Thursday, 3 March 2011
Loyal or Stupid?
Sometimes I do have to remind myself that following Charlton is optional. If I want to, I could claim not to support anyone anymore, disassociate myself from football altogether and find something 'better' to do with my time. Even I know deep in my heart that it is beyond any sensible reasoning that something that (by and large) continually makes me so belly-achingly unhappy still deserves my continued and unconditional support, let alone a priority status up there with my wife and two kids! I have wondered many times what my life would be like without Charlton and, rather bizarrely, the balance is still tipped in favour of the Addicks...but I couldn't explain why. It's likely I just don't want to face up to a question like that. The problem is, it's all or nothing. If Charlton are at home, I go, simple as that. There is no picking and choosing a dozen fixtures a season: no 'dipping in and out'. It's not the way I do things.
Loyal or just simply stupid? My Mum would say loyal (but then my sentimentality comes from her, so I guess I would) but nobody else I know would be as easily convinced or care. I feel genuinely embarrassed that my wife, who used to love football, has long-since given up trying to understand my Addicktion. When I get home after a game she doesn't even ask how we got on anymore. It's almost like it's a taboo subject in case it stirs me into some sort of uncontrollable rage! So if it is that commendable trait 'loyalty', what do I get in return? Moments of magic are painfully infrequent and so often based on momentary delirium rather than long-term happiness. Granted, I've had magic moments that will live with me forever, but the periods of despair seem to resonate deeper. But before I'm accused of being delusional, I don't expect the earth: I no longer dream of a return to the Premiership. I've said a few times in past postings that what I crave more than anything is a season of mid-table mediocrity, just so long as it's in the Championship. And that's the point, Charlton should be one of the bigger 2nd tier football clubs that may occasionally delve into the top flight for a season or two when a particularly encouraging group of players come together. I'll confess that 3rd tier football is slowly breaking my heart. I just want it to go away.
It is certainly tough being an Addick.
When Charlton emerge from the tunnel on a matchday I have, for as long as I can remember, followed a forced habit that my delusional mind no doubt believes may bring us good luck. I will sing aloud to the sounds of the 'Red, Red, Robin', follow the captain (it must be the captain) for his first few steps before glancing up at the big Charlton badge that overlooks the stadium atop the West Stand. When that lump stops forming in my throat during this process I know I've taken as much as I can...