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From Nick Hornby's 'Fever Pitch'

'The depression that I had been living with for the best part of the 1980s packed up and started to leave that night, and within a month I was better. Inevitably part of me wishes that it had been something else that effected the cure - the love of a good woman, or a minor literary triumph, or a trancendent realisation during something like Live Aid that my life was blessed and worth living - something worthy and real and meaningful. It embarrasses me to confess that a decade-long downer lifted because Arsenal won at Spurs in the Littlewoods Cup (I would be slightly less embarrassed if it had been an FA Cup win, but the Littlewooods!), and I have often tried to work out why it happened like this. The win meant a lot to all Arsenal fans, of course: for seven years our team hadn't even come close to winning a semi-final, and the decline had become to look terminal. And there might even be a medical explanation. It could be that the monstrous surge of adrenaline released by a last-minute winner at Tottenham in a semi-final when you were one down with seven minutes left, all hope abandoned, maybe this surge corrects some kind of chemical imbalance in the brain or something.

The only convincing explanation I can come up with, however is that I stopped feeling unlucky that night, and that the log-jam that had provoked such despair just over a year before had been sorted, not by me, predictably, but by Arsenal, and so I jumped on the shoulders of the team and they carried me into the light that had suddenly shone down on all of us.'

Comments

  • The biggest thing I took away from Fever Pitch was the realisation that it wasn't just me who didn't actually enjoy watching my team play. I enjoyed the goals, the wins, the aftermath of victories, but actually watching Wycombe in the moment has always been a stressful experience, rarely more so than on Monday night.

  • I am exactly the same . Somehow when I watch on TV there is a feeling I can't do anything about it and so don't find it pleasurable until something like Monday happens. At least at the ground I can shout and feel as if I am making a difference.

  • β€˜I jumped on the shoulders of the team and they carried me into the light that had suddenly shone down on all of us.’

    Exactly.

  • @woodlands said:
    I am exactly the same . Somehow when I watch on TV there is a feeling I can't do anything about it and so don't find it pleasurable until something like Monday happens. At least at the ground I can shout and feel as if I am making a difference.

    I felt the reverse! If we were woeful and getting thumped, at least I could turn off at home. Sometimes in a real nervy game, I escape to the toilet for the last 5 minutes, can't bear to watch.

  • I found being at home a lot handier for the toilet. I had to empty my bladder about 20 times in the second half. If I’d have been at Wembley I’d probably have seen 2 minutes of football

  • I did not feel as nervous as expected during the game, probably because we were 1-0 up for such a large chunk, and I knew we were going to stay in it. When they equalized, I fully expected them to score, us to then equalize, and the match to go to extra time and pens, where we would prevail with a Ryan Allsop save followed by him taking the winning penalty for 11-10. It was a pleasant surprise to go 2-1 up, but the nerves really came to the fore those final 10 minutes. The first part of the game had gone by surprisingly quickly, but those last 600 seconds really made up for it!

    Whistles can be the sweetest sound, or the saddest, depending on how your team has fared! On Monday, that whistle was like the call of a mystical pink dolphin jumping through the hidden gate to Atlantis. Beautiful.

  • I watched the pen through my fingers...but unlike you @Shev looking at our knackered defence I fully expected extra time to end in disappointment so yes, JJ and then having to hang on was painful but then joyous.

  • At half time in the second semi I stood in line for 15 minutes in my kitchen waiting for a cup of tea and a twix whilst the kids decided if they wanted chips or crisps. We had deliberately not bought any milk that day and only had Mars Bars left. It was just like being back at AP.

  • Gaz and the players were incredibly relaxed and confident. I, like most supporters, was incredibly nervous and worried. Crazy, isn’t it?

  • @glasshalffull said:
    Gaz and the players were incredibly relaxed and confident. I, like most supporters, was incredibly nervous and worried. Crazy, isn’t it?

    They had nothing to lose...whereas we have to look at other fan forums @glasshalffull :smile:

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