It's the most wonderful time of the year. The Rugby League Superleague started on Friday night and my team play their first game today.
Last season we were promoted to the top division, it was what I believe they call "a steep learning curve", we finished bottom and will very probably finish bottom this year too.
Watching Widnes in 2012 was everything that makes sport great. There was the agony of missing out on a win by seconds, there was the pain and despair of being beaten by 40+ points again and again. But there was the joy, the absolute lose-the-plot joy of a rare win. For every Aussie bad boy sent home in disgrace there was a Rhys Hanbury try v Catalan. For every half time of grumbling and threatening to cut up the Stronghold ticket there was the "Thank You Mr. O'Connor" banner from Bradford fans to our owner for donating cash to help them stay afloat. And for every opposition chant of "Superleague, you're having a laugh" there was a "WIDNES, WIIDNES, WIIIDNES". Even on the day of the downpour at Odsal that killed my phone and iPod there was the joy of seeing a sopping wet bloke dressed head to toe in "Superdry" gear and the massive cheer that went up when the announcer informed us that Andy Murray had won gold at the Olympics.
My mum always told me to never date a man who didn't like sport, they don't have the same sense of commitment, passion and the will to stay the course no matter what. Hats off to the sport lovers, we take it far too seriously, far too personally and certainly would be better off setting fire to the cash than going to some games, but where else would you get to dance in public, kiss total strangers, chuck a torn up copy of The Runcorn Weekly News up into the air or see a teenager wrapped up in toilet paper like a mummy?
And the day you start a chant. Priceless (me, Batley March 2008)