Saturday, April 21, 2007

Headingley tonight then...

Its about time I returned to Headingley, the home of the Leeds Rhinos rugby league team I thunk to myself earlier this week, its about bloody time.

I've been a Leeds rugby league supporter since 1966, since the day that a far distant relative took me to a night match on his Vespa scooter, full story here.

But this season the house removal has got in the way, I started off well going to the first two games of the season but then whenever I mentioned "theres a rugby match this weekend" I got the look from Suzanne that said "leave this house instead of packing cases and you are 200lbs of dead meat", and so I didn't go.

Tonight though is the biggest game of the season (so far), at home against St Helens and its a game of such prominence that deserves my attendance, so I "got her telt" this week, bought my ticket over the phone, and I'm off, she will sulk and find some spurious jobs for me to do today but tools will be downed at 5pm, scarf and rattle will be donned and I'll disappear from the house for a night of delight or disappointment, or a combination of both, such is the pleasure of supporting a sporting team.

Rugby League is a game where supporters still mix freely before, during and after the game, we don't need to be segregated like the supporters of the game known as "football" or "soccer" or as I prefer to call it "nancyball" as the prime requirement for any professional footballer appears to be the ability to look and behave like a big nancy.

Rugby League is different and tonight, as is my want, I will be standing on the Western Terrace with the St Helens supporters whilst cheering on Leeds, its more fun that way and you get to meet some interesting characters and strange as it sounds you get to see the game differently when you stand with the oposition, you can actually see your own teams failings much easier when your not stood in amongst your own partisan section.

As can be read at your leisure in the excellent jerrychicken biography, the reason that I can be so accurate about the date of my first visit is that once again I can fix the date from the music that was payed at the half time interval, in particular the number one hit of the time "They're coming to take me away (ha ha)" by Napoleon IV, rather appropriate given the infatuation that pervades the brain when a sport grabs you - but isn't it strange how evocative music can be ?

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