Sunday, 24 April 2011
The end of the football season is very nearly here so Mike explores some of the ways in which you can spend those football-free months.
Summer, such as it is in England, is almost upon us. Good news for lovers of BBQs, music festivals, lazy evenings in the garden and the sun. (The planet, not the newspaper.) The onset of summer isn't greeted quite so enthusiastically by one part of the population however. For us football fans the summer months are a twilight zone, a never ending barren wasteland, devoid of the highs and lows we are treated to when following the Hornets.
Whilst nothing can beat the excitement of seeing Lloyd Doyley inch ever closer to his second goal, marvelling at the running style of Martin Taylor or taking evasive action from the latest John Eustace long range effort, there are alternatives. Consider this your 'From the Rookery End' summer survival guide.
Now I know this won't sit well with some of you, but I'm a cricket fan. I once played in the same team as Andrew Strauss you know. I taught him everything he knows. Perhaps. Anyway, the best thing about cricket isn't playing, it's watching, because a day at the cricket is in effect an all day picnic. Yes, it's great to see some of the sports greats in action, especially if you are at one of the most iconic sporting venues in the world like Lords, but the chance to sit in the sunshine, talk nonsense to those around you whilst munching pork pies and supping ale from 11am to 6pm really deserves your consideration as a football alternative this summer.
Still not convinced? Well, England fast bowler Steven Finn is a big Watford fan (listen out for him interviewed in Podcast 11!) so you could head to Lords and sing Watford songs at him? I'm sure he'd appreciate it.
As well as sport I love music, although if you were to steal my iPod and have a look through it, you may disagree. One of the main musical events of the year takes place on a farm in Somerset towards the end of June. That's right, my second summer suggestion is the Glastonbury Festival. Now, like most right minded folk, these days I watch the madness unfold via the excellent TV coverage, and whilst the bands obviously vary from year to year, one thing has remained constant. At the front of the main stage, there is always a huge pole with a Wolves flag proudly flying from it. I don't know about you, but I think Wolves have had their day. That should be a Watford flag obscuring the view of millions! Fellow Hornets – you know what to do.
Need more persuading? A quick perusal of this year's Glastonbury line up will reveal some household names, U2, Coldplay and Elbow amongst others. Delve a little deeper however, and on the dance stage you will find an act named simply 'Devlin'. I'd urge all Watford fans to get a good view for that one - if he's as good a musician as he was a midfielder, you should be in for a treat!
The final suggestion is a bit radical, so prepare yourself. After the last home game of the season we could all go home and forget all about football for the summer. Go on holiday. Sort out the garden. Get a new job. Switch off from the beautiful game completely.
I know, I know. It's impossible. Especially as a Watford fan.
At the time of writing I'm hugely pleased with the way the season has gone, and am proud of what the team, the management and the backroom staff have achieved this season. Watford have often been in the headlines for all the right reasons, and in comfortably retaining our Championship status have achieved what most fans identified as our goal for 2010/11. There may well be testing times ahead though, with the financial position still not clear and a whole number of challenges facing the club such as redeveloping the East stand, relaying the pitch and trying to keep hold of our best players. As fans our summer challenge is clear. Recharge the batteries, give the vocal chords a rest, but most importantly of all, remain loyal, remain proud and remain supportive of the club in whatever way you can. The football season will be back before you know it.
Come on You Horns!
FTRE PODCAST 11 is out now. Download it for free via iTunes or listen on-line at fromtherookeryend.com.
Hear our interview with coaches Sean Dyche, Alec Chamberlain and England Cricketer (and Watford fan) Steven Finn. Plus a song for Martin Taylor and Phil Brown goes into the the jungle for I'm a Stupid Football Manager GET ME OUT OF HERE!
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