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Saturday, March 08, 2008

Will you fall for me cause I support Newcastle United?

The New Paper used to be a staple read of mine in my formative years. Nowadays I tend to eschew it, given the rather sensationalized reporting style, in favor of more serious publications like the Lianhe Wanbao, Xin Ming Re Bao and FHM The Economist. It was one such rare occasion while flipping through the International Women's Day edition of the paper hoping to find some picture of scantily clad ladies, that a commentary piece titled "Love your woman like you love your football team" piqued my interest.

The reporter, Tan Shi'an, was cooing about how passionate and devoted her fiance is towards the underachieving Tottenham Hotspurs team. To prove her point, she recounted on how he was mercilessly taunted by donning his Spurs jersey the day after his team's now legendary 5-3 collapse against Manchester United despite leading 3-0 at half time. When asked why he persisted in wearing the white garb despite knowing the barrage of taunts and teases, he said: "The real fans are not the ones who wear their team's jerseys after they win. They're the ones who still wear their jerseys after they lose." Bravo! Spoken like a true fan! Anyway, like your typical feel good love story, the gal was impressed with the guy's undying passion and dedication for the football club. She reasoned that if a guy can stick through thick and thin with an under performing football club, he would do likewise in a relationship.

If ladies really do value such quality in men, I would probably be Mr. Popular among the fairer sex. My dedication to Newcastle United is probably palpable to those around me. What you may not know is that:

1) The faithful allegiance started more than a decade back, when the club was bewitching football fans with its brand of cavalier football that enabled it to lead the Premiership by more than 10 over points. Alas it spectacularly imploded and handed the title to Manchester United.

2) Like most football fans, I was attracted by the feel good factor of supporting a winning club. When I first hopped onto the Newcastle United bandwagon, they were sitting on top of the Premier League. 13 years down the road, it turned out that I boarded a roller coaster instead. From experiencing the euphoria during the Keegan era and wading through the notorious "sexy football" period helmed by Ruud Gullit, I was lifted back to cloud nine when Sir Bobby Robson took over and only to be plunged deep back into the abyss when Graeme Souness kickstarted the insidious decay that is turning the club into the morose outfit that it is today. And now with 9 games left, we are only 3 points off the relegation zone and winless since January, we look doomed for the drop. Look at how things have changed. The team that was once prided as the most exciting football team is now ridiculed as a team with a toothless attack and a defence as secure than the Whitley Road detention centre.

3) This club hasn't won any trophies since mid 1960s. I once made a promise to myself that I will chop off all my locks if they managed to win any major trophies. At the rate that the club is playing, and my hair is falling, I will probably turn bald first.

4) And two of the purported Newcastle United football fans that I knew, have since moved on to "support" Chelsea and Manchester United. I won't be surprised if they start donning Geylang United jerseys when they finally clinch the World Hookers' Cup Competition.

5) Since university days, I have been donning iterations of the Newcastle United classic black and white striped jerseys for all my examinations. Heck, I think there was a week where I wore Newcastle jerseys for every day. Guess I wanted to use my passion for the club to mask my lack of fashion sense.

6) Back in the days while serving as a conscript, I would stay up through the nights when Newcastle United were playing and get live sms updates from my brother. I slowly moved up the technological chain and started reading "live text commentary" of Newcastle matches while staying in the university hostel. Sleep is definitely over rated when Newcastle is playing.

7) I can still vividly remember the night when Newcastle crashed out of the Champions League qualifier after losing to Partizan Belgrade on penalties. Up reading the live commentary at 4 plus in the morning, my world literally crashed as the pre-match favourite was dumped out by the Serbia underdogs. I almost broke down in the showers in the aftermath of that defeat. And yes, I headed to school in a Newcastle jersey that day.

So ladies if you subscribed to the Tan Shi'an's school of thoughts, I should be sitting there right on top of your eligible bachelor list together with such luminaries like Quasimodo of The Hunchback of Notre Dame fame and our very own Steven Lim. Rest assured, I will stick with you even when your boobs start sagging, just like how I have and will with Newcastle United.

(Not so) Random Picture of the Day

IMG_2770
Hi Chio Bu, do you want to come my room and er.... look at my Newcastle Flag?

posted by Stormtrooper's Lackey at 11:53 PM


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