Oh, How On Earth Did He Miss That?

Well with the aid of football, I’ve pin pointed my adolescence and adult life. I’ve missed certain things out that will remain forever with me. Some things are always much better kept from an innocent world. Not necessarily because they were too juicy. Vice versa in fact. Something’s are just too plain boring. I panicked a couple of people close to me into worrying that much about me, that they got in touch as soon as they’d read my last blog post. To anyone who was concerned, (Or even if you weren’t) I’m nowhere near as fragile as I appear. It’s true that I suffer from depression, but as with the condition, it ranges from being on top of the world, to digging a tunnel, I get so low. Right now, I’m digging a tunnel. The difference is these days, I’m metaphorically and psychologically, in a excavator. When I was learning all about when, why, where, what and how to understand and cope all those years ago, I started off with a teaspoon. I’m a manual worker. Classed as semi-skilled, I’m used to hard work. I’m not knocking anyone else who suffers from depression and have and do seek help, and I’m not going to puff my chest out and boast how clever I am to have got to where I am without help, with it. It’s taken extremely hard work to get where I am head wise. All I will say, is if I can do it, anyone can, just don’t expect it to be easy just because I have and do it. I’m not well educated, but I am very aware of myself. I’ve found and find, that there’s not many of us who are both self aware and aware of other people. That in itself, doesn’t surprise me, what surprises me, is I am. After all, I’m a nobody, a minion, a non entity. Low end of the pay scale, can’t drive, haven’t got a passport, live on my own in rented accommodation. I shouldn’t be like I am right? I should watch soap opera’s, read the Sun, drink Carling. I don’t, I’m me. You might find this incomprehensible, but I’m quite happy to have depression. Yeah, I get depressed, but I’m now in the position where it’s really easy to cope with. I’m in an excavator remember. I’m that accomplished, that I can pull wheelies in it.

I’m missing going to football as much as the event itself. That tingle of excitement I felt going to my very first game, gets replicated every single time I go to a game, any game, not just Blues. I was 9 when I was taken to my first game. It’s still the only game my sister Chris has been to. She’s a cricket nut. I was heavily influenced by Val and Les. I’ve lost count of how many games I’ve been to with either of them, or even both. I’m only eternally grateful for that influence. I’m also kind of grateful to Chris for suffering going to my first game. So how many games and grounds have I been to exactly? Well the games figure, I can’t actually tell you as I don’t record Non-League games I go to, only the ground I’ve seen a game on. I don’t count friendlies, I won’t even go to one now. Testimonials I don’t count but I will go to one. They serve two different purposes for a start. Obviously at the moment, nobody can go and see any game and so it doesn’t matter what my criteria is anyway, but when the world was the right way up, I managed 849 Blues games. Before The season was put on ice, I had managed 27. Considering my lucid, chaotic domestic situation, I was proud that I’d been to at least one game per season, since and including 1978/79. Personally, I’ve already written this season off. I’m feeling let down about it too. After all the different times of strife I’ve been in, I wasn’t expecting to have my football attending curtailed by a reason that was completely out of my control. I’ve ambitions of making 1000 Blues games, but when that will be is anyone’s guess. I fear old age will take my last breath even before the virus can get me. Time’s ticking away, the virus needs to hurry up on that score. Much as I would like to see some of the mates I see regularly at home games, it’s the 291 away games that I really want to add to. I’ve seen Blues on 88 different grounds, 89 if you count the old Wembley. The figure of 88 includes old and new grounds at a dozen clubs. As you can see, there’s plenty of scope for seeing Blues on more grounds, Brentford, Swansea and Wycombe are the grounds that are eating at me at the moment. Though it’ll be eating at Brentford fans even more than it will me. Because of this virus, they haven’t even been able to enter their new ground, let alone watch a game. Moving on to new grounds, or should that be moving in to? Technically, you move into a new place. Anyway, I’m now Arsenal, Spurs, Brentford, Wimbledon, Barrow and Harrogate away from completing the fabled 92. Just as last season was mothballed, I was starting to plan a trip up to Barrow, I was even looking at train times and pubs in nearby Ulverston for my trip up. With Albion seemingly destined for the Premier League, I’d even sounded out Paul Mason with trying to get a ticket for his lot away at Arsenal and possibly Spurs this current season. That was BC. We’ve gone from BC, to AD, back to BC. Only this time, it means before Covid. A few weeks ago, remarkably, Blues won at Reading. Even more remarkably, it put us first in the all time list of clubs who had won the most away games in the second tier. It got me thinking of how many of the 291 away games I’d seen Blues in, had I seen us win. It’s 80 times. That’s not too shabby a return considering the amount of miles you cover and money you waste doing it. Although I’ve got a 1000 games as a target for how many Blues games I want to attend, I haven’t got a target for away games. That’s mainly because I much prefer to go to those and I suppose you could say it’s a given that I will be going to more of them in the future. When we’re are allowed of course. Answers on a postcard on that one. So to other games not involving Blues then. I’m now currently marooned (See what I did there? Yeah yeah, that’s passing as humour) on 12 Hearts games. Like Jinksy and Nat are with Rangers, I’m desperate to get up to Tynecastle to watch the Jambos. I had been planning on ground hopping round Scotland 3 weeks in a row during late July, early August in the League Cup. I never got that chance. I’m expecting it to be at least another year before being able to do it again. I suppose I can accumulate the money that will go towards the trips, but it’s scant consolation. Inclusive of English and Scottish League and Cup games, but not Non-League, I’ve done 957 games. To some, that will sound a lot, to others, a drop in the ocean. The frustrating thing is that I have no idea when it’ll get added to. As for grounds, I’ve done 167. Again, that sounds a lot to some and to others, merely what they manage to do in a month. The blaring observation is that it’s obsession at the least, but to me, it’s addiction. So how am I getting a ‘fix’? Well the ground hopping I was able to do this season helped, but I’m bordering on ‘cold turkey’. Cheers Covid, thanks for nothing.

I class my passion for ground hopping and ale trailing as an addiction because it covers every single addiction trait. In doctors surgeries up and down the country, there’s inquisitive posters for substance abuse. There’s questionnaires you can fill in to assess whether you’re addicted. Out of pure curiosity, I filled one in. From that, I realised I was addicted. I’ve always known that I spend a lot of money doing it. To this end, I decided to log down exactly how much. I started back in 2019 BC for season 19/20. I got as far as Reading at home 7th March. By then, I’d managed 48 games in total. Had the season not been disrupted and life had carried on meandering along, I’d have attended at least another 12. I usually do around 60 a season. As I’m a season ticket holder, I’ve divided the price of it by the amount I potentially could’ve attended. As I do miss the occasional home game to watch Hearts or I’m at work. The sum was then multiplied by the amount that I did actually go to. After adding up the expenditure on all 48 matches, it came to £4,687.69. Like I’ve said, I would have attended at least another dozen games. 12 days out. I’m not going to speculate how much I would’ve probably have spent on the rest of the season, but as you’re probably looking at how much I’d spent on only 48 in astonishment, I’ll leave it up to you to wonder. If you really want to have your mind blown, remember, this was just one partial season. I’ve been to 957 games and that doesn’t even include Non-League games, friendlies (When I did actually do them) and testimonials. So when I exclaim that with all the money I’ve spent on football over the years, I could’ve easily paid cash for a decent sized house, you can see I’m probably not lying. Now about that addiction claim of mine…………… Que sera sera_whatevr will be, will be_the futures not ours to see, blah blah blah.

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