21 May 2020, The Tablet

Football’s family values

Extra time

Football’s family values

Many have been the times I’ve seriously worried my football team are going to see me into the grave, but strong evidence has emerged from the Black Country that West Brom can save you from the grave too.

On the first Tuesday in March we played Newcastle in the FA Cup. It was televised on the BBC so, I’m ashamed to say, I just watched it at home instead of making the journey to West Bromwich. I’m even more ashamed to say that when Newcastle went 3-0 ahead just after half-time, I switched over and watched something else. Some fan I am. I didn’t even look at my phone until I went to bed, at which point I saw a flurry of texts from all over the world, suggesting the game had turned into something of a thriller without me. It turned out we’d taken the score to 3-2 and nearly equalised at the death. But still lost.

I’m still not sure if I regret not seeing this unfold. All in all, I’d rather lose by a distance than come agonisingly close. I will speak to my priest or my therapist about this; possibly both.

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