|I hate you Stevie Wonder|
I know, I know, it’s five days late. Well, it’s taken me that long to recover. No, not from stuffing my face like a fat kid over Christmas or overindulging in one too many shots of sambuca on New Year’s Eve (ouch my head). The reason why I’ve not posted sooner is because I have simultaneously been singing from the roof tops but then stopping to shake my head and think about what I have done. You see, on 1 January, Leeds Carnegie achieved something they’ve been as desperate for as Sam Allardyce waiting for a call from Italy. Neil Back’s men banished the winter blues by sealing their first Aviva Premiership win of the season by beating Gloucester 15-13. Great eh? For me, as a huge Leeds fan, it was brilliant. The best start to the year I could have hoped for. Carnegie were fresh from back-to-back wins in the Amlin Cup after their Boxing Day clash with relegation rivals Newcastle was called off and boy did it show.
Except I wasn’t at Headingley to witness by beloved team notch up their first league win of the season. Instead I was sitting in the back of a Volkswagen Touran speeding along the M62. Not exactly how I saw that one going in my head if I'm honest. You see, I was on my way home from celebrating New Year’s Eve in Preston with my friends. I know, Preston. Hardly glamour central of the world and a bit of a random choice, but we went to a comedy club and it was all fine until that journey home. Why? I wasn’t hungover, none of use were. There was no chundering out of the window or grimacing about the previous night's antics as we had all been very well behaved. It’s because I was missing the game. Following the score and updates on Twitter just isn’t the same, especially when it’s accompanied by the sound of your friends singing ‘Crazy for You’ by Let Loose at the top of their voices.
As we sped past Huddersfield I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I’d picked Leeds to win by three points but it was more in hope than with belief. Gloucester were enjoying a run of good form in the league and in Europe so surely it couldn’t be? Well, Twitter was telling me it might, as the score poised on a tantalising 10-10 at half-time.
Now not one to throw a tantrum about missing the game I quietly sat in the back of the car. After some speedy driving my friend dropped me off home at 2pm. Kick-off had been at one so I knew if I rushed I might just make it to catch the end of the match. I jumped in the car knowing I faced a race against time. So why did I bother? I could have just watched the highlights with smiley-faced rugby-novice Craig Doyle on ITV4 later on that night. Not an option. You see, it’s one of my superstitions of supporting a team. Call me weird if you like, but I have two big match-day superstitions. I can’t go to a game wearing something I’ve bought after the start of the season as it brings bad luck. I did it once to a Leeds Rhinos game and they lost. I accidentally did it again the following week and they lost again. Facing the wrath of my then boyfriend and the mounting coincidence it quickly became a superstition I hold to this day. The Rhinos won every other live game I watched that season.
The only other superstition I have is if my team has been on a run of bad form but win when I’ve not been watching them I can’t go to another game until they lose. That is why I’ve been totally over the moon that Leeds claimed their first league win but totally bummed out at the same time. Being a good fan, I want my team to win all of their remaining games and climb to mid-table mediocrity. Being a season ticket holder, this is annoying. However, this is Leeds I’m talking about and the next home game in the league is Leicester Tigers. Chances of them winning that game? Low. Chances of them winning if I don’t go….?
Damn you superstition.