• Harping On 15-10-2010. A Rant From A Harpsman.

    From the FHFC programme for the league game against Cork City.

    Harping On

    Last weekend was not a good one to be a Harps fan. Apart from being heavily beaten in Waterford, our beloved neighbours regained the initiative at the top of the division as they won easily and Monaghan were beaten in Cork. And then of course there was the nightmare in the Aviva Stadium. As these things go, the train did not so much come off the tracks as fell off a bridge on to a hospital and then exploded. The most common sentiment I heard expressed was a fervent wish for this horrible season to just be over. The only bright side I could think of was that at least the match overlapped with the X Factor party going on in my house and therefore gave me an acceptable excuse to be utterly anti-social and stay in the spare room emerging only to replenish my supply of cider and to answer the door as more people turned up. At one point I was surprised to see a couple of people turn up that I had expected to be at the Galway United match. I expressed surprise that they weren’t at it (bearing in mind the alternative they had chosen it bordered on astonishment, that X Factor crap really is unspeakably terrible) and they told me that when somebody had asked them earlier in the day if they’d be there, they’d actually laughed at the idea. They have gone from being fairly diehard fans to laughing at the idea of attending what was a massive game for their club. And it seems to just boil down to not enjoying it any more. I think that’s very sad- to lose something like that from your life. Being part of the emotional chaos that is a League of Ireland club has its ups and downs- but it’s still great fun overall. Or at least it should be.

    Even when things are at a low ebb, there are little things that give you hope and joy. There’s that young lad coming through the ranks who could be the next big thing, the rumour of a player joining that could make a world of difference, the knowledge that we recovered from a similar season previously to have a great season and eventually win promotion. There are the memories of past triumphs when the emotion and the noise rolled around this old ground and echoed in a hundred homes and public houses around the Northwest and beyond. There are the hopes for the future, of a state of the art stadium that will be the envy of the league. There’s the sheer bad minded joy at the struggles of rival clubs and seeing people get their comeuppance when you can’t even remember why you started disliking them in the first place. There’s listening to forty thousand Harps fans singing the Fairytale of Finn Park in your head as your cycle home from work. There’s running into fans of other clubs and having a good old chat about what is going on around the league. There’s the utterly irrational optimism of thinking that this week might be the time when we play the perfect game and smite the hell out of Cork City. There’s reading Bartley Ramsay’s superb history of the club and being captivated once again by the magnificent madness, unrelenting drama and stubborn refusal, against all the odds, to die that has characterised our history from the start. There’s the feeling you get when you’re at an away game at the other end of the country and you see people looking at you as you should be in a padded cell for following the club over such a distance. There’s the connection to home and to family and friends the sense of shared identity and place that’s bound up with the club. There’s the humour of the guy beside you on the terrace or on the forum. And, more than anything, there are the people who make the club what it is and the memory of those no longer with us.

    So the newly arrived guests may have caught me at a bad moment, but I still was sorry for their loss. Maybe they don’t have forty thousand fans that sing club songs in their head, I didn’t think to ask at the time. Maybe it’ll happen to most of us at some stage, but it seems unimaginable now.

    So never I hope you never lose the joy. Imperfect as it is, we’re still part of something great and that could soon be greater still. And if nothing else, it beats seven kinds out of crap out of watching the X Factor. (Maybe there's an advertising campaign in there- "Finn Park, Simon Cowell Free Zone"?) So come on you Harps, feck the begrudgers and here’s to three points tonight and another three next week.
    This article was originally published in blog: Harping On 15-10-2010. A Rant From A Harpsman. started by Mr A
    Comments 1 Comment
    1. passerrby's Avatar
      passerrby -
      and i thought that these x factor parties was just in my place its a pandemic
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