Tuesday, 7 February 2012

A Life Without Thistle

VBL gives us an insight into life without Thistle. How many of you have been struggling without a game for 2 weeks?

Thistle are not cup specialists. There, I’ve said it. The disappointing defeat to Berwick Rangers in the Firhill sunshine meant that there would be no romantic return to Hampden 40 years after our League Cup success. The blip against Culter was rescued by a convincing, professional performance in the replay but was followed by another poor result against a Queen of the South team seemingly determined to destroy football as an art form.

Those two cup defeats have left Thistle with a large gap in their schedule. The players must feel frustrated given that their last performance earned them a hard fought point against title-chasing Dundee in an entertaining 0-0 at Firhill on 21st January. Our next game isn’t until February 11th when we visit The “Insert Highest Bidding Local Business Name Here” stadium/arena/complex/showroom and take on Ferr…Mead…em…Livingston. That’s the one.

So, with no game to go to for two consecutive Saturdays, Thistle fans may well have been twiddling their thumbs, or looked elsewhere for entertainment. Alan Durban, manager of Stoke in 1980, famously said “If you want entertainment, go and watch a bunch of clowns”. Some would argue there are enough clowns in Scottish football. Others “fans” may have just stuck to what they usually do on a Saturday and not even notice that Thistle weren’t playing.

Personally, I was kept amused by a combination of FA Cup matches and the excellent African Cup of Nations (get Bobby Dinnie over there). The lack of Thistle did, however, make me think about a life without them. Imagine if the worst case scenario did happen. Thistle go bust. What then?

I know of some fans who would be more than happy to give up following football entirely. Thistle provide them with their only interest in the game. Without them, football might as well cease to exist.

What about supporting a different team? For many, this would be an impossibility such is their hatred for other teams. There are already plenty of Thistle fans who no longer attend Firhill and have instead crossed over to the dark side of the Old Firm. Alternatively, there is Queens Park. Now there’s a thought. Queens Park were once one of the best teams in the world. You would have to consider watching them.

I suppose there are other things to do instead of watching football. You could sell a few organs and go to the cinema every week, or take up painting, or build a spice rack or something. I’m struggling.

However, we do have a club. We have Partick Thistle. A team steeped in tradition. A team with a unique history. A team so unpredictable that even some of their players don’t know what they will do next. A team with entertaining, exciting and young players. A team lead by a model professional who is trying to create a footballing philosophy at the club.

Thistle Chairman, David Beattie wants more bums on seats. I cannot understand why parents aren’t sending their kids off to Firhill on a Saturday. We have a potentially great stadium and wonderful child-friendly events. We have some great footballers who children should be idolising. They cannot idolise a footballer properly through a television screen, even if it is in high definition, 4D, interactive and smellyvision.

It’s free entry for children under sixteen at Firhill for the rest of the season. Get yourself and your weans along there for something to do. No one can guarantee how long any club will be around for. Make the most of it now.


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