Football as therapy

What a strange few days it's been. Today I'm starting to feel a little more connected with reality. I think going to see my team play helped a lot on Saturday (even though we played poorly and lost). It was a classic case of needing to take my mind off the events of the end of last week and the match arrived at the perfect time.

Getting to a game in London is frustrating. Unlike many other stadia, which are often set in industrial areas with helpful additional public transport, the stadia in London are almost all situated in residential areas. There are no extra Tubes, trains or buses (unlike in Manchester where dozens of special 'match buses' are put on) so you struggle with the regular commuters, poor bastards, who are not that happy to be stuck on a Tube with a ton of football traffic.

Add to that the Fulham ground, Craven Cottage, is quite a way from home for me and it made for an interesting, if annoying, journey. Tube from Finsbury Park, change at Victoria. Infrequent Tube meant another extra journey - Victoria to Earls Court. Then finally a few stops to Putney Bridge. The train was so packed you didn't need to hold onto anything and I was surrounded by 'Is it the next stop?' kids eager to get there. Once off the Tube I was struck by the gorgeous surroundings of the stadium and the 15 minute walk to it. It's rare that a stadium can be reached by a leisurely walk by the side of the Thames, it was quite beautiful I must say. The stadium itself is small, one tier only all sides and not very Premiership friendly! In short, it's a stadium that belongs in the league below.

I took my seat - 8 rows from the pitch, a few feet to the left of the goal, just behind the delicious City keeper David James (who had a bit of an 'England' game for us). We saved our worst performance of the season until Saturday, typical. I go and *that's* when we play like shite. We deserved to lose and we did, 2-1. But despite that I enjoyed being with the City fans and I enjoyed singing the songs, I enjoyed abusing the incompetent adjudicators with profanities and I enjoyed cheering our goal. It was a primal scream, a release and just what I needed to do.

I find that it takes me longer to get over a defeat when I've attended than when I've listened online or watched it on Sky. It's just harder, normally I'm angry and pissed off and miserable and cantankerous for about 90 mins after a defeat, maybe an hour. After I've actually witnessed a defeat... well, I didn't start to feel like I wanted to talk to anyone for at least 3 hours! Maybe it's worse because there's a 2-week break now before the next game. No matter, the match served its purpose - £29 is a lot cheaper than going to a shrink, ha!