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Searching for some common ground
THE Rochdale postponement last weekend was a blow for many reasons.
It is always a good thing to see new grounds, especially if, like myself, you had blagged a place in a corporate box thanks to family members living up there. See, northerners are good for something.
Exactly where all the rain came from to waterlog the pitch, I’m not sure, but flood it, it did.
So, we were left with a number of options, having recovered from our hangovers the night before. Firstly, go and see Preston v QPR. Secondly, head across the Peninnes and take in Leeds against Norwich at Elland Road, or perhaps even head down to Salford to see Man United take on Crawley. Of course, while these options were pondered, we headed back to the pub. Where we stayed.
I’d like to say we were cultured examples of southern football fans.
Sadly all we did was sit there, bemoan the state of the sport and try and impersonate Mancunian accents.
We could have taken in the sights of Manchester, but we hardly ventured out of the pub. In a way, it was an interesting experiment, as it provided an insight into how Saints are seen by other fans.
United fans were generally annoyed by us, due to the beatings at The Dell and the 1976 cup final and Rochdale fans revelled in the fact they turned over a ‘big’ club like us earlier in the season.
Meanwhile Man ‘Citeh’ fans were just too busy dealing with their general state of disbelief at being loaded with mental amounts of cash.
It was nice to actually be able to talk to supporters from other clubs, with no real opinion on our club, without having to shovel through the incomprehensible bile that passes for football chat on the Internet these days.
Of course, I’m sure copious amounts of cheap northern ale greased the wheels somewhat, but, as someone who doesn’t go to many away games, it was nice to actually talk football with people who are not Saints, Pompey or Bournemouth fans.
Strip away the tribalism and the web warrior mentality that pervades many opinions online, throw in some beer, and we’re all the same.