Tidying my room last week and flicking through various CDs and games I came over all nostalgic when I realised that I had at least three 2D soccer simulation gems.
It pains me to admit that I still occasionally play Football Manager 2008 but nothing could beat the heady days of gambling away your future by starting up a game of Champ at the most inopportune moment.
My GCSE revision was interrupted on by my love for CM9798, playing the diamond with Barcelona and Juventus and buying in gems like Ibrahima Bakayoko, Richard Wright and Tom Youngs.
While doing my A Levels it was Championship Manager 3 and the new interface that was probably a contributing factor to my failure to make it to Nottingham Law School.
And even my degree suffered as I managed to take lowly Stevenage Borough through the league system from the Conference to the Uefa Cup on Football Manager 2005.
There were times when I would play for days at time – barely moving for the computer and only stopping to eat.
At times the love of the game can reduce the most civilized man into an unwashed, gibbering fool who is more interested in gaining promotion with York City than doing something more useful.
But who wouldn’t prefer comparing the merits of Luis Figo (20 for passing) and Zinedine Zidane (18 for shooting) than memorise a detailed history of equity and trust case law.
The worst thing about Champ addiction is that it blurs the lines of reality and fiction – at times I have had to remind my self that Arsenal didn’t sign Fernando Torres in 2006 and then go on to win back to back quadruples.
I’m going to have to write to the manufacturers and ask them to slip a sticker on the front cover. Warning: Champ ruins lives.
Better still we could all get together (and I know there is a lot of us) and start up a support group – Champoholics Anonymous.
“My name’s Leigh…. And I’m a Champoholic.”