24 January 2013

There ain't no romance around here

What have we learnt about getting too excited about a big day out with Luton? Nor-a-folk-ing thing.

Norwich v Luton: FA Cup Semi Final, 1959

A gentle Norfolk pun there for you light entertainment fans. I doubt many will be quite so F-ing reserved come saturday though. Why? Because watching a Premier League side attempting to unpick a Luton defence - most mentioned this season in sentences like "That Luton defence look like they've never defended a set piece before in their life" - won't be pretty. Will it...

Watching the rapturous faces of those Bradford fans losing their minds on Tuesday night made me ever surer of the one thing I've known since the draw: no matter how much we want it to be us on Saturday, the best thing we can hope to take home from Carrow Road is the worst football head* of the season. (*9 pints, no food, 90 minutes of straining to sing yourself sober... awful headache = football head)

Now, football head is not necessarily a bad thing. The arrival of the searing pain in your cranium on about 75 mins usually means you've had a fantastic day out. Also, your worst football head can sometimes be your best. I can still remember the pain subsiding at the final whistle of the JPT Final as the pure joy of 40 thousand jubilant hatters soothed my delicate condition.

I'm sorry to disappoint, but there will be no such relief on Saturday. On Saturday each and every one of us are taking that football head home with us. And we'll get to know it really well, holding it tight while we're stuck in wintry traffic or stood restlessly queuing for the disgraceful toilet on a train, nursing an ill-advised and overpriced can of National Rail Stella.

Because there's no romance for us. Bollocks to the FA Cup, we're the woman scorned. The battered spouse. Hurt once, twice before, and never to love again.

Now, you may have gathered from the above that I didn't go to the Wolves game.

Instead, during the Wolves game I was doing DIY in my future mother-in-law's house, while the TuneIn Radio App on my phone repeatedly refused to recognise the existence of Diverse FM. Instead I watched as texts, tweets and the all too sparse updates filtered through from the BBC speaking of a rocking Kenilworth Road. Incredible scenes. Just like the old days, they said.

Ever since, in the build up to Saturday's FA Cup 4th Round tie, there have been two types of Luton fan. Those who went to Wolves. And those that didn't.

Those who went stroll carefree with the glazed and unbecoming confident smile of a middle aged divorcée who has found love again. Childish, naive love.

As for me, I have no idea now why I decided the Wolves game was the time to start limiting the amount of games I travel down for in January, to save a few quid in a tight month. But what I do know is that those of us who didn't go despise those of you who did. Bitter and damaged by memories of Dartford and Telford and Newport.

Well this time Luton, I've got a ticket. And the more I stare at it, the more I think it's been too long since I was part of a big day out. The more I look forward to the inevitable and terrible football head, and maybe, just maybe, the biggest 4000 smiles in the Anglia TV region. 

The more I think about it, the more I think I might be ready to love again. 

Come on you rip roarin'.

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