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Blog: Ruining A Teenager's Life

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I think I may have scarred my nephew for LIFE, for LO! on Saturday I took him to see Posh play Leyton Orient and - against all my expectations - it was REALLY GOOD.

Usually one hopes that the first time you take a young person to see lower league football will be awful enough to safely put them off FOREVER, and our trip started this way with vicious WIND, SLEET and FREEZING temperatures. We got into the ground and found crappy seats* near some ODD people and also some Rough Youths who SWORE throughout the afternoon. I'd told Max, my nephew, that there would be SWEARING, fully expecting a lot of it to come from ME, but my goodness my dear, the LANGUAGE!

We were all set for a cold, miserable, dull afternoon... but then it was GRATE! When I was a lad and got taken to football games it was DREARY, largely featuring a mixture of inept teenagers and knackered old blokes all running after the ball at the same time, but here we saw ELEGANCE and PASSING and even some THINKING, it was really quite amazing, not least because most of it was coming from Posh!

At half-time I found that having a LAD with you is a big help getting your cup of coffee. Not only was Max able to WEND his way through the crowd to the front, but there he found that the shop was staffed entirely by middle-aged ladies who saw him, ADORED, and took his order early. HA!

When we went back to go to our seats we found that they'd opened up the lower, uncovered, area of the seating, so went and sat there. Apart from the fact that we were now exposed to the elements and thus BLOODY FREEZING (I lost all feeling in my hands and feet! That hasn't happened for YEARS!) it was GRATE, as we were RIGHT near the touchline. It was still 0-0 at this point but the Posh fans were in AMAZING voice. In years gone by this has very much NOT been the case, but they seem to have found new voice lately and, indeed, new SONGS so they (and we) were BELLOWING away, much much more so than the home crowd who were pretty much SILENT... until, vastly against the run of play, they scored a GOAL.

It was ROTTEN, and all fell silent for a few minutes (from our bit at least, Leyton FINALLY started singing at this point) but much to my surprise NOBODY GAVE UP. As stated above, in previous years this would be the cue for DISMAY from fans and team alike, and I have seen both bunches GIVE UP many many times, so it was ACE to have my expectations confounded. I also BEAMED WITH UNCLE PRIDE when I heard a small voice next to me shout "Come On Borough!"

Still, all looked doomed until, at 88 minutes, Britt Assombalonga scored a GRATE goal - oh! the cheering! the jumping up and down! - and then, two minutes later, Tommy Rowe score AGANE! People were dancing around and shouting, one man was so excited he ran up and down the row of seats in front of us. IT WAS COMPLETELY AMAZING!

The last few minutes featured some FRANKLY RUDE singing, some MILD REMARKS made also in song, and a lot of GRINNING Fenland types, unable to believe what had happened. As we left the ground Max and I talked about how GRATE it had been, and what other potential Posh games there were coming up. As I dropped him off at the tube station he said he was going to look on YouTube for other Posh goals.

And it was in that moment that I realised just what I had done. I had ONE JOB that day, to put him off terrible football, and I had in fact make him not only LIKE it, but think it was QUITE GOOD. I think I've got to take him again, and hope that it's AWFUL next time!

* FOOTNOTE: apparently Leyton Orient are claiming that Posh fans destroyed seats. I must admit that we caused some damage to seats ourselves by INADVERTENTLY SITTING ON THEM: Max SAT DOWN and the back fell off his!

posted 11/2/2014 by MJ Hibbett

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