Keeping The Dream Alive

Last updated : 18 January 2003 By Terrace Talk
All we could hear were the ‘oohs’ and the ‘aahs’ from the away end of the ground, with occasionally the ball emerging out of the fog as we launched a break away attack. But another good result and incredibly we were third in the table. Obviously teams had games in hand on us and as I write this we’re back down to fifth but things are looking good. If we can keep Byrne to the end of the season, and assuming Beagrie and Kell get back sooner rather than later, then why not? If you ignore the first eight games of the season we’ve been in championship form for some months now.

One fly in the ointment is the York position. If they fold halfway through the season their matches will be void and with us having already collected six points from them it will affect us badly. Here’s hoping they survive and for more than just selfish reasons.

So what about the Leeds game? I enjoyed our day in the limelight and thankfully we didn’t get embarrassed by any means. We enjoyed good coverage in the national media and the club banked a few quid. The pitch looked to be in great condition all things considered, apart obviously from that small patch of ice Erik Bakke slipped on. Having said that he has just been arrested for drink driving, so perhaps there were other reasons why he was so unsteady on his feet. But let’s be honest – the disputed penalty gives us a chance to feel aggrieved about a match we were never going to win anyway.

It was nice for once to see the ground full and even at 2.15 the home end was fairly packed. I struggled to my usual spot fully expecting some twat I’d never seen before to be standing there wearing a brand new scarf. I had the conversation mapped out in my head – “But I’ve been here since quarter to two!” he would say as I pushed him out of the way. Pointing to the now vacant spot on the terrace I would grandly proclaim “I’ve been here since August 1988!” Cue applause from impressed bystanders. As it happened it was the same people around me, although closer than usual, and I took my usual place with reasonable ease. Nonetheless it was fairly packed by kick off. This finally was a chance to sample the atmosphere older fans talk about. I fully expected to see people who had fainted being passed over the cloth capped heads of the crowd to safety, but it didn’t happen. Worse still when I finally got away from the ground a quick check revealed that somewhat disappointingly no-one had pissed in my pocket.

One aspect of the Leeds game I found odd was the payout on the 50/50 draw. The theory is that half of the money collected constitutes the prize money and the tickets say you can win ‘up to £1000’. Well no-one expects the prize to be big when we’re at home to Torquay, but against Leeds we had a full ground. Now clearly people have to buy a ticket as well as coming through the turnstile, and you could theoretically have a full ground but only five people and Pepe the dog buying tickets, but let’s be sensible here. If the prize money – and you would have been about half way to a grand if you won ALL the prizes - is so low against Leeds then are there really any realistic circumstances in which anyone will ever win £1000? And if there aren’t why print it on the tickets?

Not that I expect to win and I don’t mind the money going to the club. People often say the National Lottery is poor value because even though the jackpot is huge the chances of winning it are one in ten billion or something daft like that. They miss the point I think. The National Lottery (or Lotto as they’ve rebranded it) is good value because of all the daydreaming you can do for just £1. For just a quid you can indulge yourself in fantasy for days on end, planning how you’ll break the news to your manager that he can stuff his f*cking job, buy five Ferrari's, pay people to beat up your loudmouth brother in law etc etc. All of this only stops when you check the numbers and find out you haven’t actually won anything, and personally I never bother, keep the dream alive I say. And an essential part of any lottery fantasy is to buy the club in the time to bring yourself on as sub with one minute to go before we clinch the third division title. I work with a Grimsby fan who was telling me the other day what he would do if he could only win the lottery and buy the club.

It’s ok for him of course – he only needs three numbers.

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