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12,160 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 1300 of them this year alone and, so far, 2 this month (Dec. 1).

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Singin' The Blues

Watching the League One play-off final between Sunderland and Charlton Athletic, which ended in a heartbreaking last-minute goal that gave victory to the Londoners, left me with mixed emotions and, despite which side of the river you are from - Tyne or Wear - it seemed as though we should be united in our grief at the failure of a local team to dunk a team from quite a few rivers south.

In football, it doesn't work like that, irrespective of the fact that a Sunderland win would have brought Newcastle and Sunderland closer to playing moneyspinning derby games the community in the pub set down the demarcation lines - one fan's joy another's sorrow.

There's racism in football but it isn't just related to the colour of your skin, it's also down to the colour of your shirt. Friends, families have been distanced by the politics of what, at the end of the day is, just a game and, despite what Bill Shankly was once quoted as saying, it isn't much more serious than life and death.

Which brings me around to a comment by Branford Marsalis in last month's DownBeat.

"I cheer for The Saints, I want them to win. Notice I don't say I want us to win. My father helped me understand that "we" benefits the team, but it doesn't really benefit you since you don't receive any of the largesse of their success. So you need to create a line that delineates what you support from what you actually are." 

There's a life outside of football, jazz or whatever your penchant is and, what's more, it's all the sweeter when you return...

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm just going to play me some blues...
Lance

2 comments :

Steve T said...

I've never got the concept of judging people by how many stretches of water there are between where I was born and where they were born. Nor have I ever found it helpful that others do, including politicians when it suits them.

JERRY said...

Couldn't agree more, Lance. Sunderland til' I die, but I like NUFC to win, or 'boro (as long as they are not playing us!!). When I came North (1968) many people would go to whichever home game was on - so I was quite familiar with and comfortable with St James's Park. I hate the modern tribalism which reflects societal change where people no longer respect difference, no longer respect each other, just turn inwards and hate!
Remember Bobby Moncur? Remember Pop Robson? There were no absurd taboos back then.
I was at Wembley yesterday and was disappointed by the result - though frankly not surprised - and witnessed the unedifying sight of SAFC fans fighting each other two rows in front of me after the final whistle! It's not life and death - there are no enemies - and if you get to the point of hitting each other and even your "friends", where does the madness go next?

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