Friday, 21 January 2011
Let's all laugh at... (inc prediction)
Traditionally there are three great comedy clubs: Man City, Newcastle and Us.
The mix of ingredients that go into creating a really tittersome team vary, but some staples include: the ability to fuck up in almost any situation, the more high profile the better; the disparity between what fans believe and expect and what the watching world knows to be the reality; a 'great tradition' that, on closer inspection, is a bit shabby; a more successful local rival who obviously and disdainfully don't give a fuck about said 'rivalry'; and a set of supporters that believe their devotion, passion etc marks them down as exceptional, especially when compared to those blase bastards next door - it helps if they get furious at any perceived slight, as well.
In the past two decades, Man City have been the funniest. I mean they have, on occasion been fucking hilarious. Getting relegated to the third tier in the mid-90s was a genuine side-splitter; it was their 'Don't tell him Pike!' moment. (And God it's a shame we can't just say 'Division Three' anymore, but as soon as the Premier League broke away, I knew it'd end in tiers. Thanks).
Now they're not so funny. Just weird. I mean they could still fuck up, and if so this will be the biggest build-up to the biggest pratfall since silent movies ruled the world, but, sadly, I think the kid everyone used to laugh at has won the lottery and is determined to flaunt his flash new car, new girlfriend, whitened teeth and hired muscle. A sneer is more suitable than a chuckle.
We were never truly funny like the other two. More sort of laughable. There's a big difference - I'm told (more often than is necessary, I feel). And now, like ITV's comedy department, we seem to be moving away from humour altogether. It's more fun down at the Lane these days, but it's not as funny. Which is fine, obviously.
So that just leaves Newcastle. The new kings of comedy. Getting relegated on the last day of the season in 08/09 with a truly abject performance against Aston Villa showed all the great touches: slapstick, pathos, timing. Great stuff.
Now they're back in the Premier League, and at least two of the squad seem to have bought clown wigs to celebrate. Their treatment of Chris Hughton was, surely, a cruel joke - and Alan Pardew's always made me laugh. Plus they've got a chairman who can't seem to put a tie on properly, let alone run a football club.
Trouble is, I bet they'll be the ones laughing tomorrow.