I’ve got a secret... and I’m not actually that ashamed to admit it, even though others might think that I’m a bit weird for saying it. And when I say ‘it’, I mean something really bold; something incredibly controversial...
I’m a Sunderland addict.
Alright, I know that it’s only been a week or so, but I’ve missed watching proper football (whatever that even is). And though I wasn’t really that impressed by the manner of our performance against Preston the week before last it has to be considered a positive that we didn’t lose, so there’s that.
Even when we get beat, I think something really deep inside of me actually enjoys it, the constant moaning about how shit we are, debating over quizzical tactical decisions and substitutions.
So, with no Sunderland game this past weekend I had to strive in order to get my kicks from somewhere else - and like many of you, I turned my attentions towards the copious amounts of international football that took place across Saturday and Sunday.
I sat down to watch England play Lithuania yesterday evening in the hope that it might capture my attention in the way that Sunderland often do but, in truth, I just couldn’t be arsed with it.
Harry Winks? Not bothered. John Stones? Not bothered. Gareth Southgate? Not bothered.
England? Not bothered.
Mind, it caught my eye when I saw that there were so many flags baring Sunderland’s name all over the stadium in Vilnius, souls more hardy than I willing to travel over land and sea in order to watch their team win an actual game of football - I know, a novel prospect, right? Can you imagine going all that way just to see a 1-0 win against such a poor side, with the goal coming from the penalty spot? You have to admire it. Still, I bet that they enjoyed themselves for once.
After about thirty minutes of the game I found myself sat pissing around on my phone, occasionally glancing up at the screen to see what was happening... and I missed absolutely nothing. It’s sad, but to me watching my country play feels absolutely nothing like it should. Fact is, only watching Sunderland play can properly satiate my footballing appetite - and everything else pales in comparison.
Earlier on Twitter I compared the break that we’ve had to attempting to get over a smack addiction - not that I’ve ever tried smack, like, but still. After a few days cold turkey you’re scratching your skin, hoping and praying for even a smidgen of something, and all you can think about is the next fix. That’s me... and like the muggins that I am, I’ll be one of the few hundred other junkies trudging off in the cold to watch the U23s play tomorrow night at the Stadium of Light. Having suffered through a few weeks of international football, watching Paddy McNair’s glorious return to action for our second string doesn’t seem like too bad a proposition after all.
In all seriousness I genuinely cannot wait for this coming Saturday and all that comes with it. It might only be a game with QPR, another side not really amounting to much this season in the Championship, but it cannot possibly stop me from feeling full of hope beforehand for what it might be like in the event that we actually win - and it has been the break away from it all that has got my stomach feeling fluttery once again when it comes to watching my beloved team.