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Forget the Turkey!

By: Todd Bontoft
Date: 18/12/2000

"Going away this Christmas?" "No I'm flippin not", I reply (or words to that effect). It's amazing that so many friends and relatives know my obsession with footie and, of course, The Mighty Mariners but somebody always asks.

What is more, the festive diary requires a Cray Supercomputer to weave a multiplicity of visits, 'tea at your place, then lunch at hours', 'oh and don't forget we're going to so and so's', 'don't forget the pantomime' but I know what I'll be doing. Going to the games - weather permitting. I remember away to Crystal Palace that was frosted off - so instead spent a 'wonderful and romantic' few days in the capital. To make matters worse never got to the rearrangement.

How could I go on holiday and miss a 'festive feast' of games home and away? It's the ideal excuse for leaving the claustrophobic environment of spreading goodwill to everyone in the overpopulated living room. You know the kind, only designed for comfortable accommodation for half a dozen is besieged by three times as many. A tree takes up a quarter of the room and an assault course of toys, Lego and board-game pieces scattered with lethal abandonment by those too young to be cynical.

A cacophony of noise descends from the various sensor-operated Christmas decorations, topped-off by the ho-ho-hoeing Santa Claus that catches you unawares in the hallway.

So when the fixture list comes out at the start of the season, the diary is immediately prepared. After scrutinising the opening day's fixture, the next most important entry is the Christmas holiday fixtures.

"Come on Todd, you are difficult to buy for, what do you want for Christmas?" I want the same as every year - maximum points from the holiday programme that'll make my Christmas. But invariably I am let down. Each year I have numerous reasons why Grimsby Town deserves the points more than any other team on the entire planet. But despite my letter to Father Christmas it seems he thinks there are more deserving cases.

There is no doubt that this year the club has excelled itself with the quality and choice of 'goodies' available at the club shop. Sorry I should have said 'official merchandise'. When I was too young to be cynical the range extended to a black and white scarf, a pendant for the wall, pen, and tie (why are they so awful) and a centenary mirror. And in true Monty Python mode - replica shirts, we never had such a thing as the home strip never mind the away strip! Since then the merchandising wizards have got to work and we can now purchase just about everything from a computer mouse mat to bedroom curtains.

The article continues in Part Two

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