Date:Tuesday March 27 2007
First of all I might just say that this is a bit of a departure from my usual blurb but I ask you to bear with me on this one. Now, this may seem like a strange question to ask a group of people who pay good money to watch Forest play week in, week out, but here goes.
Do you really enjoy watching Forest play these days?
The obvious answer is almost certainly 'sometimes I do and sometimes I don`t` but I for one must admit that the prospect of going to watch Forest play these days is not as appealing as it once was and not just because of the division we are playing in either. At one time it would have been normal for me to stand and sing all the way through a game but these days it s more a case of chewing my nails and complaining about misplaced passes. Perhaps it`s the onset of age or a loss of respect for modern day footballers, etc. but there is something about football that leaves me a little cold these days. This is my own intensely personal point of view you understand and may not be shared by many other reds fans, particularly those who have only recently started following the team. I also have no doubt that a number of people will think that this viewpoint is just symptomatic of our fall from grace and I would be lying if I said that was not a factor.
The season before last when we were relegated from the Championship was the last time I held a season ticket and that was always going to be the case for a while, regardless of the outcome. This is a decision I made for intensely personal reasons you understand - otherwise my wife might well have left me for starters! I still go regularly of course but the trepidation I feel when I enter the ground is something I never used to get when I was a kid. That buzz of excitment has now been replaced by the fear of losing. Of course, I realise that the standards are not up to the heady days when I watched the likes of Pearce, Clough and Walker grace the pitch but it`s more than that. I have a genuine fear of us losing now as I feel that every game we lose is another feather in the cap of the detractors and another nail in the clubs coffin. I go on a rollercoaster of emotions throughout the 90 minutes these days and at the end I either feel relief or disappointment but rarely joy. Strangely, when we win I am just grateful for 7 days of enjoying the result before the next trial by football and that`s not a healthy way to be is it?
It does not help that the club seem intent on thinly veiled PR exercises through the media and the official web site that do little more than raise supporter`s expectations and provide cryptic information regarding the players. The club has always been a bit hush-hush regarding important matters but sometimes the silence coming out of the city ground is deafening. Apart of course, from the numerous articles in the local press where the management and players seem to love nothing more than talking a good game and telling us about our impending promotion.
It also seems a tad depressing to speak this way, just days before a crucial game in our promotion push but to me it is more apparent now than ever. It also may appear that my heart is not in it either but that is definitely not the case. I will be supporting Forest until I am pushing up the daisies as they say and will always get the butterflies on a Saturday afternoon. However, losing on Saturday for me is unthinkable as it will almost certainly resign us to the play-offs and that is far too much for my already frayed nerves to stand. I just hope we pull it off and end up getting automatic promotion at the end of the season as that may restore a bit of pride in the club and the town as a whole.
Anyway, onwards and sideways people.
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