First published in The Pink on Saturday, November 13, 2010
AWAY games aren’t usually my thing. The idea of spending hours on the M6 doesn’t really appeal to me, so I only go to a handful each season.
While I doff my cap at the 1,000 hardy souls who traipsed all the way to the frozen wastes of Cumbria, or any of the other long haul venues to watch the supposedly beautiful game we call football, I tend to either be at work or staring at Jeff Stelling through a gentle hangover.
More often than not I can’t get to a radio, so have to make do with listening to a Saints game via their website.
Ah the wonders of technology, I hear you say. And I’ve got to say it’s a brilliant service – provided you don’t mind spending the first 20 minutes of the match listening to the Bournemouth game.
On a number of occasions I’ve loaded up the live commentary only to be greeted by a random appraisal of Eddie Howe’s side.
Quite how the same mistake is made so often, I’m not so sure, but while they do usually sort it out at some point, you do find yourself wondering is it all part of a plot to make us believe we are actually rivals with Cherries.
Okay, as a conspiracy theory it may not quite be up there with the Moon Landing or JFK’s magic bullet, but what the hell. There has to be some reason other than a boring and straightforward cock-up, surely?
The best thing about it is reading the fury and scorn that pours forth on Twitter or various other sites from far flung Saints fans who have no other way to listen.
Mind you, I live in central Southampton and the radio signal is so hit and miss in my house I’d be better off standing on my roof with a tinfoil hat and a coat hanger trying to tune in sometimes.
I don’t mean to take pleasure in others’ misfortune but it does brighten up the day when you’re waiting to find out where Steve McRandom Cherryplayer is playing today.
Various spellings of well known swear words litter the #saintsfc search, usually accompanied by the obligatory “grrs” or random threats of bizarre forms of torture to whoever may be responsible.
After the failed appeal of Paul Chambers in the Twitter trial this week, I’d warn some Saints fans to think about what they tweet, however – it appears the courts don’t have much of a sense of humour about that sort of thing!
Luckily, because Saints’ website is just part of a network of about 60 other clubs, you can easily listen to the opposition’s local commentary of the game.
The countless different ways they pronounce ‘Lallana’ is a particular highlight – I suggest you keep an ear out for. It’s always interesting to see how your club and team are viewed, so in a way it can be a nice distraction.
But please, if you’re going to make me listen to a different match, at least make it a good one.