WE asked Sunderland fans to sum up the club’s 2013-14 season in just one word and the response was as diverse as it was honest from the Big Sunderland Survey.
One word though kept cropping up time after time as the answers were counted up: “Rollercoaster.”
That word, and variations of it, was the most common reaction from fans in a season of long lows but incredible highs, a season in which for long spells Sunderland looked doomed or threatened but ultimately survived, a season in which Sunderland went to Wembley but looked certain to be relegated in the dying weeks of the campaign.
So the official word of the 2013-14 campaign is: Rollercoaster.
And below is a group of categories in the majority of the rest of the responses fell:
The impressed: Amazing, incredible, awesome, heroic, wonderful, magical, miracle, inspired, mint, outrageous, dramatic, exhilarating, enthralling, badly-brilliant, unforgettable, breath-taking, breathless
The underwhelmed: Good, alright, usual, typical, normal, average, canny, inconsistent, frustrating (popular answer), ok, difficult, mixed
The unimpressed: Awful, hopeless, rubbish (popular answer), crap, poor (popular answer), exasperating, flawed, debacle, painful, catastrophic, annoying, pathetic, poor, the pits, disappointing, under-performing, useless, hell, woeful, dire, painful, savage, torture, bad.
The inexplicable: Impossible, wow, strange, incomprehensible, bewildering
The exhausted: Tiring, sweaty, frantic, hectic, frightening
The health-threatened: Heart-thumping, excruciating, harrowing, heart stopping, heart-attack-giving, cardiac, tense, intense, traumatic, manic.
The disbelieving: Wow, surreal, indescribable, unbelievable (popular answer), unbloodybelievable, insane, bizarre, weird, mad, mental, crazy, shocking.
The ‘got away with its’: Lucky (popular answer), fortunate, phew,
The rollercoaster - topsy-turvy, helter skelter, epic, mad, whirlwind, cliff-hanger, tumultuous, lairy, helluva ride, see-saw, nail-biting, nervy, thrilling, stressful, scary, erratic, exciting.
Categories of their own: Changeable, nerve-wracking, convoluted, near implosion, Wembley, complex, challenging, volatile, unsettled, variable, enigmatic, dodgy, surprising, unique, chaotic emotional, strange, unpredictable, turbulent, bipolar, transition, sixpointsofftheMags, edge-of-your-seat stuff, relishable.