To Torquay and in particular to my favourite ever player for the Cobblers, Chris Hargeaves, who is their captain and scored their first goal at Wembley to win the Blue Square Premier Play off final and therefore return to the league. And if you look at this I think you may agree he was due some good luck. Note especially what he says about his play off semi with Northampton. The most emotional experience I have ever had at a football match that day. (From the days when I used to love my football team which is of course now all in my past????)
Come on Millwall in their play off final tomorrow!
Following MK Dons heartbreaking* loss on penalties last night in the League 1 Play Off semi-finals - (they lost 7-6 after 18 penalties in total were taken) their long standing** fans rioted in Milton Keynes shopping centre. Reports that plastic bullets were fired have yet to be confirmed.
* SO heartbreaking that I haven't stopped laughing yet.
** Some have been recorded as having supported them for in excess of an entire fortnight.
When a Tory grandee uses tax payers money to have his moat cleaned out, and when Jordan and Peter appeal for privacy, it just feels like one of those times when genuine news stories are all the entertainment we need.
Kev W took up the challenge of the Digital Detox and he switched off the tele, internet, X-boxes etc for an entire week. No e-mail for seven days? Heaven or hell? Discuss.
Anyway, this is just a very brief post on the off chance that anyone has noticed I haven't been around to say - no, the relegation blues has not resulted in me being carried off to the local funny farm. (You can tell I am a social worker by my empathetic attitude to those of us suffering with mental illness.)
I am almost tempted to say 'If only' as that experience may have been more interesting than the reason for my self imposed internet exile.I have in fact been on study leave doing the most boring, mind dulling assignment ever devised by any university anywhere.I didn't dare switch on the internet or the damn thing would never ever have got done.
It isn't finished - but it is nearly there. But I have tried to avoid the net, tele etc for three days. Kev did it for a week -and he wasn't even away in some remote outpost of this planet... and no, English Persons - Edinburgh is NOT a remote outpost of this planet.
I’ve devoted an insane proportion of my life, and I dread to think how much of my income, to following a lower league football team. There have been some highs – the occasional promotion - but lots of lows. Relegation is far from being a new phenomenon for fans of Northampton Town Football. I have afflicted my eldest son with this ridiculous affection for a bunch of perennial non achievers. He was at Leeds on Saturday and confessed to coming away from there in tears – even though he had placed £20 on us going down. As I have found out myself this weekend – winning money on something you really didn’t want to happen doesn’t actually make one feel that much better.
Since this happened it has been like all fight has gone out of my team. Our record since then, at which time we were comfortably placed and even discussing our chances of reaching the play offs (ha ha) has been simply atrocious. We have sold our two best players at a profit, and we haven’t replaced them with permanent signings, instead dipping in and out of the loan market and producing an ever lengthening list of no-hopers. At the last count we had used 17 loan players this season– some of them stayed less than a week. They probably didn’t know their team mates names let alone their talents (or otherwise) on the football pitch. We threw a rookie goalkeeper in at the deep end having got good money for his predecessor, and wondered why he struggled (not his fault).
My friend works at the club. She has consistently complained about a lack of discipline and how the senior players have been providing poor examples for the younger ones; strolling in for training an hour late for example, and not being fined for that. Or how about this one? Leading strikers announcing they don’t fancy playing the next match??? She says there has been no application either in training or to recuperation following injury. I quote from the text she sent me on Saturday at 17.14. ‘The thing that makes me so angry is that too many players couldn’t give a shit and tossed it off all season’. No – she didn’t mince her words did she?
There was a time when I would have argued that supporters of small clubs like mine are quite privileged in that we do hear the inside story, do bump into the players at our local Sainsburys, and do feel a connection in the way that supporters of Premiership teams never could. Now I am not so sure – has hearing the stuff about the players who couldn’t care less affected the way I have watched my football this season? Or actually – would I have seen quite clearly enough as it was that they were not putting in the effort at all?
Whatever – the fact is that whilst I have seen us relegated on more occasions than I care to remember, this is the first time I would say we have done so without putting up a fight, and it has left me feeling cold. Whereas at one time I like my son would have been in tears when the relegation was confirmed, this time I just felt angry and short changed for all the time and money I have given to watch them go through the motions, throw matches away, and pick up their over inflated salaries regardless. For the first time since I became a season ticket holder I have not renewed it – and nor do I intend to. I don’t even know that I would have done if we had stayed up, because where I once felt an emotional attachment to the side, this season I have felt at times as disinterested as the majority of the players have been. (I give honourable exceptions to Danny Jackman, Jason Crowe, Mark Hughes and Andy Holt – no one else.)
Reidski might question some of what I have said – in particular the bit about having lost the emotional attachment as he was the one who got the unenviable task of cheering me up this weekend. Maybe, if we start beating the likes of Aldershot, Dagenham and Redbridge, Burton Albion, Accrington Bloody Stanley (that lot makes Chesterfield sound like a glamour tie in comparison) I will snap out of this and my passion for the team will be renewed. But right now it is lower than rock bottom.
Life is indeed All Cobblers.
Or rather – no it isn’t.
(This not being a fan will take a bit of getting used to I suppose.)
Fair to say it has had mixed reviews with some people saying they were uncomfortable with people around them laughing at racism, but having seen it I think the audience laughs at the stupidity of racism.
Anyway, blatant plagiarism coming up now as I repeat here a particularly poignant moment from the play.
This particular scene takes part during the Blitz. Our Cockney barmaid is mourning the loss of her lover, killed as he was by a bomb. She stands at the graveside and announces she had intended to read a poem, but had instead decided to say a word for Hitler. And that word was............
There was a time when I would have found that word, used in such a context as totally offensive to women, but these days I tend to think that if anyone has a better word for Hitler, I have yet to hear it.
Formerly known as Just Jane, but with a blog move carried out in haste I managed to end up with a blog nickname I hate..J bloody J. Oh well, too late to do anything about it now. Call me what you will. So apart from a stupid title I have three off spring, one very special bloke, lots of friends, a great family, a job I love and a rubbish football team who I love too. I also have a tendency to go on abit.....you have been warned.