Playoffs 2011

The Dream is Dead… Long Live the Dream

It is the morning after the afternoon before. The dust has not quite settled. The mighty Reading FC have fallen once more at the last hurdle to reach the promised land. I don’t usually write about football, as a game anyway. Partly because I feel the game conveys emotion much better on it’s own than I ever could and there are much better football writers than me. As this is “the richest game in domestic football” I feel I may as well give it a stab.

Firstly, congratulations to Swansea City FC, Players, Management and even those supporters moronic enough to try to break my wing mirror off my car (You won guys, why is that not enough) Look forward now to a tough season in the premiership with a team full of Chelsea and Real Madrid loanees, as Brendan calls in favours from Jose. No sour grapes though, over 90 minutes you were the better team.

In the previous blog I criticised Wembley’s ticketing policy for disabled fans. This criticism  still stands, however the view from my spacious seat was good. Even though after Swansea’s quick fire double I began to look for a hole to open up and swallow me. In a situation like that it is interesting to observe the reactions of people around:

  • Some shout all the louder, for that, at the end of the day is all we, as fan can do.
  • Some shout criticising everything, the ref, the players, the sky.
  • Some turn in to cheerleaders (minus skirts and pom poms mind) try and lift others
  • Some go quiet for a period of reflection, (with a inner hope that the next leap will be the leap home.. no sorry where was I)
  • Some do all these things.

I was the quiet type yesterday. Getting elbowed by the guy next to me every time he got animated. He was up and down like a Kangaroo in the mating season, sitting down with such force that he broke the seat. Funny and annoying in equal measure as my seat was connected to his and hanging on the wembley concrete work by a single thread. Swansea added a third and by Half Time and our chance of promotion shared the same chance of me having a functional seat by the end of game.

Half time in a daze, wondering if my team or me would wake up. Either would do at this stage, only one of our players seemed to have got off the bus in the first half, 1 vs 11 (12 at points, Mr Dowd the ref not on my Dad’s Xmas card list) is not fair really. Then finally at the start of the 2nd half, after a brief discussion with Dad about 3D glasses(when the game is not going your way, you talk about all kinds of things.) we scored. The largest sigh of relief masquerading as a cheer you will ever hear. Then we scored again, game on!

However it wasn’t to be, we came close as we hit the post. This changed momentum, and Swansea were awarded their second penalty kick of the afternoon to send a Welsh team into the English Premiership.

So the dream for another year is dead. Some players have played their last game for the club, some bit part players will now step up and become legends of tomorrow. Strange thing is that this statement would have been true had we won. Football is a moveable feast, with only die hard fans staying truer to the cause than they would to her indoors.

Football is a game about chance, fractions of an inch, the if’s, buts and maybes, that we try to eradicate from everyday life. The grey area that keeps us all alive, if life was black and white, it wouldn’t be life at all and there would be an app to speed us through the dark times.

Reading FC have appeared in 3 playoff finals. Won none. I said to my Dad that if we got to another I wouldn’t go. I think I lied.

Reading 2-4 Swansea City