Last weekend was a funny old onion wasn’t it?

Whenever Newcastle United don’t play I find the heel-kicking intolerable as you struggle to direct your focus between 3pm and quarter to five, these weekends are the worst. Robbed even of the consolation of our own team playing (competitively) the next day, it was time to try and figure out what I was most interested in about the weekend’s sport.

Of course, the other areas of the Premier League relegation battle remain the obvious focal points, but these were a bit tricky to work out.

Did I want Bournemouth, immediately above NUFC in the table, to drop points or put another nail into West Brom’s coffin?

Huddersfield or Crystal Palace? Not sure mate.

I think the way things shaped up probably offered the best outcomes all round. With England collapsing spectacularly against the Irish in the already-decided Six Nations finale, I decided to head round to the shops for a few liquid essentials as I have three small children and Saturday nights are often spent drinking in the house (so are Tuesday nights, most mornings and lengthy trips to the “toilet” but that’s a different story). While in the car on the way round, I flicked Radio Newcastle on, and that’s when it happened. I realised I’m massively enjoying Sunderland getting relegated.

Before any of the trolls start their anonymous blather about another bloody Mag article about Sunderland, I’d like to say I’m hoping to offer a balanced introspection about why I felt like this and how their position affects Newcastle United, but then you’ve probably not read this far anyway, or have been distracted by having to reposition your foil hat to keep the Uraniuns from stealing your memories of the 74 cup run, or Nigel Farage from stealing your hat’s underpants. Either way I look forward to my psyche profile in the comments section as it’s always nice to find out what’s going on in your own head when you sleep as little as me.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, Sunderland. Down to ten men and being easily beaten at home by mid-table Preston while the half empty ground half-emptied again and the commentators miserably relayed their view of the inaction as though they were heavily sedated and being made to watch a chimp perform unnecessary surgery on their own big toe. I could feel the hopelessness and futility emanating from the radio, the inevitable sense of doom a tangible delight that I was slightly ashamed of.

I think I have delusions of grandeur. I like to think of myself as a decent person, not the sort who takes pleasure in the misery of others. The mackems’ collapse to League 1 is something I’ve treated as largely irrelevant as it doesn’t affect Newcastle United and, totally objectively, a large support base has been made to suffer terribly by a plutocratic tosspot of an owner. My response when asked about their plight in a Mag Q & A was to be very grateful, as without Rafa’s intervention that could very well be us.

Any sense of sympathy is swiftly blown away though, by a simple consultation with the internet. The evidence of their lack of class when we went down is plentiful as banners on the bridge, club shop memorabilia of their victories over us and the infamous flyover message, are all reposted as a testament to their stunning lack of foresight.

Their precarious position after several seasons of relegation struggle should have had more alarm bells ringing than in Doc Brown’s laboratory but instead they mocked our status with ill-advised tweets, advising that we “enjoy Burton Albion”. This type of crack is now being recirculated gleefully along with that delightful video of two local stunners proclaiming that they would indeed be winning every game if the were in the Championship, which they are not, now they are, but soon won’t be.

Some folk from Wearside are taking this on the chin. It takes different strokes and it is undeniable that there are some decent people support Sunderland who don’t deserve this. There are also some massive bell ends who support Sunderland of course, and they have just upped the ante. A typical Sunderland rant at the present time will point to a well thought-out, brilliantly written and fair minded article like this and declare it evidence of our being #obsessed before evolving their rant into a foaming display of obsession, quoting scores from their recent purple patch against us.

The thing with Twitter in particular is that you can speak to a wide audience. A couple of suitable hashtags can put a joke or observation out there for both sets of fans to see. You can include celebrities, former players or enemy websites in your quest for bites, and often they will come. This wasn’t prominent when we used to regularly leather them, so they haven’t had much experience the other way.

Until now. Another fact that made Saturday’s result stand out for me was that it feels decisive. I have long held the belief that they would sneak out of the trouble they’re in, as they did so often and so unexpectedly from the bottom of the Premier League. But as Chris Coleman correctly stated himself, they had to start against Preston. With others around them picking up points they sit bottom for the international break, needing to win at least half of their paltry eight games to have the slightest chance and with some unfriendly looking fixtures ahead. Garry Monk’s regalvanising of Birmingham may just about be the final straw. They know it too, as sub 20k crowds continue to dwindle.

I genuinely wonder how our crowd would be impacted by what they’ve been through. They clocked up a year without winning a home game FFS, imagine that! We have stuck through some lean times but if things do go wrong in the next couple of years I’d reiterate the warning that SAFC could be the ghost of seasons future. Also, who are the mugs? The “fickle” types who’ve kept their money in their pocket, or the ones still forking out to have this crack inflicted on them. I suspect Wearside may get a good deal more fickle next year.

