Before I start this isn't a football blog.
It just so happens that in the first few days of it's existence two football related topics have caught my eye.
So, here it is. I am a Coventry City fan. The Sky Blues (not the Citizens, who are doing rather well for themselves) have been my team since as a child, just before the glory of 1987, circumstances led me to them at a time when Liverpool, Notts Forest and Everton were all courting my interest by being successful, or in the case of Forest having Cloughie. It is a long tale which has led to me choosing Coventry and one I won't bore you it with here. Maybe at a later date, when today's pain has left me it will be the subject of a blog.
I ended up supporting the mighty (in my head they are always led by Sillett and Curtis around the pitch at Wembley) Sky Blues and my experiences following them have always helped me to cope with defeat and disappointment. OK, not in 1987. But I was 8 years old and that was the highest point for me as a Coventry fan. And OK, big fat (racist?) Ron bought it some great players in the mid-nineties. And OK, we then had the Huckerby-Dublin partnership, and Ndlovu and a few others. But these have all been exceptions which have bred false hope. My time as a Coventry fan has been most honest when I have been accepting of inevitable defeat. Not only has it been more honest, but it has also led to my happiest memories...the great escape of 1997 was so wonderful because I was so sure we were down. I remember going to play football after the results were in and NOT being embarrassed to wear the shirt in an area where everybody else supported WBA and Wolves and, at this time, the black country hadn't had a team in the top flight for 15 years and we, Coventry, hadn't had a team out of the top flight in 30 years.
Today, as the football fans amongst you know, the brave Coventry City finally got relegated not from the Premiership, the promised land is now a distant memory, but from the Championship. Next season, if we reach next season, we will be in Npower League One. We went down without a fight, losing two nil at home against a team that had went eleven games without a win. Not even Pompey losing 10 points through administration gave us a chance.
The worst part of the season hasn't been the relegation, nor the lack of depth or quality in the squad. Nor the lack of fight for the most part. Not even seeing the business man chairman decide to become technical director and join the beleaguered, often confused, manager Andy Thorn on the bench. The worst part has been the brief period of hope we were afforded when we managed to, for one round of matches, get out of the relegation zone.
It was the reverse of all the years when we, as fans, had given up and then a miracle happened. This time we had been mocked with the sweet scent of survival, only to have it cruelly taken from us by a group of players who either weren't good enough, weren't experienced enough or, most terrible, just didn't have the heart for the battle.
I feel betrayed, not by the relegation, but by the club daring to give us hope before stamping it out.