A stranger in a strange land

It’s a strange thing to have to watch your football team in the ‘wrong’ stand, where you’re surrounded by unfamiliar faces.

For your own health and safety, the first thing you have to do is to ensure that you don’t give the game away by shouting out your team’s name or hurling the customary abuse at the opposition.

And then there’s the weird sensation of finding yourself in some sort of alternative universe where everyone seems to see things differently to you.

So a well timed tackled by your centre half will be greeted with loud screams for a penalty, a blatantly obvious offside decision by the ref will bring forth ringing condemnation of the “obvious bias” of the official and any kind of legal body contact from your players will generate a howl of protest from the crowd, demanding an instant dismissal for what has to be one of the most outrageous acts of violence since V2 rockets reigned down on London.

And then there’s the pain of hearing your team, your players and your fans being called every name under the sun, while ‘comedians’ in the crowd burst forth with woefully inept attempts at a Welsh accent while questioning the sexual habits of your countrymen.

And all the time you have to sit there, meek and quiet like a little mouse and trying to resist the temptation to start a one man riot.

Danny Shittu thunders in the only goal of the game. I cried a little inside

But all of this pales into insignificance compared to the pain and the horror of seeing the ball sink into your own net and then finding yourself in a sea of deliriously whooping supporters.

At the moment of your greatest despair, all you can see is smiles, laughter, waving arms and the ringing taunts at the ineptitude of your own team. And if that wasn’t bad enough, you have to make some token effort to join in or be instantly recognised as the ‘enemy within’.

So you have to stand up with the rest of them and grimace through the celebrations, flinching inside each time a supporter’s arm slaps you on on the back and avoiding the gaze of those over-excited fans seeking a celebratory hug.

I am, of course, talking from bitter experience here.

Today, I had to sit amongst a sea of QPR fans to watch my beloved Cardiff City lose 1-0.

It sucked the fat one.

Cardiff come close near the end. But not close enough.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.