There's a lot to be said for springtime. Some folk enjoy the budding nature of trees and stuff. Some people like opening day and freezing their nuts off at ballparks all across the northeast. I love the climax to the English football season. As April turns into May I start having crazed phone conversations with family and friends about obscure mathematical probabilities and the consequences of events that influence other events that would set off a chain of scenarios that would either determine failure or success.
This is part of a national obsession. In the spring of 1998 I was on a train with friends returning from a Norwich game at Reading. We were heading back into London for our post match revelry. I don't even remember the score, it was a crappy game between two teams that had nothing to play for. We got into conversation with a respectable gentleman. He asked us about some of our players and so on. We asked if he was a Reading fan "oh no, watch that lot? you must be mad! I just got tickets for the game a few weeks ago when your lot were in trouble. I thought it might be a fun game to watch, you know, someone might get hurt". By hurt he was meaning that either Norwich or Reading might be so desperate for survival that one of the teams might suffer a near fatal defeat (as opposed to actual physical harm). I love that. I love looking out for the winners across the leagues but also looking for the casualties. This year it looks highly likely that my beloved City will be one of those casualties. As I write we are mounting a crazy rearguard action which involves actually winning games. This has not been part of our plan this season but hey? Could work!
It all comes to pass around the third weekend in May. Cup Final day. Still my holiest day of the year. I shall find a bar in NYC and get drunk at 10am on a Saturday whilst watching the game.
The most wonderful time of the year, yes indeed.