This isn’t good for the health…
Exhausting isn’t it? All this chasing promotion, having to keep winning, last minute winner, dying seconds’ finger-tip save malarkey is playing utter havoc with my nerves.
In the days of mid-table mediocrity and even those flirting with relegation times, I didn’t seem anywhere near as obsessed and ultimately shattered as I am at the moment.
Admittedly it’s an infinitely more pleasurable exhaustion I’m experiencing, but none-the-less it seems to have become all-consuming.
After a 0-2 home reverse to Scunthorpe Athletic North End, or whoever else had plundered Carrow Road that particular week, it seemed easy enough to switch off from all things City until at least the Monday when the post mortem would start with a morbid dissection of the teams’ short-comings.
Any thoughts of reading match reports or listening to Canary Call were little more than fantasy.
However, the crushing realisation that we supported a team of such general ineptitude would be slowly cast aside over the next 72 hours, and that terrible enemy of all football fan’s sanity, hope, would creep back into our thinking.
Then off we’d go again on a delusional ‘We *can* do this you know…’ journey before crashing back to earth the following game.
What we are experiencing now is a beast that rears itself only rarely.
A sort of dream-like existence that makes you wake in the early hours and recall in slow motion Lansbury side footing home the winner as Carrow Road erupts into a seething, cauldron of exctasy that leaves you hugging the chubby, bearded bloke from King’s Lynn who sits behind you, in unbridled joy.
The same beast that makes a Wednesday night when Forest play Scunthorpe a tortuous roller-coaster of obsessive iPhone watching.
Indeed, it’s the very same hairy brute that has made me stare relentlessly at my fixture list for the last three months to the point that I know across which fixture the crease lays. (Leicester City away)
I suppose a begrudging ‘Thank you!’ should be made to Paul Lambert and his band of brothers for all this success business, but I’m too exhausted to do it!
This weekend’s Elland Road encounter was a classic case in point.
My away trips have become increasingly spasmodic over that last 12 months and thus Neil and Chris have become Statler and Wardorf like companions to me http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14njUwJUg1I as City’s season has gone from minor miracle to potentially major one.
The thing is that listening to Chris Gorham is hardly likely to calm already fraying nerves. He commentates as he watches, as a true fan.
To him, like us, every speculative long ball from the opposition represents an almost certain calamitous defensive error and let’s face it, after watching as many City away games as he has, he’s right to worry!
Thus a cracking 2-2 draw left me pacing the house and twitching like Inspector Dreyfus in The Pink Panther http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEcsgbwBFRs
With each raising of the Gorham decibels yet another hidden tick was revealed.
Thumbing that well worn fixture list earlier has hardly reassured me that solace is round the corner. This is going to be one hell of a couple of months isn’t it? Lets face it with Lambert managing and Gorham commentating there will be little chance to sit back and relax.
To many younger fans this is the first time they will have experienced such giddying excitement and almost relentless upward momentum of the club.
It’s truly wonderful. To them I say, enjoy every second of it…. If you have the energy left to do so!
And finally… Grant Holt.
My young lad isn’t a bad little player. By some genetic miracle he’s ended up with two good feet, an ability to run all day and a truly wonderful attitude.
Because he shines on a pitch he does become the target of the odd bit of unwanted attention.
One lad that he encounters on a regular basis tries to kick lumps out of him.
Whilst being tempted to tell my lad to throw a right hook when the refs not looking, fatherly discretion got the better of me and instead I relayed to him a tale of one Grant Holt v Ian Harte.
A story that started with our Captain Incredible being ordered from the pitch due to the unsportsmanly antics of the Reading full-back.
The medicine, however unpleasant, was taken and Grant Holt left the pitch knowing he had been wronged. No histrionics, no idle threats he just left the pitch.
Three months later Holt was sharing the pitch with that nice Mr Harte once more.
When in the 94th minute Holt stole half a yard on a defender to slide home a winner, who was it left in a muddy heap on the pitch as Holt and Carrow Road celebrated as one?
Yep, you guessed it, that nice Ian Harte. There was only one winner there wasn’t there?
And who said professional footballers don’t make goods role models?