Snowball I used to watch Newport County (for decades) and we lost a lot of games,
eventually went out of the league and out of business.
But, because our expectations were low and winning was rare
(except for two glory seasons when we got to the quarter-final
of the European Cup winners cup, drew 2-2 away and lost 0-1
at home to the eventual finalists) I (sort of) enjoyed watching.
Been watching Reading since 2006. In the last few seasons, I felt like giving
up, or not renewing my season ticket because I was actually getting depressed.
I don't mean "not enjoying", I mean depressed.
There is not the slightest doubt that the soul went out of the club, and a lot
of the passion, (cue "The Reading Way"). Murts on Monday radio, everything,
the sense of a family club, TRW, an up-and-at-'em attitude, the relentlessness
of attacks under Coppell (win or not), characters like Doyle, the Hunts, Kitson,
Long, Ivar, Jimmy Kebe, Gunner, BIKEY!
Some of the games felt GLORIOUS, beating Liverpool 3-1, winning after Gunnar's
nutmeg and Long's goat at Anfield. Coming back from 0-2 in our first Premiership
game v Boro to win 3-2.
These felt like "live events", real memories, something special to tell the grandkids,
whereas our last three Wembley visits (Swansea, Arsenal, Huddersfield) were meh
It isn't just about accruing points or going a long way in the cup. It's about the way
you play, what you believe in.
But, as I said, when the money stuff started and the place filled with frauds and
mercenaries, then we discovered "possession football" (OMFG), ever so slowly I went
from joy through "not-so-much" to it being a bit of a grind going and then to the point
where I began to find even thinking about Reading as genuinely depressing.
If we hadn't slotted in that quite amazing McDermott championship-winning season,
I think I would have given up. For me that season trumps the 106
Lot's of things are "just entertainment". Sure football needs to entertain, but it's
something on top of that. It's tribal, about belonging, about a way of playing.
The Millwall way, West Ham (always quality football even if they didn't win), Burnley
producing kids and being a selling club, and hanging in at the top, Celtic v Rangers,
I dispute that Swansea was Meh - that was a great game. History has proved they had a good squad that year.