This is a bit of a drunken post so.. well.. take it or leave it.
First, I need to thank everyone who helped make this very special trip possible. Melissa, thank you for being there for me. Margarette, thank you for everything you have done. Dee, you are the man and I’m sorry that we didn’t win. Jay, Les, and Michael, thank you for the company. And for everyone else I met this weekend thank you for the moments.
Second, I can’t really talk about the match because I think… that in a sense I’m like a kid when it comes to matches. I know, I’m 40, but I’ve never done anything like this for any sports team I’ve ever followed. It’s one thing to drive 20 miles and see a game with some friends twice every year and it’s an entirely different thing to fly 5,000 miles and see your team well beaten in a cup match that you have been waiting for years to see. After today I’m convinced that cup finals should have an age requirement, or at least a match attendance requirement; you should have to see your team lose a meaningless game at least twice before you are allowed to see a cup final.
That walk back to the train was like a funeral dirge. I’ve been to matches that my other sports teams lost and it was never like that. I fuck near cried when people started singing “Perry Groves World” in sotto voce. It was as if they were pining for the days of old while there’s so much to look forward to with this club.
Third, I won’t write tomorrow. Sorry. Can’t do it. I have a flight to catch and maybe I’ll do something else instead. I’m really happy for you if the idea of this fills you with glee, like today’s commentator — the Stoke fan, “shawx”, who has decided to use his entire intellect to rub in the fact that a team he probably couldn’t give two fucks about beat Arsenal. Enjoy the shadenfreude.
Fourth, I’m going to bed. Next time I write it will probably be Tuesday. I hope you enjoy the photos.