Getting Angry With Greg Mitchell – 23rd September

Can I just start by saying that this is being written before the Stringrays games so anything worth getting angry about in that game will have to wait until my next column (if that isn’t too strong a word).

It’s been a pretty difficult couple of weeks for the non-travelling Panthers fan. I would have loved to have made the journey up to Fife on Saturday but a mate’s wedding intervened. I told him that he should have got married in May or June or any other month between April and August like normal civilized people but no, he had to go and have it in September. Now I know he probably didn’t have that much say in the matter but is it really too much to ask?

You might notice that I said the trip to Fife and not the trip to Scotland. That was deliberate. It troubles me that I’m saying this but I’m really not bothered about going to Edinburgh anymore. I just can’t see the point. I’ll ask the question outright – What are Edinburgh doing in the EIHL? Our games over the last two weekends have proved that, in their current format, they can’t compete and I fully expect Fife will pick up their first points of the season at the weekend. I saw someone getting their knickers in a twist because they think the Capitals won’t see the season out and we’ll lose the points we’ve got against them. To me it’s a total irrelevance as I really can’t see them beating anyone. The only change will be that everyone’s goal difference will suffer.

The thing is though you have to feel a little sorry for them. The rink they play out of doesn’t look as though it has seen any maintenance… well, ever! Have you seen those seats? No more than a foot wide wooden slats, with all the comfort that suggests, and a piece of cloth nailed to them that makes you think that there might have been padding there once upon a time. Now, I know that some will be saying it’s easy for a Panthers fan to sit in his nice, comfortable seat in a warm arena and look down on Edinburgh, and they might well be right, but you have to worry where Edinburgh are going to go from here. Last time I was there the crowds were sparse and reports suggest that they’re not getting any better but given the state of their rink how do you get people to come in?

I really wish it was different, I really do. I want to go to Edinburgh and watch a team that’ll at least give mine a challenge. I still want Panthers to win obviously. Some comfort would be nice but why put money into updating seats that no one wants to come and sit in anymore. I’m sorry Edinburgh but until something changes, until you show that you can be bothered about the Elite league I can’t be bothered with you.

It seems I upset a few people on THF (the Totally Humourless Forum and I don’t usually say forum) with my last article. Apparently it’s laughable that I can say we won’t win the league but not say who will. Well I don’t know who’ll (be good enough to) marry my daughter but I know it won’t be me so how does that lessen my opinion? That’s the problem with forums and THF in general, people think because they’ve got an opinion and a keyboard the whole world wants to hear what they’ve got to say. Mick McCarthy was right this week when he said “Opinions are like backsides — we’ve all got them but it’s not always wise to air them in public”. Maybe I’m as guilty as the people I deride, I don’t know. What I do know is that if I’ve upset at least some people on THF then I must be doing something right!

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