8 April 2015

Love will tear us apart

“Clap on, Happy Clapper with your head in the sand, you’re kidding yourself, pal.” “You ‘kin what, you little Boo-Boy, all chubby with righteous rage?” “Settle down, Morecambe Specs, you’re just a moany old git with more programmes than brain cells.” “Yeah well, you’re just a Twitter kid with a nouveau niche, nothing more.” “Better that than a Main Stand menace and a Block C bore...”

Watching them lose week after week after week wasn’t part of the plan was it, ladies and formerly gentle men. Once upon a time this season had fairytale return written all over it, only for it to be vandalised by hamstrings and knees and development squads with hernia ops and referees and referees and referees.

We were supposed to be greeting this spring sunshine with white knees and White House cigars, not with a run of form containing more “L”s than a stag do at a driving school in a provincial Welsh town with a really, really long sign.

Something about our rollercoaster of recent fortunes has amplified the highs and the lows more than I remember in seasons past. Maybe it was ever thus - my memory for this type of thing is notoriously shite. Maybe it’s just a bit louder this time around because the size of our support, loyal at least in number.  Or maybe it’s just because now we’re all on the internet so much, we’re suddenly, constantly surrounded by the conflicting sound bite of the self righteous blogger, the Twitter prat and the messageboard troll.

But either way “Never too high, never too low” is for wimps, Mr Still, mate. We’re either fucking Howard Marks or we're fucking Victor Meldrew and we’ve got fucking hashtags to prove it. We might not be the hotbed of religious extremism that the Daily Mail once made us out to be, but get Luton Town on a bad run and you’ll struggle to find a moderate Hatter in Kenilworth Road.

But don’t read me wrong, dear reader, my dear. For this is no appeal for calm. Far from it...

Maybe in a tepidly parallel Wycombe Wanderer there would be a level-headed delight in the first season after a promotion, regardless of the results. Or maybe there wouldn’t.

For Lutonian men, women and children at least, no reason is applied to Saturday/Tuesday/Saturday dismay. Our opinions are released in floods of bile or sugary joy depending on which gut-wrenching memory of wasted away day or tickertape parade formed them, and worn on our sleeves for days after like a persistent puke stain from the weekend before.

But deep down, whether our fellow fan is clapping them off or foaming at the tunnel, we sort of know where they are coming from, don’t we? Because we were there too.

Whether three points at Tranmere means the start of a great end to this pantomime season, or whether it doesn’t, we’ll continue to throw train fares and post match pints at the problem until The Lovely Goals flow again.

Because whether we’re moaning at the team, moaning at the manager or moaning at the moaners, we’re only doing it because we’re hopelessly in love.

And it’s the love that tears us apart.


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