan

TV remote? Check. Snacks? Check. Wallchart planner? Check. All essential for World Cup watching. (CNN)
TV remote? Check. Snacks? Check. Wallchart planner? Check. All essential for World Cup watching. (CNN)

CNN Hong Kong Operations Supervisor Matthew Booth will attempt to watch every match from South Africa on television. Can he do it without being fired/divorced/committed to an asylum? Follow his updates here, as he becomes more and more incoherent from extreme sleep deprivation.

Hong Kong - Declaring that you are going to watch all 64 matches of the World Cup in the middle of the night elicits a variety of bemused and derisory reactions from people.

“What, even New Zealand-Slovakia?” is a common question. “That’s a bit mad isn’t it?” is another. “Oh Matthew, don’t be silly” was a nice one from my mum.

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