Positive vibes though, let’s assume things turn out alright at NUFC (not a given, I’ll grant you that, but indulge me). The thing that sits behind all of the catcalling, the conflicting emotions and the overuse of the word obsessed is that Sunderland’s plight is actually, logistically, a good thing for Newcastle United.

I don’t like it, but money dominates in football now, there is no other language in the game. If next season sees Sunderland in league 1 and Newcastle in the Premier League, we will have a complete monopoly on commercial revenue and sponsorship in the north east area. There will be no other horse in the race.

Relegation will also mean that Sunderland will not be able to return to the Premier before their parachute payments expire, meaning they are one bad season (administration?) away from long-term oblivion. If this happens, their dwindling support will continue to suffer. Youngsters growing up in Durham, South Tyneside and other previously contested areas will all flock towards an increased Newcastle fan base, leading to growth, revenue and stronger appeal to investors. We may even start to draw support from Wearside.

So this is the bottom line. Call me obsessed, I’ll probably call you a bit boring.

What it boils down to is that it’s all about Newcastle. All. About. Newcastle.

Follow Jamie on Twitter @Mr_Dolf

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  • Paul Patterson

    #gettingoutofthechampionshipatthefirstattempt

    • Big Al 1967

      Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha !!

      • kingfisher

        Here’s some more,Big Al : Hahahahahahahahahahahahah😁😁😁😁😁

        • Big Al 1967

          I know Its great isn’t it!! Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha.

    • ToonTom

      Looks like they are going to.

  • Paul Cannell

    You’ll not get me gloating about the mackems free falling into football oblivion.
    However, I would like to say..

    sunland’s going down (again) and The Mags are staying up.

  • sunderlad5

    No matter what happens to Sunderland, I can never see myself supporting Newcastle

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      You stick by your club no matter what & we ain`t exactly doing all that well,
      are we

      • Wor Lass

        Dead right!

    • Paul Cannell

      Posting on a Newcastle United web site is your first move away from the dark side.

    • Graham Chapman

      I agree, don’t even think about supporting Newcastle, you wouldn’t get a seat, we’re always sold out haha #52,000

    • Jezza

      Nobody would expect you. You stick with your own club no matter how bad it gets. That’s what being a football supporter is all about.

  • Leazes.

    What’s a Uraniun?

    • East Durham Mag

      Some one who lives on Uranus? 🤣

      • kingfisher

        Wouldn’t want anyone living on Uranus, let alone mine.Sounds painful to me 😁

        • TheNutJob

          Monkseaton lives in Fatty`s Uranus, wonder if he pays rent

          • kingfisher

            Same as Clarko.They must have size 12 boots on, to stop them dissappearing up Ashleys aris completely 😁😁😁

          • Jezza

            He must have size 12 boots on. Monkseaton and Clarko are the same person.

          • kingfisher

            Do you think so? it would explain a lot .

          • Jezza

            I know so, marra. You can discover a lot with a bit of perfectly legal online digging.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Are you lying again? Jezzica, you are naughty.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Jezza could of course be lying. He’s a proven liar.

          • thewildchimp

            Of course they do, you think Ashley would put up with freeloaders?!

        • East Durham Mag

          Was no pun intended 🤥

  • East Durham Mag

    A long read but enjoyed it and I know we shouldn’t be gloating but WTF they did it enough of it so ….. ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

  • kingfisher

    Jamie’s right when he says that there are some normal, nice folk who support Sunderland.I have a family member who has been a season ticket holder at Sunderland for years, and we’ve had some great banter over the years but nothing nasty or hurtful and I do feel sorry for him and similar fans.

    However when I see the photos of the League of Gentleman from Royston Vasey holding up the “Lets all laugh at Newcastle” posters, I think to myself it couldn’t happen to nicer people, and long may it continue 😁

    • Hughie_Gallacher

      I know what you mean. I used to work with a lad who never missed a Sunderland game, home or away. He will be utterly devastated.
      Still, you have to laugh, don’t you?

      • kingfisher

        Well Hughie, I suppose at the end of the day you shouldn’t mock the afflicted.But then again if the situation was reversed, they would be giving it to us so yes, you are right ,you do have to laugh 🤣😂😁👍👍👍

      • Jezza

        When they went down last season I did have a quiet chuckle at the expense of the plane flying banner hangers but it genuinely pains me to see the mess SAFC are in now.

    • Jezza

      People are people. There are good ones and bad ones in equal proportion amongst any group. I’m sure there are Sunderland supporters who will tell you there are some nice normal folk who support Newcastle. The bottom line is that both groups of supporters are decent ordinary working class people from an area of the country that has suffered decades of neglect, supporting football clubs that have suffered equal levels of neglect. We are all the same deeo down and I am not going top hate anybody for supporting their team and I certainly don’t expect people born and bred on Wearside to support Newcastle.

