HASN’T the matchday ‘experience’ changed? I used to frequent the ‘Geordies Pride’, or occasionally the Hoffbrahaus, to watch the ‘exotic dancers’ turn a male audience into a sea of nodding dogs.
Then the unsteady wander up to the ground. If we were doing okay, you had to be there by 2.30, under the Richard Dinnis regime though; they’d wait until you arrived.
Don’t think that this is going to be a ‘things were better in the old days’ piece, with mournful trumpet music playing in the background, it isn’t, the facilities on offer were probably on a level with that bug-ridden hospital in Kent.
By contrast, the other weekend was a fairly typical match day in modern ‘Sky world’ – a Sunday kick-off at three o’clock, because Everton’s poor Lambs had to fly back from the Ukraine. Who was their pilot? Phileas Fogg?
Blackburn’s game was put back, and they’d played at home on the Thursday! Where do their players live? Venus?
Back to Sunday. It’s common now to have a telly match at lunch time, so this meant an earlier bus, and as it was matchday, the bus company responded by putting the slowest bus in history on; the Romans got to Newcastle quicker.
This match is to whet your appetite for your game, and this day it was O’Sunderland at Arsenal. Great!
We got our calculators set on our mobiles and waited for the avalanche, but, typically contrary of them, they made a decent fist of it, and probably deserved a point.
So as I wobbled (some things never change) up to St.James’s Palace, I’d already seen a game, I had one to watch, and then saw another live game while waiting for the bus!
By the time I arrived home, I’d seen more matches in one afternoon than I used to see in a fortnight.
Quite frankly, there’s only so much you can take of Alan Smith’s dull Midlands drawl, and the ‘jolly hockey sticks’ commentary trying to convince you that because the game is on telly, it’s an absolute football feast.
The matchday experience has changed, sometimes for the best, there’s more beer available in the ground for one. On the other hand, you rarely get any change because of the hideous prices. Wasn’t like that in my day . . .