The Diary

Cod Almighty | Diary

Fings ain't what they used to be

5 June 2023

Miss Guest Diary writes: The older I get the more irritated I become when things change for no apparent good reason. Which is why, though I am happy over 2,000 people have already signed up to watch our beloved Mariners at Blundell Park next season, I get cross when I see season tickets referred to as season 'passes'. When did this traditional item get rebranded? Probably about the same time sixes in cricket became 'maximums'. And don't get me started on referring to cartoons as 'animated movies'.

So I was pleased to see the FA Cup Final reverting to its traditional place as the last game of the domestic season at 3pm on a Saturday. Last year Town hadn't even started their play-off campaign when Liverpool won the Cup. Today is the anniversary of the final game, something I can't forget as it also happens to be Mr Butcher's birthday. We have been rewatching the play-off games on the dates when they were originally played, so tonight will see us celebrating Mr B's birthday by sitting down to relive the final at the London Stadium. Do you think Town will win? I say that jokingly, of course, but I was amazed at how much I got caught up in the excitement of the Notts County and Wrexham games and momentarily forgot the actual outcome.

I didn't really enjoy watching Saturday's Cup Final, even before Manchester City scored in the opening minute the result seemed so inevitable that it failed to hold my attention. But I am sure we were all gripped by the BBC's pre-match screening of The Road to Wembley which included a wonderful montage of Liam Emmerson's Mariners Moments films, and Liam's little dance of joy at Luton. We were all very fortunate to have him charting Town's progress the last two seasons.

My summertime interest of watching Nottinghamshire cricket has been somewhat patchy so far. A couple of really pleasant days watching county championship games was followed by two stinkers of 20-over games last week. Both dismal defeats where neither the team nor the crowd seemed really up for it, not helped by being half frozen. For the first game I drastically underestimated the temperature and took only a light raincoat. I didn't make that mistake the second time, wearing the padded coat I normally reserve for mid-winter in the Pontoon, but my feet still got cold.

Yesterday I saw the Notts Outlaws play Lancashire Lightning – that's another modern custom that gets my goat. Why can't they just be Nottinghamshire and Lancashire? And the coloured kits they wear are becoming ever more elaborate, with stripes and squiggles that make them look increasingly like Premier League away kits. I haven't yet seen one that is as bad as Brentford's liquorice-allsort shirt, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time. Fortunately, both the weather and the cricket itself were much improved yesterday, with Notts getting a comprehensive win despite Lancs having both Jos Buttler and Liam Livingstone.

The lack of football is still making me grumpy though. While we're all twiddling our thumbs waiting for the first pre-season game, test your memory on this quiz about Town's play-off adventures over the years.