On Saturday a friend updated his Facebook profile with the key moments of his day at the rugby. He went to the Cabbage Patch pub, the game itself and then The Garyowen.
He clearly enjoyed his day out. The experience; big crowd, that nice fuzzy feeling of drinking in the daytime, the special padded seats and the audio link to the referee and of course, the game. I bet he ended up slumped on the train home reading the programme, nodding off only to wake, bursting for a pee, just as the train pulled into his station… or out of it.
I like the idea of the Six Nations, but I simply can’t get to grips with rugby. I still contend that most people who go to the game don’t really care about the result. Going to the game is a nice self-contained treat. The whole experience is encapsulated, done and dusted, in the day.
By contrast, one game in an Oxford season is a chapter in a yearlong story, which in itself is a book in a lifelong anthology of a story with no real focus. The win over Rotherham was eminently satisfying, but you leave thinking, ‘That’s great, but what does it mean?’
The objective of this season is ambiguous. General consensus seems to be that we might sneak into the play-offs, but it’s hardly an expectation. So, is the win a satisfying day out? Another step on the way to a joyous promotion? Or even a tiny building block towards winning the Champions League?
In a sense, I envy those who go to sporting events and enjoy them like a special day out. For you, and me the reward is hard won and supposedly more rewarding. When we get to our destination, wherever that is, whenever that is, destinations that may include, ‘nowhere’ and ‘oblivion’, the reward should be better and more intense. Or perhaps its just an obligation or an addiction.
The ‘Bring the Noise’ day was a pretty quiet one, all told. Nobody dares talk of play-offs or promotion. But we brushed aside Rotherham as though they were mid-table canon fodder. Now we have 1 month, bookended by games against Stevenage, in which we have 1 home game in 6. If we come out of that period in roughly the position we’re in now, promotion will be a definite maybe.