ADMITTEDLY, football is not my forte, I just don’t understand its rules or its allure.
However, being a kicky-ball hater is just not acceptable in Sunderland – it’s like the Mackem religion.
So, on Saturday, Cara and I joined the thousands of footy fans to worship at the Stadium of Light.
Fortunately, Cara isn’t as dumb about football as me.
She used to be on a ladies’ team, so she’s got more than a good grasp of its finer points and could fill in my huge gaps of knowledge.
After a couple of swift halfs in Brogans – we avoided the bars with the dancing ladies – we joined the swath of supporters making their way across the bridge.
You could feel the excitement building as we got swept along in a sea of red and white. I was starting to appreciate the beautiful game’s appeal.
Our tickets were Black Cat Bar tickets which meant, yep, you guessed it, more drinking opportunities – I’ve gathered that being a football fan requires a lot of alcohol consumption. Oh, and chip scoffing. We ate plenty of them too.
I was getting more and more into this footy lark – I almost got goosebumps as Prokofiev’s Dance of the Knights kicked in.
Now, I wouldn’t know where to start in analysing what happened the pitch – I’ll leave that to my esteemed colleagues on the sports desk.
However, I do know that watching it in real life is incomparable to the snippets I’ve seen on TV.
The atmosphere was spot on, almost as good as seeing your favourite band on stage, and I couldn’t help but get involved.
I even booed Andy Carroll – though I didn’t know why.
The biggest noise, however, was reserved for the final score – we won!
I’d like to say we were a good luck charm, but I think it’s more to do with Mr O’Neill.