Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Enjoying the Last Laugh

I got uncharactaristically annoyed before the Eastbourne game by the most snotty behaviour I've encountered in a press box! It needled me, and oddly also made me realise just how much I believe in the currrent Wrexham side!

I've seen more aggressive behaviour from reporters; about ten years ago I recall an F.A. Cup tie at Rochdale where someone sat in a regular local reporter's seat and he was so angry it nearly came to blows! Saturday was weird and different.

I was talking to the guy next to me, who like all the Eastbourne contingent apart from the protagonist was a thoroughly nice bloke. He mentioned that we had a huge squad, and it was then that the subject of this tale chipped in, announcing we had no chance of going up.

Mistakenly taking this to be a general conversational comment, I began to discuss his idea, only to find this wasn't an opinion, it was a FACT! Indeed, everything he said about Wrexham-all critical-was not up for debate. He was above criticism, beyond disagreement, and desperate to attack anything I said.

I ought to point out here that he hadn't seen us play all season, it was just prejudice, backed up by a couple of generalisations: no team relying on loan signings can possibly go up (he obviously didn't see Hereford last season); and we're not much good because we haven't hammered anyone-all we do is scrape lucky wins.

I got gradually more annoyed, but bit my lip. It made me realise that I'm a real devotee of the Saunders cause because, on reflection, my robust defence of his achievements wasn't just me sticking up for my team, or arguing with an idiot for the sake of it; I believed it.

I wondered if it reflected an attitude in certain parts of the non-league media. The majority treat us totally fairly, but there are some who resent the so-called big teams that drop down from the Football League. I can understand that; there are plenty of sides that drop down and act like they're superior to the Conference, which is utter nonsense. I don't think we've been guilty of that though; two years of suffering I think ensured we were suitably humble.

And perhaps I was. As I said, I bit my lip and got out of the conversation. Not that I didn't want to resume it afterwards; particularly when the final whislte had gone and the side which scrapes through to lucky victories had stuck five past the opposition, and ought to have got a lot more. But funnily enough he'd cleared off by the time I finished commentating, and never showed his face in the press conference afterwards. They never do!

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