Football - More than just a game?
A recent survey showed a majority of male football fans would prefer to give up their girlfriend rather than their team be relegated.
When you start viewing that statement seriously then you know that football has got to you.
A case in point was the Sheffield United game on the last day of the season. The build up all week had been hyped up by the media and the tension was beginning to tell in the Baskerville household.
Come the Sunday morning of the game, neither myself or Mrs B could sleep so at 5 am decided to walk the dog round the leafy suburbs of Beech Hill (you have to be there) and guess what we saw, you guessed correct a lot of other Latics insomniacs.
We left early for the game, having become so wound up at home that we had to do something, arriving at the ground just as the gates opened.
Emotions went from boundless optimism to total pessimism, after all our form going into the game had been poor.
All the Latics fans stood during the game and at 44 mins with the score one all Latics get a penalty, what do several hundred Latics fans do who have paid lots of dosh to see the game?
Sit down or turn away.
If you thought the tension was bad, then the sending off of Lee McCulloch in the second half more than doubled it. The sending off was the catalyst for shedloads of Latics fans to head for the concourse, as they just couldn`t bear to watch.
The final whistle sparked wild elation, as grown men hugged total strangers, my daughter receiving a smacking kiss from an old guy (much to her annoyance).
A friend who is a die hard Blades fan, was planning to meet me after the game but was too upset to talk.
As we go into today`s game, I find myself experiencing conflicting emotions.
The positive says we are unbeaten in 6 games at home and are playing well with a cast iron defence, a hard working midfield and two strikers who look sharp against a team out of form who can`t buy a goal.
The negative says this is Latics and we always make life difficult for ourselves and Leroy Lita is playing for Reading and will no doubt score a hat trick against us.
Hopefully the former will be correct but I won`t relax until the final whistle goes.
If insurance firms asked on your application form whether you were a football fan then I am sure that the policy premiums would go up significantly.
Football, more than a game? You bet it is
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