TOPIC: Are you looking forward to Sunderland Til I Die S2 coming out soon? Are you worried about how it might portray the club? Do you fear it could impact upon the players positively/negatively? Does the timing of the release bother you or not? What are you most looking forward to seeing/re-living? What are you least looking forward to?
Phil Butler says...
I have to say, contrary to last year’s first season, I haven’t given the documentary much thought this time around. I think the fact that season one was a show about a club we thought was in our past meant that we, as fans, were more able to watch back and say ‘thank God it’s not like that any more’. However, this season with all the developments off the pitch especially - or lack of developments as the case may be - I’m struggling to find any motivation for the incoming season.
Probably the standout moment for the documentary will be Aiden McGeady’s late equaliser at Wembley - which although only led to further heartbreak was my highlight of last year. However, due to the fallout between player and manager, it is a moment I will watch with a tinge of sadness, or at least regret.
Of course, we also know how the series will end - that goal, that late, late goal in the play off final. They say time is a healer, but I’m not sure I’m over that yet, and am fully prepared for the documentary to open those old wounds which left me walking out of Wembley Stadium in a state of numbness, sadness and regret looking back at what might have been.
That being said, the highlight of the first series was seldom any of the action on the pitch, but rather the members of staff, fans and general characters which make Sunderland AFC what it is. Once again, I’m certain we shall watch the series with anger, sadness and disappointment at the events on the pitch, but overall I’m certain we will end the series feeling proud of our club, our fans and our city.
Phil West says...
I’ll nail my colours very firmly and unashamedly to the mast when it comes to ‘Sunderland ‘Til I Die’: I think it is a truly terrible concept and something that was absolutely unnecessary. The first series, for me, did absolutely no favours for the image and reputation of the football club or its supporters, and I’m 100% convinced that the second season will be little better.
Why am I so steadfast in my dislike of the entire idea? I simply don’t believe that the ups and downs that our club has gone should through be utilised for entertainment purposes, to be watched and pored over by a wider audience, many of whom would doubtless take great pleasure in seeing the misery and the heartache that we’ve gone through over the past couple of seasons. Why give rival fans ammunition with which to mock and use against you? It seems to be a pointless exercise. The reputation of the club took a real hammering over a number of years, and I do worry that series two will set us back in that regard.
As far as distractions and a negative impact upon the players is concerned, that’s much less clear-cut. Hopefully, they’ll be able to tune out all the inevitable background noise that will accompany series two, and remain fully focused on the task of gaining promotion. Hopefully, players like Max Power and Jordan Willis will be delivering messages along the lines of, ‘Forget this Netflix nonsense, boys, and let’s keep our eyes on the prize’.
Phil Parkinson can play his part, too. He needs to ram hone the message that whatever happened previously should be consigned to the dustbin, and that his group of players can certainly be the team who lead Sunderland back into the Championship. That would give a far greater payoff, and paint the club in a far better light, than a Netflix series ever could.
Morgan Lowrie says...
Not many clubs have the opportunity of international coverage in the form of a television series, and I’m sure commercially it’s helped the club tenfold, and will continue to do so, as people in all corners of the world become interested in Sunderland.
I do feel the club won’t benefit as much as they could, due to the last minute play off defeat. That said, the Oakland A’s Moneyball season ended in play off despair, and it’s one of the great sporting movies. Had promotion been achieved, a lot more, I feel, would be interested in following, and would find it easier to do so, as the championship is broadcast further a field than most league one games.
That turns into sales of replica kit, purchasing of international membership and more people becoming involved financially. In terms of the portrayal of the fan base, I believe the Sunderland supporting directors portray the fans in a good light, with a few individuals highlighting the mood of the time and it makes for entertaining television. In my view, any wide spread coverage that has potential to improve the brand is positive, which is what Sunderland and all clubs must become as football becomes of a more aligned with business.
It may well help in terms of the sale of the club, showcasing the potential and the story, and further highlighting the “sleeping giant” cliché.
Yes, some clubs will roll out the crying on Netflix originality, but that will only be from clubs who could only ever dream of achieving the following Sunderland attain regularly, and that’s the only ‘negative’, if you can even call it that.
I don’t think it’ll have an impact on the players as such, and impact would have been when the cameras are rolling, and if any of them are portrayed in a negative light, you’d like to think they’d be out to prove people wrong, the dynamic of the current squad definitely seems to have that mentality.
With time and a few promotions, I think the series will be a timely reminder to all Sunderland fans, and probably fans further afield, that bad times don’t last forever, and in a few years time when Sunderland are back in the Premier League, it’ll be a reminder of why we shouldn’t be so upset at 0-1 defeat at Watford!