      • kingfisher

        Spot on Jezz.Hate is a very strong word to use especially relating to football.A lot of folk on here say they hate Ashley and some even go as far to say they hope he gets some horrible disease.
        You can say you hate what he’s doing to our club, but assuming that most people on here have never met him then noone can say they actually hate him.

        The same applies to Sunderland fans.Healthy rivalry and banter is great but when people cross the line and things get violent and nasty then it’s time to call a halt.

        • pedrodelgardo

          I hate anyone who exploits their workers like he does and has the insensitivity to turn up for a staged search with tens of thousands in cash rolled up in his pocket – there is a word for people like that tnuc.

      • Ba ba.

        I dislike the intense chip on the shoulder they carry and how they hate us but dine and wine in the vibrant beautiful city of Newcastle upon Tyne. 👍 😂

      • crazygun

        Well you wrong about born and bred on Wearside.I am one of them born in Sunderland royal hosp lived all me life on Wearside and toon fan all my life

        • Jezza

          That’s fair enough, I grew up 3 miles North of Roker Park myself and spent a lot of my early childhood visiting Sunderland but you and me are in the minority and that’s how it should be. People from Wearside are free to support Newcastle but I wouldn’t expect them to no more so than I would expect a Geordie to support Sunderland. Most people support their local team and that’s fine by me.

  • Rabid Dog

    I think it is a shame whats happened to the inbreds down the road, I really think having all 3 North East teams in the premiership does a hell of a lot for the region financially and overall profile.

    That said it wont stop me laughing.. hahahahahahahahhahh

    • Wor Lass

      Sums up the dilemma perfectly!

  • Whickhamrobbie

    Having a party when Ashley sells the club
    Having a party when the toon are safe
    Having a party when Gateshead get to wembley (on saturday)
    Having a party when Sunlun get relegated .

    wahey its party season.

  • Toon

    2/3 articles a day about Sunderland is pure obsession

    • Ba ba.

      Not really just not much to talk about with the break on.

  • kingfisher

    The clocks go forward this weekend.Does that mean Sunderland will lose an hour early, or an hour later against Derby on Good Friday? 🤣🤣🤣

  • Steven05

    I know a few lads who are diehard sunderland fans, but now feel like it’s not their club anymore, there’s no point anymore, and now have zero interest in the club who wear the same colour stripes as their team did and the one they fell in love with. They don’t deserve what’s happened to them

    As a Newcastle fan I can relate to a lot of how they now feel. Ashley is to blame for that. I think it’s highly possible we can go the same way (Ashley stays) or we start to be a football club (Ashley goes)

    But I think there is a big difference between a sunderland fan and a mackem

    And to the mackems I ask:

    Is it a banner?
    Is it a plane?
    No, it’s karmaman

    (I just hope that silly joke doesn’t come back to haunt me soon)

  • gallowgate26

    Ha, anonymous trolls eh? Jamie, be the bigger man and take pity on them mackems, pot shot stuff like this just embarrases me to be honest. They are holding up the white flags, not sure I’d go to war with you, you’re a bit excitable for a man with young kids. I’m surprised you have the energy left for this!

  • Mike

    hate the mackems!

  • Ba ba.

    Smb

  • Mxpx

    Im not that anti mackem really though I may not be the typical newcastle fan geographically I’m not really from Newcastle my family were from Hexham (hence my alleigence) but I was born in London raised in Northampton and live in Nottingham and as such will make jokes about people from Derby constantly albeit I know there’s not actually anything wrong with them this being said Me and my forrest fan mates are loving jokes about the stadium of light being well not that lit up at all now they’ve closed parts of it I don’t know what happens next to Sunderland they’re in big trouble now but I don’t want them to drop through league 1 when they hit it like Portsmouth I feel that if someone wants to buy the club it would make more sense to sell the stadium for £1 and the players to be given a brand new contract by a new club so the debts were gone but I can’t make it happen

    • paul mclaughlan

      I’m from Walker and will laugh my socks off when (if) they go down.

  • Scoutingfromtherooftops

    “Brilliantly written”?! 🙈

  • GToon

    Their plight is a shame as they are our rivals and our biggest game. It’s also a shame for their fans who like us support their team. If I had to spend an hour talking to an opposing fan about football I’d choose a mackem supporter every time over the likes of man city, Chelsea, man Utd, etc etc. Their plight could happen to any club where any poor season is magnified beyond their control by the financial damage that it brings. Once again money and the greed of some hitting the people of the north east.

  • TheFatController

    I remember a banner they had 3 years ago, ‘Bye Bye Mags’

    Still relevant, 3 years later. Can’t beat that level of foresight, so they can’t be all bad.

  • Albert Stubbins

    Great article. Agree 100%. If shoe was on the other foot they’d have banners on the Alexandra bridge saying they’re the region’s only premier league club and petty things like that!! Karma’s a b**** isn’t it?