Not another Premier League wedding, surely?
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Last year, everyone got an invite except us…
“They can’t afford a present,” some hushed. “We won’t see them next year, anyway” others parped. But we crashed it - sitting at the back, pretending not to see the disdainful glances or hear the affronted whisperings. But, once the guests saw past our yellow and green outfits they realised we weren’t so bad after all.
“Brave and not without charm”. “Plucky” someone blathered.
It’s nearly nine months since that brutal introduction to the haughty “Prem-famille” and barely seeing my team live during this time has taken its toll. But, I have survived, clutching onto the belief that we’d soon be back in the Championship waving affordable tickets at a frothy Loftus Road, the buzzy new Bees stadium, that flatpack in Reading and er, well, The Valley, all within easy access from my London gaff. You can keep yer shiny (over rated btw) Spurs Stadium (I did get to THAT one at least) and the tube walk from Hell. I’m dreaming of that sun-kissed stroll along the Thames to The Cottage.
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The Championship suits us like a cold ale suits a beer garden (stop torturing me, brain) or like Division One suits that lot down the road. We have “swagger” down there (in the Championship) earning respectful hush at away grounds, rather than pitiful glances from PL Asian package tour crowds (“ahhhh, bless ‘em”). It’s like Groundhog Bullseye on those away days to their vulgar temples of crassness - “here’s what you could’ve won.” No ta.
Football is genuine in the Championship.
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Of course, there were scenes. The humiliation of one of the most expensive teams ever curated was a doozy. I saw Robins, Sutton, Fox and “the team of the 90s” all over again.
Ten points clear? Yeah why not. But as Teemu faded, Emi fell out with everyone and the club’s piggy bank moved further back under Webber’s Canary yellow sofa, the season faded into a grim, weekly finger crack peep-fright at my local. Then, along came The Rona and life just… well, stopped.
Now, it’s all gone Jason & the Argonauts and I’m Phineus. But instead of Zeus punishing me with Harpies stealing my food, the Football Gods torment me with the threat of another season in the Premier League - sans Aarons, Buendia, Pukki et al.
“Damn you. Why do you punish us Norwich fans so?”
First, it was in 85 after winning the League Cup (yes, kids, this really happened; ask yer folks) then you cruelly took away Europe. Now, in the knowledge that our Board of Thriftiness (The BOTs) are unlikely to put hands in long pockets, you’re diggin’ more twisted kicks watching us fall flat on our ruddy Norfolk faces again? What did we do to upset you? Was it Gambit? Or perhaps I’m not seeing this right. Is this your mysterious way of asking for forgiveness? You know, for 85 and for sending us RvW?
But, what if the league does resume? Well, we could quickly become the Barca of safe distancing after spending most of the season so far, at least six feet away from the nearest opposition (“I theeang yer; here all week”). Talksport might be listenable again and after trouncing United in a Portman Road-like atmosphere at an empty Carra, we get to endure the horror of a semi at Wembley behind closed doors.
However, I can’t see the Covid19/20 season restarting any time soon. So, if we do get the TV money we don’t deserve, I hope we show some humility and give a proportion to the NHS perhaps. And, with pinkies firmly in cheeks, buy Corona beers for everyone at the first home game please.
Just maybe, with luckiest team ever assembled cockiness, we might just be first to arrive at the Premier League nuptials come August.
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