The one that almost got away

Cod Almighty | Article

by Alistair Wilkinson

23 August 2010

I nearly didn't make it this year. After 15 years as a season ticket holder I'd decided not to get one for the '10-11 season. Not for footballing reasons, my colours are firmly nailed to the rickety Blundell Park mast, but for financial ones - I've got three kids and a mortgage. Our family is having to go through its own age of austerity and tickets for dad (my eldest isn't a fan and the other two are waiting on the bench) on a Saturday afternoon were to go the way of the pub and computer games.

Fortunately - depending on your point of view - we had a bit of a windfall and just in time. Actually it was a little late and I missed the York game. It was a strange evening. I haven't missed an opening home league game since 1995, ironically my first ever game as a season ticket holder. I listened to Humberside and got quite excited in the build up. Usually I'm on the bus at that time and what with bed and bath times for the kids before that, I never get to listen to the pre-match conversation. Interviews and discussions, opinions and stupid waste of time texts - I was feeling quite ready for ninety minutes in my seat. We have no seats in the kitchen. The telly's on in the living room and I don't like sitting at the computer for these things. The computer is something I work at or play at, not sit and listen - it'd be weird. So I didn't listen to the game and instead my wife and I watched an episode or two of The West Wing; I think I needed something easy, familiar and reliable.

A non-League home debut of a clean sheet seemed pretty good to me. I checked on the score every 20 minutes or so. In the end the game became just another away fixture, so that clean sheet looked even better. And of course, it was the first of two home games. In the last few years the double home fixtures have been beacons of hope, straws in the wind of tumultuous seasons; just things to look to, to cling to in the hope that things might get better. These games are just as desperate in their way. Early in the season they may be but they're the chance to set up our season, to stake our claim. Not to rescue but to begin.

And now it's the Saturday morning before Hayes and Yeading. My new season ticket/bus pass is in front of me and I'm excited. By the time you read this we'll know the score and hopefully we'll have four points from the opening two home games. I'm excited and a little disappointed that it can only be four points. Am I falling into that big club trap? Am I now a Wolves fan in black and white? I suppose I can't help it especially when I haven't seen this league yet. I haven't witnessed the power that Woods claimed surprise over after Crawley and York. There's a dangerous voice in the back of my head that's making assumptions. I'm trying to ignore it but that's the problem with looking for results instead of watching the game, I see our results against these names that mean so little and I hear that actually they're the ones we have to watch. I need a rude awakening and I almost didn't get it. Season ticket 16 here I come.

Think Al was a little hasty in his decision? Tell us what you would have spent the cash on via the Cod Almighty feedback form.