January was another month of waiting for some rugby, although it was interesting to read what Adam had to say the other week about our dropping gates and the fact that almost 1000 people had not bothered to tip up to get season tickets this year.
That worries me, because if the fans ‘walk’ it’s the start of the road to ruin and being in my late 70’s, I just want a team to support till I snuff it. It’s not beyond the bounds of possibility to understand that should things go on like this then the unthinkable could actually happen (an occurrence that would invariably lead to me snuffing it anyway).
We were talking about this in Club last Tuesday and wondering what it was that was peeving people so much about Hull FC and indeed what it is that’s making fans across the game disenchanted. We talked about the new League structure, Thursday night matches, beer prices, referee’s and Sky TV, but in the end for us lot it was simply down, as far as Hull FC was concerned, to the rugby being generally boring to watch and the level of our expectations last season being way too high. In fact for lot of Hull FC supporters, 2015 was for the most part like being the over-optimistic parents of the fat kid on sports day.
Bill always thinks that all the games problems are down to Sky TV and once he had completely written off Stevo and Eddie, video referees and momentum rules, he waded into televised games and the ridiculous situation where we have to travel to Widnes on a Thursday night just to please sodding TV. He said, “If we have to have Thursday rugby why the hell couldn’t they arrange for us to play Cas or Wakey or for Widnes to play Wigan or Saints instead of making sure that for our first Thursday game, we have to make the single longest journey there is in blooming Super League with the exception of the trip to France.”
Bill has a point you know, because it is bloody ridiculous and although there is probably more than one reason for the exodus of fans, one thing’s for sure, for us lot in Club a 240 mile round trip on a Thursday night doesn’t bloody help at all. However as far as Hull FC is concerned, in 2016 we have at least one saving grace because for this old git Frank Pritchard is a godsend. Why? Well because he’s a real old fashioned larger than life character.
What I would have given for him or even the likes of Mick Crane, Knocker Norton or Paul Woods in our ranks last year. You see, for this old bugger, there are just not enough individuals in the game anymore. Everything is getting just too staid and samey, but not it would seem at Hull FC. With Feka, Frank, The Dustman, Sika and Carlos all of a sudden we have a veritable troupe of good old fashioned characters, the star of which is undoubtedly Frank the Tank.
However the FC ‘Brotherhood’ apart, the rest of rugby league life goes on as always, as we are told by those twits at Redhall that the new league system had been introduced to increase the jeopardy and make things more exciting, something that (once we’d looked up what jeopardy means) equates, I think, to everyone sitting below 4th in the table being scared shitless by the prospect of having to take on Featherstone, Leigh and Halifax at the end of the season.
I mean, if it’s ‘jeopardy’ you’re after, what was ever wrong with bringing back relegation for one or two Clubs, because from what I can see this new twaddle is making the whole game paranoid. Stan chimed into the conversation saying that folks were obviously fed up with the tedious rugby we seem to see at times across the game. There’s certainly a lot of ‘flat’ performances around and it seems that unless you’re in that top two or three, then everyone is nervous and playing ‘safe’.
Still, it’s the new season and this time around with our new recruits, even I have to admit to being just a bit thrilled about it all. But (silly old bugger that I am) there’s hardly been a season since 1952 when I wasn’t excited, however the acid test for me is always just how long that feeling lasts. I went to Doncaster and bloody froze. It was the coldest I’d been since the last time our lass got me to defrost the fridge four and a half years ago, although all in all this year, we have got away with Winter pretty well really.
However every bugger wants to be a comedian and Jonno in Club reckons that the worst two winters he can remember were Mike and Bernie, still we’re getting through it and a week later the whole FC crowd in Club went along to the Derby in almost barmy conditions. Fourteen of us sat there in a row in the South Stand munching pork scratching and wondering how the hell a match against that lot of cretins could ever be classed as ‘Friendly’; before a seminal annihilation made for a happy outcome in the end. However for me it’s about time we scrapped all that and avoided Rovers until we play them properly. Harry said the other night that if (hypothetically) we got to the Grand final we could have played the Dobbins seven times in 33 games come October.
Mind you the weather that day wasn’t the only thing that was barmy, because the jokers from East Hull treated us to a right show as well. It is I guess for them a sort of annual holiday and an exciting day out in civilised surroundings. They tell us all week that it’s just a friendly and not important in the bigger scheme of things and then turn up carrying banners, sporting face paint and wearing fancy dress (I think). There they were, six points up after ten minutes, letting off red smoke bombs and singing and dancing like a set demented Native Americans who had just burgled Primark.
What a sight it was, the North End of the KC looked more like the bloody extras lounge for the filming of ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ than a rugby Stadium. But, as you will now all have guessed, I don’t care for the Dobbins at all and to see us give them such a comprehensive stuffing, ‘friendly’ or not, will do for me. As our lass says it if they were playing Iraq in the cup final I’d be looking for a shop that sold Iraqi flags. Quite frankly if the Stadium Management Company want them to keep coming in numbers to the KC Derby’s they’d better never consider incorporating a job centre in the vacant space under the Stadium. A lot of them won’t go near one of those.
So, as you can see it might be another season but there’s still plenty getting up my nose. However Feka, Manu, Fonua and co certainly look to be a step up from the usual run of the mill signings and we could even see some exciting games this year. As for the Tank, well I wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of him would you? One thing’s for sure whatever the outcome was, he’d still be smiling afterwards…… but I don’t think I would be.