Saturday, 5 November 2016

Spare me from the whiny few!

The most casual of glances over the various online Poppies outlets will confirm just one thing - the majority of fans want Law out.

Well, perhaps not the majority of fans.  More the majority of those who are online the most.

Well, perhaps not the majority of those that are online most.  More the majority of those who type in angry CAPITAL LETTERS.

Well, perhaps not the majority of those who who type in angry CAPITAL LETTERS.  More the majority of those who can find nothing worth commenting upon when we win, but are apoplectic beyond all reason whenever another team dares to defeat us.

The opportunity to bitch online has opened a whole new horizon of bellyaching to the average Poppies fan.  Once upon a time the only outlet we had for displeasure was to grumble loudly at the final whistle.  And then go into the Social Club and moan a bit more about a club we continued to fund with our ale purchases.  An hour later and Mick Groom had our names down to go on the Pirate coach to Barrow the following Tuesday evening, using up a day's holiday and spending another fortune in the support of the Poppies.

That was how we complained about stuff in the good old days!

Except for the one time we actually held a demonstration against a sitting Poppies manager.  Yes, my motley collection of whiny Keyboard juntanistas, we Poppies fans made the effort to go to the ground and demonstrate!  That's right. We put on our warmest winter clothing and walked up to Rockingham Road on an evening that there was no game, and noisily protested outside the ground during a training session.  I imagine our current generation of whinging ingrates will find this difficult to comprehend, given that not all of them can even work up the gumption to attend our games, let alone choose to make our feelings of despair known on a night when there was no game at all.

Admittedly, this was the only time in my years supporting the Poppies that I can recall this sort of thing happening.  It occurred during the fag-end of Peter Morris's second stint in charge.  We were still smarting from an FA Trophy humbling at the hands of Histon (who back then were at least 35 leagues below us), and far too many reverses in the League to handle.

Reaching the Trophy final the season before had bought Morris a little more time, but no amount of papering was going to cover the gaping cracks of his managerial frailties.  The Saturday before our famous one-off demonstration there was a slight dry run where a perhaps twenty of us put down our pint pots in the Social Club and marched the dozen or so steps to the directors entrance in the main stand to register our discomfort with the Morris regime.  I can't remember which club worthy headed us off at the door, but we bleated politely to him for a few minutes before returning to our drinks.  And then, more than likely, booked our seats for the following midweek away game at Dover.

About the same number of we malcontents turned up for our actual demonstration.  Once assembled we did have a few moments of hesitation when it dawned on us that we didn't really know what we should be doing.  Never having demonstrated before we had no clue how we should go about it!  We eventually managed to shout a few chants which were balanced between support for Kettering Town Football Club, mixed with our opinions on Morris's shortcomings.

Demonstrating used to take an effort -
not just a thumb and a WiFi signal

I doubt our effort made much impact, but within a week or two we were gumped at home by Morecambe, and Mallinger finally pulled the trigger.  The tragedy being that had he dismissed Morris a week earlier we might just have avoided relegation, as the team eventually came within an ace of pulling off a great escape.

One real, honest-to-goodness demonstration in the past 30-odd years.  Not really much of a record is it?  And, looking at the quality of our young, and not-so-young malcontents these days, who prefer to complain by emojis, unlikely to be added to any time soon.

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