Posted by: crustynomad | October 19, 2007

Football: ‘Why do we put ourselves through it?’

After England’s disappointing showing in Russia which took qualification for EURO2008 out of their own hands, I was extremely down. I felt sick to the stomach that England may not be there next summer.

You can watch matches as a neutral but really you need to have an allegiance or else there seems little point to it all.

Having said that I find it interesting how upset / excited you can get over a single game but after a period of the time there is a reversal of fortunes and you wonder what the fuss was about.

Take West Brom. About three years ago they won on the last day of the season to move up from bottom of the table to out of the relegation zone. Fans were delirious but a year later they were relegated anyway and are still in the Championship.

My own team Lincoln City lost its league status on the final day of the 1986-87 season. What was worse about that was it was the only day of the entire season they had been bottom of the table, it was the first season of automatic relegation as opposed to re-election and that Torquay were saved by an invading Police dog!

The Devon club had a couple of lucky escapes to avoid relegation. Firstly, in 1987, a police dog called Bryn bit Torquay player John McNichol and the time while he was receiving treatment was added onto the end of the second half. This was just enough time for the home side to get an equaliser against Crewe Alexandra [following a drop ball] that kept them up and sent Lincoln City into the Conference on goal difference. The dog was feted among the local fans and was given a free season ticket for life and when he died, the club had him stuffed and he takes pride of place in the boardroom. Nine years later Torquay retained their League place because Stevenage Borough were not considered to have a ground suitable for League purposes and were denied promotion. This enraged the Stevenage chairman so much that he offered to buy Torquay’s place in the League from them !!

Source: http://www.mehstg.com/torquay.htm

So Torquay were lucky but at the end of last season they went down much to my delight. The thing is, is that Lincoln gained instant promotion back to the fourth tier and both have had spells higher than that over the last two decades. Lincoln have been in the ascendency when both have been involved in promotion and play-off near misses so I can’t grumble anymore.

This season my dislike has moved to Bristol Rovers who beat the Imps in the play-offs meaning they didn’t get to the new Wembley. Lincoln are one of only a handful never to make it there despite two appearances at the Millennium Stadium while Wembley was closed.

So what is the current state of play? Torquay are storming away in the Conference and Lincoln are second bottom of the league and have just sacked their manager. Looks like they could swap places.

If this proves anything it shows that football is cyclical (apart from with England) and you get your bad times and bad. Shame it has a habit of giving supporters heart failure.

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  1. […] Original post by crustynomad […]


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