Those who frequent X – formerly known as Twitter before Elon Musk completely ruined it – will know what I mean when I say we’ve all, at some point, been guilty of firing off an inane tweet that at the time seemed okay if not trivial but which later you wish you’d never bothered sending. ,
That was me last night.
My first mistake was to venture into the mysterious world of Sky’s red button in order to check in on our nearest and dearest as they took on Russell Martin’s struggling Saints.
The regret was instant. ‘SOU 0, IPS 1’ shone like a belisha beacon in the top left-hand corner of the screen but, typically as with any Russ side, Southampton were having a lot of the ball and looked like they may have an equaliser in them. So I stuck it out.
The Ipswich fans were there in their numbers – as they tend to be when they’re doing well – and, yes, they did make a lot of noise. But what struck me most of all was that most of their songs were about Norwich or included a reference to Norwich.
And so I fired off the comment that I now regret … one where I questioned if Ipswich fans ever sings songs that aren’t about us.
The song that resonated most and is one they appear to sing almost incessantly is the one about a fictitious Boxing Day punch-up of the 1970s in which they were fictitiously victorious and from which we, the Norwich fans, fictitiously ‘ran away’.
I can only assume this is a legend that has been passed down through the generations, so much so that the young Blue Army vocalists of today actually believe it to be an authentic tale of heroism by their forefathers.
Lads – it’s neither big nor clever to be all fluffed up about winning a fight – even a make-believe one.
Anyway, I stuck it out for as long as I dared but when it became clear that Russ’s boys weren’t about to tippy-tappy themselves an equaliser I aborted my red button experiment and headed for the safety of Sheffield Wednesday v Middlesbrough, where I heard not a single song that contained the words, Norwich, scum, or budgies.
But, I also have to admit that of the four teams I watched, Ipswich were the pick. No point in denying it. Southampton huffed and puffed but that Town defence had a look about it that said ‘clean sheet’ and going forward they played with vigour and fire. Sorry, but they did.
And they’ve done the very thing you need to do as a promoted side – tap into the momentum that took you to promotion in the first place and use it in the opening weeks of the season to get points on the board.
From there, with the confidence sky high, anything feels possible and sometimes is. We should know; we’ve been there.
But going back to my daft tweet and its aftermath… typically it found its way into the Twitter (sorry X) Ipswich-sphere and triggered the obvious responses.
“Obsessed” … “We just want you to feel relevant” … “typical budgie” … obsessed” … “kettle pot black” … “obsessed”.
And aside from the one about them having the kindness in their hearts to help make us still feel relevant, it was hard to contest.
The fact I’d bothered to watch them in the first place and then take the time and effort to post a tweet, which said nothing we didn’t already know kind of confirmed that I am indeed a tiny bit obsessed.
I’ll not deny it. I am. I’ve even written about them extensively on this site (and am doing so again now) 🙂
As I explain in the above piece, I don’t share the venom and hatred towards them that some Canaries (sorry, Budgies) do, but I still am obsessed.
Theirs is the first result I look for when a City game is over. Their successes hurt infinitely more than the successes of any other team in the world – maybe apart from Liverpool – and, despite folk telling me otherwise, it really does always matter how they get on even if I have no control over it whatsoever.
I don’t think I’m alone. In fact, tis life. We are obsessed with Ipswich; they are obsessed with us. I guess that’s how local rivalries work. And as much as I detest the toing and froing that persists whenever green & yellow and blue & white collide either in person or online, it’s never going to subside.
Even when old boys like me tire of it, there’s always a new generation ready to grab the baton and run with it.
But for those rookies, it’s worth noting that as hard as you like to argue or contest, some facts are irrefutable:
- Ipswich have won more major trophies than us.
- We ‘participated’ in the UEFA Cup for just one season.
- Ipswich have a bigger ground than us.
- Ipswich currently get bigger crowds than us
- Ipswich’s away following is, on average, a bit bigger than ours
- We haven’t been beaten by Ipswich since April 19, 2009
- We will be beaten by Ipswich again, possibly but not definitely in three months’ time
So, two things before I get on with my work and then start turning my attention to City v Leicester.
Firstly, I’ll think twice in future about tweeting about Ipswich or their fans if I have neither the strength nor will to engage with the ‘banter’ that invariably follows and, secondly, if there are any support groups out there who hold regular meetings for Ipswich Town obsessives, please get in touch.
That was all.