The Diary

Cod Almighty | Diary

Bloody rubbish

14 September 2023

Even in mid-table the Mariners still seem able to carve themselves a knife-edge existence. We're one win away from turning a good start into a great start, or one defeat away from turning an okay start into an underwhelming start.

A win at Wrexham on Saturday will likely put us on the precipice of the play-offs and generate a fervour among the fans that promotion could well be on the cards. A defeat at Wrexham on Saturday will likely leave fans feeling like we'll just replicate what we did last season, but probably minus the FA Cup quarter final cup run.

Just one defeat in eight and with some of the toughest fixtures already done and dusted, or just two wins in eight and out of the cups on poor showings.

Your West Yorkshire Diary hasn't considered the consequences of a draw yet, which seems a huge oversight given how we've been partial to sharing the points this season, so let's cover it off using this now admittedly tedious format and move on.

We're one draw away from nothing changing, which will allow next Thursday's diarist to simply copy and paste the above, making sure to swap out 'Wrexham' for 'Crawley' and 'eight' with 'nine'.

This black and white view of football isn't unique to Grimsby fans, and it's certainly not unique to the modern fan. My grandad categorised everything the Mariners did quite neatly into two piles, one being 'bloody rubbish' (or 'shit' if my parents weren't in the room) and the other being 'quite good'. There was nothing in the middle.

'What do you think of that Clive Mendonca, grandad?'

'Yeah. He's quite good.'

My grandad, like many lifelong Grimbarians, was a fan of adding a rogue 's' to the end of names that didn't have them (and used the term 'quite good' to mean 'very good') but I have absolutely no explanation for why he used to call Mendonca 'Mendonkey'.

Clive was at the club at the same time as Jim Dobbin, and with dobbin being an old term for a farm horse, maybe my grandad subconsciously believed there to be some kind of equestrian thread running through the club, which obviously makes no sense to me or you, but my grandad wasn't like me or you. He used to cut up a raw chicken with the same pair of scissors he used to cut his own hair, and he refused to shampoo the dog with specially formulated dog shampoo because it was cheaper to douse him in Vosene.

'What do you think of Town's draw at Bradford on Saturday, grandad?'

'Bloody rubbish.'

I mean, it was a kick in the teeth to concede such a late goal and drop two points, again, when we looked good value for the win until subs were or weren't made. There are two sides to every story, let's remember, and it's a shame that some of our fans think we're bloody rubbish in both of them.

I'm not sure I'm ready for the outpouring of frustration that will occur if we don't win at Wrexham. I'm willing in fixtures like this to almost forego the result and in its place prove that, pound for pound, we as a team, as a club and as a community, represent better value for money.

We don't have untold riches, but if we can compete with these financial bullies, highlight their deficiencies, and expose the chinks in their armour that no amount of Hollywood money can buy, then in some way that's a victory to us. I'm not sure the majority of our fan base is ready to accept morals as a form of victory, but when the playing field is no longer even you have to adjust your expectations and think differently, otherwise you're going to live out a frustrated life.

It'd be easier, and simpler, though, if Town got a 'quite good' result instead, just to keep us all happy for another week at least. UTM!