I’m tempted to write about the general upbeat feeling of Birmingham City fans but I don’t like basing my judgement on views expressed online and the number of fans I’ve heard from in the last couple of days is rather small. It would be more honest to say that my postman and a couple of other fans I know are quite enjoying the season so far. I was afraid that Ipswich’s last minute equaliser on Tuesday night would have turned Saturday’s joy into doom and gloom. But the fans that actually go to games seem to appreciate the way the team are playing and are content with 4 points from the first 2 home games.
The game against Brentford tomorrow is a reminder of past rivalries when Blues were down in the 3rd tier with them. In 1991 we beat them over 2 legs in the semi-final of the Leyland Daf Cup. In 1995 they were our rivals for promotion and there were 25,581 at St Andrews on April 26th when we beat them 2-0 to stay top of the league. I’m going to the game tomorrow and am looking forward to it. I will be in the seats as I’m getting a bit too old to enjoy standing for a whole game. I also thought the crowd might be a little more inebriated than usual as there seem to be so many good pubs in the area; during the game in Bruges in 2011 I had a drunk falling onto me and didn’t enjoy the experience. I sympathise with fans who can’t face watching a game when sober but prefer a cup of tea myself. One of the things I like about football is the wide range of people that enjoy it and that at games I meet people that I would mix with in no other context.
On the theme of fans being different, I was interested in the article about PSV Eindhoven fans protesting against the introduction of Wi-Fi at their stadium. They think that support has been lessened by distracted fans looking at their phones instead of the match. I’m with the Dutch fans on this; I go to watch the game and even if I had a smart phone, which I don’t, I wouldn’t download the Blues Hive app. “He shoots. He scores. You tweet.” the announcement of the app proclaims. No you don’t; you cheer and talk about it with the people near you in the crowd. That’s an important part of the match day experience – meeting actual people in the flesh.