Thursday, 23 August 2007

Derby Days? Not really.

So, we have the pleasure of visiting ICI town on Sunday (best known as the backdrop for Bladerunner – nice) and doubtless the locals will be waiting to welcome us as only they can. Football wise ‘the burra’ have come a long way since I was a lad; I remember them locking their gates in the eighties and virtually going under. Their chairman, Steve Gibson, has performed wonders in making them a top division, mid table team, and deserves praise for that – Shepherd should feel ashamed every time his name is mentioned.

Having spent a lot of time on message boards over the last few years I’ve noticed that a lot of their fans seem to think they mean something to us and that if we beat them we’re especially chuffed. The media pundits go down this road as well and always refer to these games as a North East derby, it’s not. I don’t really understand why they think this, it’s probably a marketing thing for Sky and the premier league in order to sell more telly packages and I suppose as the mackems are up and down more often than Jodie Marsh’s knickers they think we need a more stable ‘local’ rival.

Whatever their reasoning, they’re wrong, Middlesbrough – v- Newcastle will never be a derby match. To me, beating Boro is the same as beating Leeds or Hull or one of the Sheffield teams, it’s three points and I’ll be home in time to make a night of it down the quayside, or even the ‘diamond strip’ (I’m getting old now) and that’s it. As far as they’re concerned though, they’re so desperate for a rival that isn’t Hartlepool or Darlo that when they beat us, you never hear the end of it. Still if it makes them happy eh.

So for the record, when we play Middlesbrough It’s not a derby and the three points apart, unless it’s a cup final (doubtful like) it’s not even that important. Got that? Good, now let’s tan their backsides.

Howay the lads.

Ps - This can also be viewed (and commented on via the message boards) at


Daz said...

Good point but the same could be said about Newcastle and Man United. Although your lot don't claim it to be a regional derby, you certainly see it as a 'cup final' (except when it is a cup final, you don't turn up).
For example which other club would have brought out a video to celebrate a single league match, where all that was at stake was 3 points? Small victories is suppose, much like the Boro.

Rivs said...

I don't know anyone who claims Us -v Man U as our 'cup final' apart from me, and I have family reasons for that (ie my brother's a plum). Lot's of teams have brought out single league match videos - it's called 'marketing' and it's what the game's all about now. However, I take your point about the small victories thing, unfortunately that's where we are as a club at this moment thanks to Shepherd, Douglas Hall and Grim Shitness.