You may think it’s odd writing about a game I wasn’t at but actually people do it all the time. I first noticed this sensation last season when a poster on the message board North Stand Chat posted player ratings based on what they’d heard on the radio. Then, on the same site, someone posted a link to comments from Crystal Palace fans on the 3-0 loss they suffered to us (the St Patricks Day Massacre as it’s known) based entirely on radio commentary aimed at – guess who – Crystal Palace fans. “Wow” I thought, “this reviewing a game you haven’t seen must be a piece of piss”. Thus suitably deluded I knew this blog would be complete.
There is one thing that is handy if you are to base your assessment of the team on a radio commentary though. That’s a radio. I don’t have a radio at the moment. My old one broke and since then I’ve been too busy doing stuff to get a new one, And ting. Stuff and ting. Lots of it. Also some shenanigans and a kerfuffle or two. I normally realise this lack of radio on the morning of an away match by which time I have so much family stuff and ting to do, the chances of me finding a radio that’s priced to suit my parsimonious nature are approximately the same as those of me winning the 2014 X Factor. Naked.
This meant that yesterday I was once again taking the reviewing the radio concept to a new level of ridiculousness. My impression of what was going on at Huish Park was to be gathered from the comments on the Official Match Thread on the aforementioned NSC.
I clearly wasn’t even taking that very seriously. Having recently resolved (yet again) to get a bit fitter I had been out on one last mammoth bender a bike ride along the seafront and therefore got in at ten past three, seriously worried that I might have missed a goal. Ha ha. As I sat down and flicked between the thread and the text commentary on the BBC one thing became abundantly clear. There was not much chance of a goal from either side and people were quite het up about it. Somehow not having the radio commentary took the tension out of this and made it easier to accept. People at the game may have been worried about conceding a last minute winner (or rather loser) but I had accepted a 0-0 from about half an hour in.
What I hadn’t accepted or anticipated was the reaction on the site afterwards. Apparently this was the worst result and performance in the club’s history (despite getting the same result at the even worse Bristol City last season without having a shot – never mind those last years at the Goldstone or the day we lost to nine man Walsall). Apparently we’re doomed to League One (despite being in 14th place, higher than Reading were at this stage two years ago when they ended up winning it). Apparently Oscar doesn’t know what he’s doing (despite us being the only team this season to beat Burnley, despite having got a similar result at big spending QPR, despite only being in the job three months, despite missing seemingly half the team with injuries).
We got a point away. We will be a different side when our injured players are back. The season is never decided in October. And I still didn’t get a radio.