“Lisa, please, that man is a professional meteorologist.” Just as Bart was duped into thinking a “shotgun full of snow” was going to bear down on Springfield ensuring that he didn’t have to give a book report, the enraging Snowmageddon that was promised to engulf the north of England never did materialise.
But hey, who needs blizzards, typhoons and hurricanes when single-figure temperatures can bring a Northern Rail train to a grinding halt?
It really was the perfect start to a day which would see my good self venture to the bright lights of Wolverhampton to witness Sunderland get a thorough tatering off the nouveau riche league leaders.
Through a series of lies I managed to reach Manchester - without having to fork out a soul-crushing £25 for a new ticket - where Snowmageddon had really taken a hold. Gazing out upon the snow-dusted tracks of Piccadilly it became clear that not everywhere looks nice after it’s been blanketed in the white stuff.
Another thing that needs to go in the bin immediately is the nation’s obsession of putting cranberry sauce on literally anything as soon as December rolls around. Honestly, who saw the humble sausage and bacon sandwich and thought “hey, yer knaa what goes really well with that? Spinach and jam”.
Please, in the name of jolly ole Saint Nic, just stop it.
Speaking of that rotund bearded gentleman, he would have appreciated the climate in the Arctic Circle known as Wolverhampton.
We were welcomed to that kind of cold which takes your breath away and you ponder whether you’ll ever be warm again. The kind of air that seeps down the throat and chills the bones and which makes going for a piss akin to a spell in a steam room.
Anyway... Wolverhampton come at me!
I am one thirsty individual, hot for a delicious pint of Banks's Bitter. Where can I get my drink on? Turns out our Midlands brethren were not too welcoming to marauding big dawgs from the north east looking to wet the ole whistle. Every alehouse had ‘HOME FANS ONLY’ plastered on the doors and windows - a tinge of sadness flooded over me as I always considered the people of Wolverhampton to be warm and inviting*.
Alas, this was not going to dampen our spirits as we snuck in The Hogshead before the bouncers started their shift and drank among a sea of black and amber. Oh how we regaled each other with tales of game’s past and then almost had our afternoon ruined as that spawny get David Moyes managed his West Ham side to an inexplicable victory over Chelsea.
Not to worry, as we had a date with a Wolverhampton Wanderers side that had won their last six games - tasty.
The weather had now turned to Antarctic levels of cold but this did not stop any of the considerably hairier contingent of the Sunderland support whom had derobed for the occasion. The match almost became a side issue as fending off the biting cold was a much more pressing concern.
On the plus side, Sunderland seemed to have come out with an actual game plan and - gasp - were actually executing it quite well. Wolves were getting frustrated and neither side were actually shooting, so we could count that as a win. However, there was one little nugget left for us to savour - an early Christmas present, if you will.
When you wait for something for so long you begin to doubt whether you’ll ever see it again. Like a shooting star, the first robin of winter or a blooming daffodil in the opening days of spring - a Lee Cattermole red card is a thing of beauty. We have waited over four years since the last one, but here it was, in all its glory.
It was everything I had imagined. Two yellow cards in the space of 40 seconds really does bring a tear of joy to these weary eyes. Our fearless leader strides off the pitch, his face awash with bemusement heading for that earliest of early baths. As Dave Grohl once sang “there goes my hero”.
With the heartbeat of the team now indisposed and down to ten men, there was an expectation of a Wolves onslaught. However, it didn’t really materialise and we comfortably saw out a credible goalless draw.
While that did feel good, it was nothing compared the almost out of body experience that was stepping back into the pub after the match and being able to get the feeling back in the blocks of ice that were now my legs. Damn you, snow!
*I had never been to Wolverhampton until this very moment.