Sunday.... 1.30pm..... On the telly...... Its gonna get ugly (insert your own obvious joke here) Its derby time. No, not having to face the worst team in the Premiership since....erm... the mackems - but actually having to face the mackems. The 139th Tyne/Wear derby. Looks so innocuous when its written down. But the passion, fervor, and general madness make it so important. So of the feeling is gloriously captured by the pre-match summary on NUFC.com
A victory for common sense would see us register our 51st success, while a stalemate would be the 46th such result.
43 travesties of justice have taken place so far, while we've bulged their net 208 times and been the victim of atrocious refereeing decisions etc. on 205 occasions.
I hate it when we play the great unwashed - their is simply too much riding on the result. Its wonderful if we win, but its so dismal if we loose. I can still recall the abject horror of the 2000 rain soaked suicide note from Guillt , with Rat Boy (aka Philips) and Disco Pants (aka Quinn) tightening the noose around his neck. Equally I have affectionate (if slightly fuzzy due to celebrating with far too much alcohol) memories of the 2-0 win in 2002 when Bellamy scored after 2 mins and we controlled the whole of the game until Shearer put the icing on the cake.
There always feels like there is too much at stake. I confess I've never been to a live derby game... Watched loads of poor ones on the telly, but I've never had the courage to go to one. Its not concern over any likely violence (although that would have been the case a decade or so ago) but its just that I care too much. I have PMT* for this game to the extreme... Dreadful beforehand and if we loose I'll feel like sticking my head in the oven afterwards (slight problem with that plan - electric oven)
Another thing that is a problem about the unwashed - I can no longer seek the comfort of the local hostelry to watch the game. Ever since that dog-loving ex- manure player became their manager, all the locals have 'adopted' them as their second team. So, I end up being unable to swear quite as vigorously at the TV as I'd like to without getting disapproving looks from the locals.
Still - I was there when he took a swing at Shearer and got sent off... Wonderful memories. So, roll on Sunday tea-time when it will all be over.
*PMT - Pre Match Tension