As this is the most critical two weeks in Wigan Athletics’ history ( well since the last critical two weeks anyhow), I thought I would do a daily blog on the effects on following Latics on my health and sanity during these two weeks
With this in mind here is Day one of a 50ish Latics fan.
6am, wide awake already, lying in bed working on the permutation on whether we can afford not to win today and what the line up will be. Decide we need the win and that Bob will keep the same line up (got that wrong).
Switch mobile on and reply to Latics related texts from John Earls’Umberella, Springfield and Sawdoctor amongst others.
Mood………………..expectant, stress level 40%
Run son to work, go for pre Wembley hair cut, barber United season ticket holder but nice guy. Good chat about football for as long as it takes to do a number one haircut ( don’t want it obstructing my view of Boyce lifting the cup at Wembley next Saturday). As I leave Greg Farrimond sports journo and Latics fan arrives, heard of Latics pubs but this must be a Latics barbers.
Mood………………….impatient, stress level 45%
Stood outside house, no sign of my lift, Sawdoctor is late, receive text to say he’s running late. Look at Twitter, loads of tweets from fellow Latics fans all pumped up for today’s game. Lift arrives and we are off.
Mood…………………..Buzzing, stress levels 50% and rising
On the M6, already had stop in Pemberton to pick up fellow Latics’ fan Colin and a stop[ at junction 16 to pick up[ exiled Latic John. None of us overly confident and by the time we have got to Stafford the conclusion is football is not good for middle aged men’s health.
Mood…………………still buzzing stress levels now 60%
Arrive in West Bromwich and play hunt the pub, trouble is directions are from wrong way off M5 so we end up turning left instead of right, after driving past ground for at least two miles decide we are wrong and go back and park up near ground.
Have friendly chat with home fans , first of many and then head off to find the pub. Ten minute walk and we are at the Vine, a curry serving pub packed with both home fans and away fans demolishing curries everywhere. Sawdoctor and I too tense to eat so leave the curries to Colin and John and stick to a bottle of water. Again have good chats with home fans as it should be at football. Millwall fans at Wembley seem a world away. Have text conversation with Nige the Bolton fan whose watching his team’s play off dreams go up in smoke.
Leave pub and walk alongside tram lines back to ground. Go under an underpass with a stuffed toy hanging from a bridge in a Wolves kit, they really don’t like their local rivals do they ?
Mood…………………..increasing tension . stress levels 70%
Get on ground, receive text team line up, surprised no McArthur and reckon Bob has taken a major gamble in playing Watson. Then receive text from daughter saying her sat nav has taken her to a car park in Walsall
Mood………………….incredulous stress levels a steady 70%
Mood under stand seems muted as if tension is getting to everyone, couple of songs start and fade away. Go up to seats and meet up with Brian who goes home and away to every game including pre season European jaunts. He’s not confident.
Mood……………………….nervous stress levels a bubbling 80%
Teams come out and Wigan fans lift the roof, about 2,000 travelling fans all standing, really giving the team a lift.
Mood…………………….Adrenaline soaked stress levels stable at 80%
And they’re off, game ebbs and flows, Wigan look good going forwards but very ropey at the back. Stam nearly gifts the opening goal with a careless back header. Boyce trying to hold it all together but the Baggies look sharp on attack.
Text from daughter saying she’s just parked up and on way to ground
Mood…………………. worried stress levels up to 85%
Scharner loses ball in midfield, Baggies break, Robles chooses to stay on his line the ball comes across and Long has a simple tap in. Home fans go wild and Wigan fans silent for first time all afternoon.
Mood…………………..depressed stress levels 90%
And the crowd goes wild, well the Wigan ones anyhow, beautiful ball from Beausejour , headed in by Kone. Seems to be a time delay before the Wiganners celebrate but when they do its party like its 1999 time.
Mood ……………………….celebratory stress levels down to 50%
Half time and its all square at the Hawthorns plus with other results no change in league standings. Concensus amongst fans is back line is struggling and changes are needed.
Mood…………………….. anxious stress levels stable at 50%
Wigan concede a soft corner, ball comes over, headed in unchallenged by McAuley and we’re behind again and looking down and out. Bob immediately signals for McArthur to stop his warm up
Mood……………………depressed ,again stress levels 90%plus
McArthur scores, again I say it again McArthur scores, the little bit of Wigan that is forever the Hawthorns goes wild, a flare goes off at the back of the stand and is dealt with by a man with a bucket. Lots of man hugs in the Wigan end, I content myself with firm handshakes.
Mood…………………….happy stress levels 50%
Goalllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll, mighty Mc Callum does it again, celebrates with the rest of the team right in front of the Wigan fans who do an impression of Lemmings going off a cliff in their rush to the front, well handled by the WBA stewards who sue common sense to deal with it and therefore don’t generate any confrontation. Lots of falling over in the Wigan end as fans jump about like a 70’s Sex Pistols gig.
Mood………………wild Stress levels 30%
Baggies pile on the pressure, slip ups, cock ups, fantastic saves and goal line clearance all serve to take years off my life.
Mood ……………………..unbelievably tense Stress levels, cardiac inducing 100%
Full time, Wiganners explode with a full gamut of emotions ranging from jumping up and down hugging complete strangers ( beats internet dating I suppose), crying
( both men and women I kid you not) and any other positive emotion you can think of. Players come over to applaud the Wigan fans which is mutually reciprocated and the p4.50 – 5.30 players have given their all as have the fans.
Mood …………….exhultant stress levels 20% ( trying to stop falling over row in front due to reckless jumping up and down)
Make our way back ot the car ,sharing handshakes with other Wigan fans. Baggies fans show why they are so well thought of with many taking the time to congratulate us and wish us well for the rest of the season.
Mood……….insufferably smiley stress levels zero. (that’s a first)
6 pm————7.30 pm
Drive home with four middle aged men trying to work out the mathematical permutations based on today’s results and forthcoming games. Conclusion, beat Swansea and we are out of the bottom 3 and Norwich and Newcastle look the most likely to get dragged into the dog fight. Consensus we all want the barcodes to go down based on a collective dislike of Pardew.
Mood ……………..happy stress levels 20% ( have you been in a car driven by Sawdoctor?)
Deal with all texts due to phone battery dying during the game, fire off shedloads of happy tweets and order celebratory curry
Mood …………………content stress levels zero, you cant be a Sunrise curry.
Shuffle off to bed tired and happy
Mood …………………….err tired and happy stress levels zero
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