Andrew Abbott's Blog

Sunday, 1 February 2015

A grand day out.

We have a very civilised tradition in my office. For the last half hour of the working week we senior chaps (No girls) meet in one of our offices (the one with the fridge) and enjoy a beer together discussing politics, the weather, women, whatever takes our fancy. It finishes the week off nicely and if the truth be told if you want to influence company policy, bring it up at the soiree.

It was a natural progression to organise an outing and the chance came up to obtain tickets for us all for the rugby at Leicester Tigers for the cup game v Northampton Saints so a derby to boot. I decided from the off I would travel by train and the rest of the contingent decided to follow suit and come over to Hykeham to travel together so bacon rolls were provided and off we all went.

Apart from an occasional visit to the Lindum this was my first experience of rugby and, as I was missing a City home game, it was inevitable that my mind mused on the similarities between watching the two sports. It’s an unfair comparison as Leicester are at the absolute top of the rugby pyramid and Lincoln City aren’t and never will be at the top of theirs although the top players were not in evidence as they are all in the midst of preparations or already playing in internationals.

Leaving aside the relative skills and the fact that the game was a 24000 sell out I felt that a trip to Sincil Bank could prove a more exciting spectacle although of course I am not a die hard rugby fan, the round ball is my passion. However, and I’m going to sound really old fashioned here, if I was taking my wife and daughter to a game rugby is a far safer option. That’s not to say Sincil Bank is a bearpit because it’s not, particularly if you sit as I do in the Echo stand but nevertherless in terms of crowd behaviour, sporting attitude and general orderliness rugby wins hands down. The crowd are not segregated, no police in evidence and considering virtually everyone had a drink in their hands and got through more than a few (how City could do with those bar takings) then the lack of any unpleasantness at all made a very nice change.

Of course that very policy of allowing fans home and away to mingle did rather detract from the atmosphere and the sad fact that football fans are not permitted to mingle does increase the possibility of organised singing and chanting that is so much a part of British football. It was pleasant though to be in such a large crowd, inebriated as some of them were and to experience such a friendly and sporting ambience. For all our lowly existence at present though Association Football can still be the beautiful game and frequently is so I will be sticking to my Imps allegiance, in the blood as it is.

All of which brings us on to matters Lincoln and my interest in the home fixture v Dover had to be satisfied via the smart phone but it’s a lot easier to follow the fortunes of your team when on your travels these day than it was so I left Welford Road fully up to speed with City’s latest home victory although I can’t on this occasion describe how it was achieved. The fact that the 1.0 victory was achieved cannot be overstated as Dover were a very tough nut to crack. The legendary Dean Walling said in his weekly column in the Echo that City could not be described as promotion or even play off chasing material as they did not occupy a top five league position. I don’t agree with that. I think if you are in a position to be in the top five by the end of the regular season then you are in the chase and can be described as such. In any event, as I said previously if City can overcome their away blues and come away from Alfreton on Tuesday with three points everyone, and that includes Mr Walling will have to sit up and take notice. I’m sure having always read his comments in the paper with interest and knowing that in his heart he is an Imp still, nothing will please him more.

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