You know I'm usually one for overly optimistic outlooks on life when it comes to Bolton Wanderers, but I have a confession to make.
They're starting to get to me.
I mean, I don't think that we're doomed to relegation (not yet, anyway, despite the horror stories I hear) but I have admitted defeat in trying to understand what is going on with this team or in understanding just what Dougie Freedman is thinking.
We didn't even play that badly today against Queens Park Rangers. Hayden White came on for us and played well for his debut and we seemed like the more decent team for a while. That's evidently not enough, though.
So, in honor of my very realistic view on all things football, it's only fair that I give you all my "Guide to Surviving Football", which will only work when you complete the 5 Stages of Grief.
1. Denial and Isolation. Maybe you're denying the fact that we only have what, 3 fit players left? Or that sometimes we seem to be the best team but end up losing? Isolation could refer to the fact that after said loss you end up bitterly replaying it all in the comfort of your own sad silence or I mean it could be the lone striker in the 4-5-1 that doesn't work (despite Dougie's denial).
2. Anger. Currently my anger is at Charlie Austin. You either get to score a goal, or hurt Tim Ream, and to be frank, I'd rather you don't do either. But you did, so I'm angry.
3. Bargaining. Now I'm not talking "I won't drink too much this weekend" or "I'll eat my vegetables" bargaining. These are desperate times calling for desperate measures. So please, Lord, if you let us somehow turn things around and not get relegated I'll never say a bad thing about Wigan ever again except when they deserve it. I'll also quit making Zat Knight jokes if you could toss in the playoffs for us.
4. Depression. We lost again. Maybe it's the kits, or maybe it's the guys in the kits, but we lost again and it really, really, really sucks. Granted, 2-1 is a lot nicer than some of the predications I heard today, but just...well no.
5. Acceptance. This is going to be a long season, isn't it?
Now, once you've mastered these 5 steps, you're ready to watch all the grim "highlights" you want! Just make sure there's a responsible adult around to help you sort your life back together when you ultimately start going insane with confusion and worry.
But don't worry, it happens to the best of us.
Now, ready for the guide to surviving this week in and week out?
Here it is:
Don't forget why you fell in love with this club, and the losses won't seem that bad. The wins though, they'll be great.
(That's a promise!)