columnist Chris Mackin actually
has a slight fondness of his North-East rivals but just wanted to share a few
In a move destined to put me out of line with most Newcastle
supporters, I don't actually hate Sunderland.
I sometimes wonder if I do not, in fact, have a sneaky fondness for
them; I think they can be quite endearing in their own strange way, with their
They are Newcastle United's little brother, after all, and
they act like little brothers tend to: annoying, certainly, and shouty, but
lacking the wit, intelligence and body strength to provoke anything other than
mild, amused and detached irritation.
Anyway, Newcastle play there on Saturday and, such is the
nature of local derbies, a few home truths are bound to be shared. Lest a line of police dogs and a marked
streak of cowardice prevent me from sharing with them these points in person, I
thought I should get them in a few days early.
Remember, Sunderland fans, I say these things as tenderly as
possible, and not to tease and be unkind, but because I Care:
Roy doesn't like you
There was mild furore following Sunderland's penalty shoot
out victory against Northampton, with Keano coming out and slating a section of
your crowd that had given him stick. His
girly outburst was supposedly mitigated by the fact that the lads he got a
little prissy with were, as they would be described by sneering Broadsheet
newspaper columnist, ‘chavs'. Ignoring,
for a moment, the maliciously snobby undertones this argument carries, it also
doesn't explain who exactly the gaffer was attacking when making his comments
about people moaning on internet message boards last April and what a bad thing
If we are to assume it was a reference to the biggest of the
Sunderland message boards then, in one crassly worded statement, Keane has
alienated a section of your support who regularly demonstrate knowledge, level
heads and wit. Of course, Roy, who does
a fine line in ambiguous equivocation, was keen to stress that "some of the
fans are brilliant," presumably a reference to Steve Cram, who hasn't been for
years, but would probably say nice things about Roy Keane if asked about
Sunderland by Victoria Derbyshire in a time filling exercise at the end of a
feature covering doping cheats in the GB Olympic team.
You didn't always
Amused eyebrows were raised in August 2006 as Sunderland's
‘Green Day', organised to welcome Quinn and his mates, drew only 24,377 of you,
all of whom watched in morose and colourless silence as Plymouth, in their
traditional green, strolled to a 3-2 victory.
Quinn, your temporary manager at the time, was booed at the end. Luckily Quinn didn't take this to heart, used
to this type of abuse. He winded down
his ‘Green Day' celebrations reminiscing on his time as a player at Roker; more
specifically on the time he missed a decent chance against Norwich and was
barracked mercilessly by the Fulwell End.
You define yourself, and are thus defined, solely in
relation to Newcastle United
When Sunderland beat West Ham in March earlier this year,
you went briefly ahead of Newcastle United in the Premiership table. This wasn't a big deal really- both teams
we're struggling- but the celebrations, in the form of staggeringly un-amusing
text messages to Newcastle United supporting friends, spanned an entire
Saturday evening and Sunday morning, before Newcastle's win at White Hart lane
ended your season prematurely. You were
never to return to the dizzying position of ‘Above The Mags'.
Your foundations are
not as solid as you might like to think
A chairman scared of the manager; a manager who views a
contract extension offer as most other view a flickering light in the bathroom
(i.e.: he might get round to having a
look at it when the snooker's finished) and a consortium of backers
comprised of a couple of Dragon's Den hopefuls and the bloke that doesn't run
your local but does help organise the Tuesday Night Quiz and snowball round
suggest that your just as likely to do a Forrest as you are to be entertaining
Real Madrid in the next few years.
Montgomery should have held the first effort
You have it bookmarked in your Youtube favourites. Go and have another look at it. Sloppy bit of goalkeeping from the big
All this, and more, will no doubt be discussed in further
detail come Saturday. Between half
twelve and one at your place, yeah?
Shouldn't be a problem, looks like we've got a window. We'll pencil you in. xxx.