Newcastle United – Going Cold Turkey Is Not An Option
So the definition of a drug is: Noun – A substance that has a physiological effect when ingested or otherwise introduced into the body, Verb – Administer a drug to (someone) in order to induce stupor or insensibility.
Sitting at my laptop after work in my Ben Arfa Toon top, drinking a can of fosters and manically clicking refresh at the NUFC Twitter feed before yelling wildly as Marveaux made it 4-2 against Motherwell brought a moment of clarity. This is only a friendly for Christ’s sake! What am I thinking? it’s barely even half the first team.
Then it hit me, compared to checking nufc.com and The Mag website (oh I don’t know) roughly a million times a day during close season, this is relatively normal (so to speak). I mean, at least my attention is focused on an actual match-day experience rather than empirically incorrect half-truths and lies cooked up from vaguely credible newspapers every other minute God sends me.
So let’s ask the question, why do I and millions of other seemingly rational, every day people, spend such a large portion of our time, effort and hard earned on 11 other human beings wearing the same colour T-shirt? Put like that, it sounds beyond madness!
I’m intoxicated way past match days. I start my morning drinking tea from my Alan Shearer mug, go to sleep at night under a Newcastle United duvet cover (I’m 27 and should have grown out of that roughly 13 years ago!), spend spare time discussing the team, fans, administration, history, future, present and legends and have even managed to fuse my work and career with Newcastle United, Blackburn Rovers and Lancaster City.
I’ve only not been able to know the score of any Toon match on very few occasions during the last 17 years of my life. Anxiously checking my phone during my brother’s wedding immediately springs to mind (Everton 4-2 win 2004), so too does hearing Sibierski had scored on his debut against Levadia Tallinn (late shift, early Kick off).
Last season I rushed back from weekend shifts at work with my disabled kids to find out we’d lost without scoring to both Swansea and Man City. Each of these four matches are ingrained in my mind as anxious, unsettling moments when external factors that were changing my mood were happening without my knowledge (work that one out!).
It’s ridiculous and just a moment’s rational thought would put a stop to it. Placebos barely work but are better than cold turkey, Preston North End v Liverpool last week was worth the trip, Carlisle United this weekend at home to Burnley will offer similar comfort, Lancaster City will offer the opportunity to support Newcastle United’s Darren Peacock (although this can’t be an excuse as I’ve been to roughly 50 matches before he was appointed!) but the one I’m really looking forward to is Blackpool away, I had my phone on re-dial to the ticket office before the clock struck 10.01am the day they went on sale.
The day the season starts I’m locking up at work and will be leaving the building just after 6pm. Toon shirt in my back pack and straight to town to watch the match, getting a buzz just thinking about it. It’s often said that football is a drug to many people, mainly this statement is tongue in cheek, lets have another look at that definition.
Does it have a physiological effect when introduced to my body? I’ll let anyone who’s ever been near me when the match is on answer that! Does it induce stupor or insensibility? It’s either the Toon or the beer and the two will always go hand in hand!
Keep the faith lads and lasses, cold turkey isn’t an option, rehab is futile and detox is for quitters!
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