It’s been a bad season; we all know that.
Where we had so much hope, realistic or not, there is now a mixture of confusion, concern, and disappointment.
A hero is preparing to exit the stage and there are very few waiting in the wings to step into those boots. In fact, there seem to be a few who are looking for their own exits and others whose ambivalence is beyond frustrating.
Someone who could be cast as the villain is sitting up high, quietly watching the disintegration of our fortress. All in all, there is not much to feel a bright yellow joy about at the moment.
This is the point where some might say, ‘It’s only football’. But we all know football is more than a game, more than the ninety minutes on the pitch.
Our club, our colours weave through a community, over the land, across oceans and they weave around us. They bind us together and bring us together.
It’s why we have the pre-match rituals, the drinks, the people you share laughter and tears with only because you chose seat 102 and they chose seat 103.
Messages of celebration, commiseration, painstaking analysis, and mostly messages of hope that fly between us when otherwise nothing might be said. Without football there would be so much more silence, so many voices not heard, so many songs not sung.
Football makes us a family with all that comes with that. No family is happy all the time, no family succeeds all the time, they argue, they lose their way for a while. And families change, people join and sometimes they leave.
There is pain and there is triumph. But those bonds stay. Those yellow and green threads keep pulling us back together, back to Carrow Road, to 3am bus journeys, to the radio, to however we feel a part of it.
When we come together, for one last time this season, I’ll be thinking about those threads. About how I’m part of something that will last longer than any player or manager contract. Longer than an amazing season, or a terrible one.
And for me, I’ll be thinking about a seat that is painfully empty, which shouldn’t be. But I’ll be hoping that those threads, those bonds, don’t break just because sometimes, someone has to leave us.
Perhaps instead they grow stronger.
And I’ll be grateful for family, and the family that football has given so many of us.