I imagine this is how the Germans of the 1940s felt when Hitler died. Or middle class housewives of the 1990s when Princess Diana passed away.
Rowett’s sacking still hurts.
I wasn’t going to go yesterday. My enthusiasm for the club is sapped at the moment – and I’m hoping it is for the moment. The damage done by TTA and their snake-like sinister salesman Panossss, feels permanent, but hopefully I can snap out of this.
I forced myself to go, because I sit with one of my mates in the Kop [while the others sit in the Tilton] and it wouldn’t be fair to leave the guy by himself.
I was thinking of going but taking a blindfold so I could have my own individual protest, purify my soul, not legitimise what has happened by looking at it on the pitch – but I turned off this idea as I imagine sitting for 45 minutes blind would be pretty uncomfortable and could damage my eye sight.
I then thought about potentially taking a book to read while the game was unfolding. But I probably couldn’t concentrate on the reading while the fans are shouting, so I decided on a final plan: go to the game, watch the action impassively, boo and jeer any sight of snake-like Panosss and refuse to acknowledge the former star of the TV show ‘Renford Rejects’, Gianfranco Zola, should he be introduced to the fans.
As I walked into the stadium, I was immediately hit by the sign on the big screen.
‘Discriminatory chanting will not be tolerated’.
Still emotionally wrecked by the events of the past few days, I assumed this was meant to try to dissuade us from singing anti-Italian and Chinese songs. ‘Fat chance of that’, I thought to myself. I got my camera out to take a picture of the sign when all of a sudden, I felt a hand on my shoulder.
‘That’s our new manager there, move a little to the left, you’ll get a better picture of him’.
I turned sharply to see who had put their hand on my shoulder, only to see a smiling, warm, humble, working class face staring at me, full of hope and simple happiness.
It was a steward. A thin little man, with a bright orange coat two sizes too large for him, sporting an impoverished brown moustache and looking at me through wonky spectacles that were being held together by sellotape.
The steward was the kind of guy that bleeds Blues. He’s so Blues that he even got a job helping out at the ground on match days.
I had a ‘fuck Zola’ retort lined up. But as I looked into his hopeful beady little brown eyes behind his wonky sellotaped spectacles, I couldn’t do it.
I just couldn’t do it.
‘Oh right, yeh that’s good, see ya mate’
I couldn’t hurt this guy’s feelings. I walked towards my seat, the game was about to start at any minute. I slumped into my seat and folded my arms.
I’d forgotten my glasses in my haste to make the train, so all the players were slightly blurred, but in truth I wasn’t too bothered. Today wasn’t about the football, it was about protesting what had happened over the past few days.
And even though sitting impassively and jeering Panos would achieve the square root of diddly-squat – it’d make me feel better, so it was worth it.
The Tilton started chanting the name of Gianfranco Zola, the man who had once appeared in Bonnie Tyler’s video ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’.
I couldn’t believe it.
I looked at them in sheer disgust.
This spectacle reminded of an excellent television show i’d been watching of late, Westworld.
A show where a town of robot-like humans live at a Wild West-themed tourist resort, and the humans go along to kill, rape, abuse and torment the robots for their own pleasure. Every night the robots are taken back into the factory and have their minds wiped clean so they forget about the trauma.
Here the Blues fans had been taken into the TTA factory and their minds had been wiped clean.
The past 24 months had been totally erased from their consciousness.
‘What’s a Rowett?’
I heard a rotund woman in a fake fur coat titter as she laughed and sipped an alcoholic drink.
Oh my God.
Oh my God, the whole ground has had their minds wiped, and im the only one who hasn’t.
Am I the only one here who remembers???
I can’t be, surely.
I turned to look at my mate who was smiling and clapping along to the pro-Zola ditties like a lobotomized lemming.
I suddenly felt sick and dizzy, my view was going black and white and the pitch looked pixelated, I was about to pass out, my head was spinning.
I quickly fired up Twitter, anything for some clarity on the world. What was happening?
And then I saw Bob Latchford’s twitter output, and H-Bomb and a few others, who had typed pro-Rowett comments and in an instant the colour came back to my face, and serenity rushed over me – not every Blues fan had their minds wiped. Thank God.
Blues started the game quite well. There was a high tempo, high pressing and we hit the post. The players were playing for their Blues careers under the watchful eye of the new manager, the guy who once scored a back-flick against Norwich, Gianfranco Zola.
We took the lead. I didn’t celebrate. Not today, I was on protest.
It felt horrible.
It took every fibre of my being not to jump up and cheer. But I knew I couldn’t do it, that’s what Panossss wants. To just assassinate good people at the club and for us fans to just carry on as normal. I had to sit on my hands and remain rooted.
I never want to be forced into that situation again.
Blues were ticking along nicely, and we approached the 80th minute.
Most of the self-declared intellectual clique of Blues fans who celebrated Rowett’s unfair and unjust dismissal informed the rest of us that Rowett’s football was ‘boring‘ and that famous Zola would give us the ‘unknown‘ and the ‘entertaining‘.
Around the 80th minute, Blues were winning 1-0 and were looking like seeing the game out.
This was unacceptable.
And so the celebrity manager, Gianfranco Zola, decided to shake things up a bit and whip out the ‘unknown’ card to proceedings, by throwing an extra right back onto the field, an injured midfielder and a 5 foot 5, thirty-eight year old Robbo.
Brighton promptly responded with two quick-fire goals to claim all three points.
We’d lost, but the last ten minutes were anything but boring I guess you could say.
As i boarded the train on the way home, the TTA sinister snake-like salesman Panossss, finally remembered the passwords to his social media accounts and re-emerged onto the public arena to celebrate the defeat and stress that we all ‘stick together‘.
Try telling Rowett that.
Snake-like Panosss was quick to lean over the side of the VIP area and have instagram selfies with Blues housewives when the times were good. He was at every wine reception and players awards night going. But he was nowhere to be seen when the shit hit the fan and the fans wanted answers over the past few days.
That should tell you everything.
Thankfully we haven’t got a home game for a couple of weeks now. It should give me enough time to go to the factory and get my mind wiped over Christmas, and then too, I will find Lee Clarkian substitutions of the new era to be the height of entertainment.
Merry Christmas and have a happy new year to all the readers of Make Blues Great Again.
One day we will! One day, I’m sure.