Lucky Col
Dance as though nobody's watching, love like it's never going to hurt

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

It's all up for grabs now

Nick Hornby once argued that football was better than sex. As best as I can remember, his position was that while sex was fantastic, you pretty much knew what was going to happen, whereas when you watch you're favourite football team, you don't know the outcome, so any positive experience is a complete surprise, heightening the emotions.

Fade to April 17, 2006, Forest v Yeovil .....

The nerves around NG2 yesterday afternoon could be heard in the erie hum outside all the pubs & bars Trentside. Plenty of fans spilling out on to the sun-soaked pavements, but no singing before the game and precious little laughing. Was this what people did for pleasure on a Bank Holiday Monday ? Some had even queued from 9 in the morning to snap up the remaining seats for the eventual sell-out against Yeovil. All so they could shuffle quietly into their seats and have their nerve ends shredded for 90 minutes.

The pain at going a goal down early on, the agony of playing a team of nobodies off the park for half an hour with no reward and the relief of an equalizer to make half time seem semi-bearable.

Then the Nick Hornby moment, a pass out to the left, a quick cross, shot, blocked, ball up in the air, could go anywhere, Nicky Southall diving in at the far post, cue 28 thousand people going nuts. I'm in this picture somewhere. I'm the one jumping up and down with my hands in the air. Red shirt ? Picture of a tree ? No ?

Moments like that make it all worthwhile. The lows of freezing to death watching Barnsley roll you over when you could be in the pub on a Friday night, losing to Woking, Chester and earlier in the season, the 'fans-in-the-dressing-room' debacle against, would you believe it, Yeovil.

The lows are what the make the highs so enjoyable, and fortunately at Forest, there is no middle ground, no mediocrity, it's all highs or lows. European Cups to near-bankruptcy to Wembley every season to relegation to promotion & Europe back to relegation etc etc.

However, while I can understand what Nick Hornby was trying to say, he was, of course, talking out of his arse.


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