Yesterday I had a kickabout with my work colleagues for the first time in a couple of months*. As you can imagine, living in the West Midlands, I am surrounded by Villa and Liverpool fans (I work within sight of Villa Park, as for the scousers, don't ask!). So I am used to the "why don't you support a good team?" type of comments - all good-natured stuff I should add.
But when I was packing my kit, I felt a little tinge of trepidation - could I really pull on the garibaldi without shame? Having witnessed the players and manager (and some would say the chairman and chief exec) conspire to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory over the last ten months, would it be possible to wear the not-so-famous-anymore red shirt and still hold my head up high?
Well the good news is that as soon as pulled the shirt on, I felt reassured. I stopped short of touching the badge, but I am still proud to be a Red. The players may be a bunch of overpaid prima donnas, the chief exec might well be out of touch with the fans, and the manager may have shown tactical naivete beyond our wildest nightmares, but:
Nottingham Forest is still my club.
* Incidentally, there was all kinds of shouting and allegations at the end of our so-called "friendly". I have written about it here, and would appreciate your thoughts.