Things in my view this week….1

Second hand trains

I’m no expert on trains, far from it, but I think I have quite a good sense of when someone is trying to pull the wool over. Northern Rail is set to inherit a bunch of old London Underground trains that will be converted to replace the current set of crap trains running on the network. These cast offs are something like 30 years old, and we’re meant to believe this is an upgrade. Are you kidding me? When this was reported on Look North the question was asked ‘why don’t we make some new ones?’ and the answer was ‘well unlike London our transport needs are funded differently, and we can’t afford them’. So here we are, London gets its shiny new trains, and we’re left with the hand me downs they don’t want anymore, typical, once again London first, everywhere else, never. 

Whatever happened to Hull?

Talking about Look North, I sometimes feel like I’m watching a strange Orwellian version of reality, in which parts of Yorkshire don’t exist. Harry and the team bring us the days news from around Yorkshire, but not all of it, has Hull disappeared? The east coast hasn’t, Scarborough and Bridlington still appear on the show, but not Hull, does the BBC not want us to know what is going on there? It’s very strange indeed. When the sport section is introduced, and we hear about the exploits of our region’s clubs, where are Hull City? Or Hull FC and Hull KR? Hull City got to the final of the FA Cup last year, a great reason for Yorkshire to celebrate, but from Look North, silence. 

Calm down dear, it’s only a tweet

Why is Twitter so angry? The more I use Twitter the more worried for the human race I become, even the most innocent and innocuous tweets are often met with absolute rage. Twitter can be a really fun thing to use, and can also be a force for good, but more often than not, it shows up the bad side of our nature. It’s almost like people use Twitter to behave in a way that normal society doesn’t allow, threats, racism, homophobia, and general angry behaviour are everywhere. The hope is that it stays there and doesn’t permeate into wider society, a world where people behaved in real life as they do on twitter would be unbearable. 

Football’s ugly problem

This week was a bad week for football. Two of Europe’s most beautiful cities have witnessed mob behaviour at its absolute worst, first, scumbags in Chelsea colours brought shame upon Chelsea FC, football and themselves when they racially abused a black  Paris metro goer before the PSG match and then PSV fans rioted in Rome causing millions of pounds worth of damage and again sullying the name of football. Being a moron and liking football are unfortunately not mutually exclusive things, and this week shows us how far we have yet to go to rid the beautiful game of such ugly nonsense. 



WP_20140827_002 (2)I’m a proud Yorkshire man, I’m proud to be many things: English, British, even European, but above all I’m proud to be from God’s own county. So with last seasons FA Cup final featuring a team from London and a team from Yorkshire, you would assume I was cheering on the Tigers, and you’d be correct – but this rule doesn’t always apply. If either Leeds or Huddersfield were in the final I would gladly cheer for any team that was playing against them, even if they were from over the Pennines in Lancashire. Why is this? Surely I should want the teams local to me to do well?
As a Bradford City supporter the next best thing to seeing City win is seeing Leeds or Huddersfield lose, and I suppose because they are our closest rivals (in a geographical sense at least), it makes sense. In all walks of life you want to get one over on your neighbours don’t you?  That sense of wanting to be the best on your patch can easily become a general dislike of those you want to be better than, and this is what makes derby games the most anticipated in the calendar. When I talk to friends of mine that support Leeds about this they dismiss it as jealousy, inferring that living in the shadow of such an illustrious club, we of the smaller club are bitter and green-eyed, to which I obviousy reply with “yeah cos I’m well jealous of a mid table Championship club who have been to less cup finals in the last ten years than us” -almost certainly not helping my cause. But it can’t be just a jealousy thing. For example, we genuinely have nothing to be jealous of Huddersfield for, yet the rivalry is just as keenly felt. For me, more than anything it’s about having someone to be the pantomime villain, the token enemy – Star Wars doesn’t work without the Dark Side, and the opportunity to rub it in with friends and colleagues at work who support the other lot means that the more local it gets the better a rivalry is, and the better that feeling of winding them up becomes.
The silly thing is I can see how childish and unproductive all this hatred is. Let’s face it, when Bradford City was at its peak in the late 1990’s/early 2000’s, all the other West Yorkshire teams were doing well also – Leeds were in Europe, Huddersfield were in the Championship, and Halifax were a Football League club. Today only one of those things is still true, and I don’t think that’s a coincidence either. When your local rivals do well it pushes you on to do better yourself and healthy rivalry based on trying to do better is surely more productive than hatred and negativity. The real rivals should surely be those we have least in common with, I mean when you see the money being thrown about at Man City and Chelsea and their flagrant lack of respect for financial rules, they should be enemy all football fans should rally against, but it doesn’t get your juices flowing like a local rival, all it breeds is indifference.
I suppose local rivalry is inevitable, and also important – financially derby games are a massive bonus for clubs, and the supporters get a few games a year that take on more importance than just the three points up for grabs. The problem is that when rivalry becomes hatred, it isn’t healthy for anyone. Nobody enjoys scenes like those after recent Tyne-Wear derbies where emotions spill over into violence and disorder, and surely it’s much better to be able to sit in the pub with friends from the other side and have a bit of banter about the result and enjoy the unique experience of the local derby. Don’t get me wrong I’ll never cheer for Leeds, but let’s just hope the next time we play each other in the league it’s in the same division as the last time we did.
(This post was originally posted on a football blog I contribute to ( Bradford city have since played, and beat, Leeds, and my immediate reaction was of it not quite meaning as much as I thought it would. Don’t get me wrong it was great to put one over on Leeds, but I just don’t think I dislike them as much as I used to, maybe I am growing up after all!)