By Brian Hall
Thursday 09 Feb 2012 12:06:00
Browse all Brian Hall articles



After a month or so of exile - some of it imposed by the Great Heaton Bug and the rest forced upon by the Play I am writing that neebody will gan to - time to make a reappearance. I would love to focus more on some of the daft stories, and grave events which have occurred in the world since I last blogged. But first things first, eh. A famous politician, many years ago, said A Week is a long time in Politics. Weh, A Week and a bit is canny long time in a life living with Newcastle United Football Club. NUFC, to the uniniated on BBC Radio 4 and Talk Sport.


January saw a typical plot for us Mags, as we are known. We plunge into our FA Cup tradtion - no, not the one related to the 50s when we won it every other year, but the one in most of our lifetimes. We play a team from a lower league, and, aye, lose. The result was mass depression in toon. And then? The spacecraft changes direction, and after 2 wins in the Premiership, we now lie fifth, breathing down the necks of Chelski, ahead of the Arse, and indeed keeping the Red Scousers at bay. The result? Mass recovery from that depression. And on top of that, we end up with a new Number 9 making his debut, smashing in a wonderful goal in front of the Gallowgate End, as we turned into February.


Now. That is the beauty of this black and white life. Often more lows than highs, but when the latter arrive, it seems to make it all so worthwhile. Who needs anti-depressants when the NUFC give you such a boost? You can owe landlords, duck and dive in an oh so familiar North East economic crisis, use all your energy to deal with the blows and setbacks of daily life....but the opium of the Northumbrian Nation lifts us all when it appears.


I sincerely say that there are few parts of the world where a football club can have such an impact on the populace. We can speculate on the reasons why this happens. The one obvious one - and I have lived outside this region - is that this club is not just simply about football. It represents our culture, our tradition, our history, our pride - all encapsulated in any eleven priveleged men who wear that black and white striped strip.


You see. To understand followers of the NUFC, you have to understand that they are family. Sure, they fall out - often - but above all, they share a common bond, far greater than Freemasonary or even il Mafiosa. You meet a stranger, and as soon as he or she indicates that they are part of the Mag BrotherHood, bang........part of the clan.


And some clan it is. I dont just mean the 50,000 who fill the family home itself. I also mean all the rest. The lads and lasses who cannot afford to be in the SJP house for an actual reunion. The old Grannies who have never been to a match. The kids who wear the strip, kick a ball about, and score...against a back gate in a terraced street. A list that is endless.


So. Despite the fact that this blog re-emergence could have looked at the global economic chaos, the continual Middle Eastern crisis in all its forms, the inequalities in our UK society, and so on, it preferred to leave that to later. Time and place, eh?


The Geordie Nation is alive and kicking. And kicking goals in. Thanks Demba Ba and Pappis.Demba Cisse.....welcome to the Clan, and La Familia.............................................................Brian


NUFC. Till We Die


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