Sunday, April 30, 2006

Tension and trauma

This week we will have a baby; this will change our lives forever. Everything will tilt on its axis, and I will be responsible for keeping a little person alive.

Next weekend if Oxford win at home to Leyton Orient we stay up. If we don't we are no longer a football league team. An Oxford win would mean we'd have 52 points. Then the loser of the Notts County Vs Bury game will go down; if it's a draw then Notts County go down because of their inferior goal difference. That's if Stockport, Barnet, Torquay and Macclesfield don't go lose and Notts get at least a point. Then one of that quartet will go down, probably Stockport, unless they win in which any of the other three will have to look over their shoulders nervously. For Oxford its simple, we just have to win. They're at home, and they're playing Leyton Orient. If Orient win they will be promoted. This makes them a. good and b. determined. Expecting a win is a big assumption, but at least its simple.

It's not the thought of Oxford slipping into the black hole of the Conference that concerns me. Many teams come back to the football league rejuvenated, and Oxford have a good set up so I wouldn't expect the stay to be that long (that's not to say we'll walk it next season, though that may be the assumption). It may be an opportunity to refresh things. The Conference is mostly professional and not that different to League 2. Its the tour of ignominy and humiliation that we will undertake if we drop down; playing Canvey Island, competing in the FA Trophy and qualifying for the FA Cup. For now, the humiliation isn't a factor, we know we've been rubbish, we've been through defeat after defeat; other fans telling us this doesn't register. Now we've set up this cup final scenario its exciting and I'm looking forward to it.

Now, I know the two events aren't comparable, but I've never had a baby and I've watched Oxford since I was three. This makes them both significant. I know where my priorities lie, should the baby start to come on Friday or Saturday, I know I'll be at the hospital not on in my seat at the Kassam. I know there will be those out there who are not interested in babies or football and who will read this in bewilderment. All I can say is that the timing is terrible and its building up a lot of nervous tension.

Not much is happening at work, thank god, because it's going to be quite a week.


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