this is how i felt today for one blissful instantand that is what being a football fan is all about - the hope that your team will score a goal:
this afternoon i walked along south africa road, as the wind blew the blossom from the trees, and flattened the dying daffodils. the queue in the chippie was short, and i covered my portion with vinegar as i waited for tracy to turn up with my tickets.
it's a lovely day today, a bit windy, but sunny. it is a great contrast to the grey damp misery of yesterday. all is well as i sit in my seat and flinch at the green of the pitch. it is the 25th anniversary of the suicide of one our great players - dave clement. it so happens that his son is playing for west brom today. the announcer dedicates the match to clement, and then a record comes on the pa system and suddenly i am about 10 and singing along to the very sweet song that used to be the official club song - i sing "rangers, rangers, you are the best. rangers, rangers, you'll beat all the rest. rangers rangers everyone can see - you are the team for me!" i think i still have the 45 at home. today the teams runs out to the darth vader music from star wars.
we have to win - i told zeus about the lingerie and he said if we lose he is posting that on the qpr list. in the first half, we hold them off, and even have a few chances. for a team pushing for promotion, west brom don't look so much better than us. it is 0-0 at half-time, even though frange was sent off to buy the magic hot dog. i think the problem was that they did not ask me to bless it - last time i did and we scored immediately!
west brom take the lead, and we all slump. we figure that is it, but we are wrong. gareth ainsworth infuses the team with attacking energy. the manager brings on blackstock for nygaard and with his first touch, dex heads gazza's cross into the net. 1-1! we would settle for that, but the team does not and continues to surge forward. furlong falls in the area (noam said he dived) and we get a penalty. the guys in the seats in front of me cannot bear to look and turn their backs. furs looks so weary as he prepares to shoot. he taps the ball to his left and the keeper saves it easily. we knew it would be so, but will settle for the draw.
it is not to be. i watch numbly as the latest west brom sub wheels away in joy having scored the winner. i am not sad yet, although i am home now. is it shock, or resignation? i just keep thinking of that moment the ball went into the west brom net. i can see it bulging through the side netting towards me as i am suddenly in the dark shadow of thousands of fans leaping from their seats. i leap too, and scream, and do who knows what. it's brilliant. it is an instant of happiness. there is nothing like it. i'll be back on tuesday :-)