Most people where I work, when the talk gets onto football, want to talk about the madness that is the English Premiership, where millions buys mediocrity and the mediocre earn millions. There’s a sane core though that follow League of Ireland teams. Given the geography of where our factory is [Swords], that translates to mostly Drogheda United or Dundalk fans, with a sprinkling of Bohemians and Shamrock Rovers heads also. I’m certainly the only Bray fan there [and the only Rochdale fan too come to think of it].
Last week I bumped into a Bohemians fan one afternoon. I asked if he was going out to Bray on Friday night. If we’d been due in Dalymount, he’d have asked me the reverse question. His response intrigued me at first. He said he wouldn’t be going out because Bohs were probably going to lose. I thought about how things have changed in the Seagulls’ world. No longer are we seen as an easy three points for the big boys to gobble up. We’re now being seen as one of the big boys themselves.
Later in the day I started to get uneasy about the conversation. I reckoned the Bohs fan had jinxed Bray, and jinxed me. If Bray ended up losing the game I’d feel responsible. If I’d kept my mouth shut and not invited the comment that indirectly complimented Bray, perhaps the team wouldn’t have been jinxed and Bray would have won.
Well, lose the game we did, just as we did in Dalymount earlier in the season. We went one up thanks to Tim Clancy but a Corcoran brace got Bohs in front before the interval and they held it during the second 45 to get a win that moved them up to seventh. Well done to all at Dalymount.
Football fans are superstitious beings. Incidents like the above only add fuel to the fire. I know of a Liverpool fan [also someone in work!] who avoids hearing soccer results on Saturday afternoons because he feels if he gets to Match of the Day without knowing the result then Liverpool will win. Honest to God. Players themselves are apparently even worse than fans when it comes to superstition!
So Bray are playing Drogheda United on Tuesday. I’m avoiding all contact with Drogheda United fans in work. If I can’t achieve that and have to talk to them I’m making no reference to the impending match. If they refer to it I’m going to blank them. The same goes for the Sligo Rovers game next Friday. There is a chap in work who is from Sligo. I don’t know if he’s a fan of football in general or of the Bit’O’Red in particular but I’m steering clear of him. We need to get something from both of these games this week and I’m not going to be to blame if we don’t!