This week our guest article comes from Gunghofootball.com's head honcho, Ross Gibson as he discusses 11 unique treats that supporters of Premier League clubs will never know, nor enjoy.
1 – Rocking up to the away end and knowing every single person you walk past, because you and those other 50 odd folks are the only ones stupid enough to travel to Hartlepool on a blustery and wet Tuesday night. That’s dedication though.
2 – Necessity Is the Mother Of Invention – it’s a sad truth that some of the stadia down the footballing food chain aren’t quite as plush as those gleaming arenas you lot call home. So when something as important as the floodlights fail we’re quick come up with quirky and innovative ways to make sure the match ends - like these Southend fans.
3 – Rarely does it happen, but on the 1 in a million chance your team gets chosen for a match to be shown live on TV the excitement levels make mild pant soiling a very real prospect. It’s the biggest day in the calendar year, an event to outshine even your own wedding day. And frankly, it’s even better when you live in a big city and walk into a pub showing the game wearing your top proudly for people to say “Who are you?” and “why do you support them?”
To which you always reply “I support my local team and no other”. They’ll know who you are by the time you leave the pub – after 90 solid minutes of bawling blue murder and glee at the TV screen.
4 – The magic of the FA Cup. We know you Premier League fans don’t even bother looking out for who you got in the third round, but for us, If we’ve even made it that far, it’s beyond massive news. Drawing a ‘big team’ is legitimate cause to celebrate like there is no tomorrow. ‘Just think of the atmosphere, AND THE TV MONEY! We might be able to keep that wildly inconsistent young winger, with white boots, on loan from Ipswich for a month longer!
And we cannot begin to tell you how good it feels to cause an upset *cough cough* MK Dons vs Man United…
5 – Proper pies. Pies that you don’t need to take out a mortgage to be able to afford and contain enough lard to sink an ocean liner.
6 – You’re likely to see players out and about around town and they’re always happy to chat. You know you support a proper team when you bump into players in the nightclubs around Scunthorpe after getting promoted. They didn’t want to go celebrate somewhere nice. ‘But what about the bright lights of Grimsby, Doncaster or even Hull?’ I hear you incredulously cry. â€¨â€¨No, these players chose to celebrate with their own, back in Scunny.
7 – The players of your club will give you a reply on Twitter, no problem whatsoever. Almost as if they’ve nothing to do all day…
8 – You get close enough to the pitch that you can shout your recommended substitutions to the manager or carefully crafted verbal darts/dogs abuse at that one opposition player who has been kicking your team all over the place during the game. I may have upset Kevin Ellison of Morecambe last season, reassuringly though his next effort on goal ended up on the train tracks behind Glanford Park – I’m chalking that one up to me ‘getting in his head’.
9 – Staying up to ungodly hours in an attempt to watch the Football League show. It’s rumoured (nobody is truly sure) there’s a huge cash prize for anyone who manages to stick it out to the very end of an episode, a feat that no-one in Britain has yet accomplished. Blame Steve Claridge.
10 - Whilst club mascots in the Premier League are a weird and creepy bunch, a lack of funds, and seemingly ideas, down the chain has resulted in some quite stupendously crap matchday cheerleaders. As a quick illustration I give you 'Deepdale Duck' of P.N.E fame and 'Spytty The Dog' from Newport County.
Obviously ducks are known for their penchant for caps, shoes and looking like depressed crows, whilst Spytty The Dog is truly the stuff of nightmares. Just look at the state of him...
11 – Sauntering up on the opening day of the season to buy your season ticket safe in the knowledge there are still several thousand unsold. No queues, no dreaded waiting lists or ticket ballots - never shall we have to wait anxiously to hear whether we have secured a prized seat for the new season!
What do you cherish most about being a lower league football fan? Let us know in the comments below.