A Blue View from Down under
I've been a B'ham City fan since my first girl friend unceremoniously dumped me for a Villa fan. I became a six year old with a Villa grudge. Well 45 years on, and it's still very hard when the Villa win and we lose. After all this time you would think either my expectations would be lower or my pain threshold higher. But no; it still hurts. It's like an 8 year old on Christmas morning realising that the big pressie under the tree is a dolls house for sister not his bike. Then only to hurt more when opening the pressie from gran and finding a Villa away kit!! Yes every Blues season is just like Christmas for me. Occasionally I get a minor present I want and sometimes the one I even expect. But never the one I really want. A Premier League Title. When I left England for Australia the decision was in no small way affected by the Villa going through yet another claret patch and us plumbing the depths of another blue patch. In the passing 25 years I have spent many dark early morning hours watching the Blues. My typical viewing of a Blues game is just like the recent league game at West Ham and lets face it that was a game fraught with all sorts of danger. We had just done a Houdini against them and made it to our first trip to Wembley since they 3 laned the M1. Robbie Keane had Spurned us in favour of Hammers. The Gold's and Friends would have legitimate claims over both the away and home directors' boxes and revenge for the Hammers would see us 19th and them 16th... The game in Australia kicked off around midnight. I have no problems staying up but I have huge problems watching us lose to cockneys at 2 in the morning. It's like prowling the night club all night, picking the girl you like; buying her a drink; wooing her with your wit only to turn around and turn back for the slow dances and see her dancing away in the erection section with a gorilla in a Villa shirt who is licking her tonsils! So generally I tape the game. Or, whatever the digital hard drive definition of tape is. Then when I wake up, I anxiously get up and watch the game. This morning I woke tossing and turning at 4.30am. I couldn't stay asleep any longer. My wife, who after 17 years knows the symptoms, said I hope they bloody won and kicked me out of bed. Now picture this. The game is already over, yet I can't just turn it on and suffer 2 hours of pain and watch the Gold's smirking Botox mushes at the final whistle. So I go to Fox Sports to sneak a peak at the result. I just use one eye to peek, feeling that I'm not so much cheating. One-nil to us must be a mistake. So I sneak off to the office to check soccernet. My son, who I inadvertently wake up, presumes that I am checking on much more important matters. We live in Queensland and have just seen the biggest ever cyclone slide north of us and have also just had the 200 year floods make the city into 50 islands. He asks what the death toll is. I reply the manager of the Baggies and Avram Grant is on the critical list. Now armed with the result I watch the game on 4x speed. We don't dominate but aren't dominated. A good sign. No body stands out beside Ziggy. But at 6' 8" who wouldn't. Then Ziggy scores and I just can't believe it. So much so I have to go to 12x through the last 5 minutes because I'm expecting us to still lose. It must be a mistake. This can't be my bike surely. Okay it's just West Ham maybe just an action man. But it's not a Villa away shirt. Now if I can just get the Star Wars Lego (Stoke)and the Meccano Set (Newcastle) all will be well with the world.
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