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What is more important, result or style of football?

Result
Style of Football


 

It’s a Mug’s Game

By: Todd Bontoft
Date: 06/03/2001

Well, I am still recovering from watching - not the worst performance ever - but certainly a confirmed entry into Channel Four's Top Ten of Grimsby Town's Worst Performances of All Time. And I've seen a few, but then again, haven't we all? Why simply do we come back for more?

It is not so much that Barnsley beat us 2-0 but more the manner of the capitulation: We desperately needed the points - Not for us the luxury of watching a mid-table 'bloody good game' (which it wasn't) with the result mostly academic.

We deserved what we got - zilch, zero, nothing - and there was not even the consolation that we were just unlucky on the day. But worst of all it just looked like the team had been to a seedy shop specialising in piercing and body decorations on a Galli-induced night-out, and had all paid for and willingly succumbed to having the 'R' word tattooed across their foreheads!

We certainly have some scars to show for our 'commitment' to a bunch of over-paid so-called football players that in all honesty care as much about North East Lincolnshire than I do about what dessert I will have after my BSE/Foot and Mouth Infected Sunday roast.

And as for the board! Only this lot would try to buy a player on six month's interest-free credit - or whatever they were hankering after - as if it were a shopping expedition for a new TV at the local electrical retail stores!

So I am faced with a dilemma - YOUR TEAM NEEDS YOU! - When your side is down that's the time they need you Todd! That's the time to show the team you care! That's the time to really get behind them Todd! Anyone can follow a winning team! Come on Todd - it's action stations, all hands to the pump, as it were!

But do I really want to put myself through the mental torture of going to support the - currently not so mighty or impressive - Mariners away to Huddersfield on Tuesday night? Please dear conscience, please don't put me through the guilt pangs if I decide not to go, I really don't think I can face defeat.

Look I know I still should, but the money, after a day at work, it hurts when they lose and does it really matter in the scheme of things? Please just leave me alone, wake me up in May and just tell me either we did or did not go down! I am struggling to get through this season, I couldn't even bear to face reading the Fishy's match report until Monday evening!

Ironic that potentially so many positive things could be happening, and so many positive things could be on everyone's lips, instead I find myself joining the lemmings over the end of Cleethorpes' Pier fearing the worst.

So do I go to Huddersfield on Tuesday night ? I know I probably will, well probably, well maybe, see how I feel, yes okay I'll be there!

I can just see me now - along with those other brave souls - one nil down, freezing my proverbial two-some to dropping off point, thinking of a warm meal at home and a drop of the old Methuselah, the strained headache starting to spread across the forehead and all our collective souls are focussed in yearning for an equaliser! But the mind says why are you and countless others putting yourself through this pain!

Before the game I will be pessimistic, optimistic, pessimistic, then once more optimistic, and then simultaneously both of them. One of the players will run out and I will indulge in a fatuous episode of hero worship! Having paid for a full tank of fuel, winced at the entrance fee (that doesn't go to my team), eaten some appallingly under-cooked, tasteless and cholesterol saturated grub I will then sit down to read the now very familiar article all about Grimsby Town Football Club's Squad. The one that appears verbatim with clinical regularity in every programme at every away ground. Is it I or is there someone that takes subversive pleasure in circulating the same material to all the other sides in the first division? It's as if we must all be doubly punished for attending an away game!

Barring the minimum of editing, such as changing the home team's name and the statistics between the two respective sides, I have a pretty good idea what I will be reading.

Ten minutes to go - they will be out any minute now - with the officials and some stupid mascot!

Why did I decide to come? Will it be worse for us after tonight? Do we settle for a draw? We need a win don't we? Let's not be greedy eh? Oh my god what if we take the lead?

And so I remain trapped, I'm here now and for the next 90-plus minutes I must endure whatever hazardous series of emotions befalls me and my comrades as we support this bunch we call our team!

Isn't it supposed to be an entertainment? Don't they go on about this being part of the entertainment business? Why then am I here, what and where is the pleasure?

It's a Mug's Game!

Delete as applicable after the result.

  • Yes, Yes,Yes, great night wouldn't have missed it for the world! I think this is just the momentum to carry us through now to glorious safety! They are all heroes! Excellent!
  • Phew, that was close but we hung on! Well done lads! I would have settled for a draw before kick-off, not a bad game! Grovesy played well!
  • Oh for heaven's sake! (It's a family website!), now what do we do! Useless bunch of wasters! They played like a sack of Christmas puddings on Boxing Day! I knew I shouldn't have come, they just don't deserve our support! Don't tell me where we are in the table I don't want to know!

Todd Bontoft

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