A blast from the past. Former TCW columnist Greg Mitchell is back in the UK for a short break, so of course he’s getting angry again
Bet you weren’t expecting to hear from me were you? To be honest neither was I. I’ve sort of forgotten about the stuff I used to write since we moved out to Perth. I can’t believe we’ve been out there since the beginning of 2012. I’m still not sure I like it if I’m honest. The weather’s too warm (31 degrees on the day we left), the beers too cold and tasteless and half the animals want to kill you. Still the wife and daughter like it so I suppose I’m stuck out there, however my daughter’s at university now so we took the opportunity to come “home” for a bit.
Anyway, you don’t want to hear about my perfect life down under. I’m back over here for a few weeks catching with a few old friends and as luck would have it I’ve been able to get to a couple of Panthers games and watched another on TV.
I say lucky but what’s going on with that team? I tried to keep in touch after we left but I don’t really do all that social media rubbish so we’ve sort of drifted apart, but when I went to the Steelers match the other week it was like I’d never been away. And I don’t mean that as a good thing. It was like nothing had changed. The team were playing the same old lifeless brand of hockey I used to see when I went to games and yet again Sheffield were so much better than us. Why is this still happening?
The thing that got me going the most was that people were still applauding them! I couldn’t believe it really. People on the way out were talking like they had watched a decent game. It was all my wife could do to stop me telling them how wrong they were. And this team won a trophy the week before? How? They looked like they couldn’t beat an egg on Saturday and yet they were parading a trophy? I feel sorry for the team they beat. Maybe that’s why people were going away happy? Some sort of warm afterglow from a final win? I know I wouldn’t have been and wasn’t. Maybe some people are that easily pleased. If they are Black and Moran must be laughing themselves silly with people being happy to turn up and pay good money week in week out to watch that. Has the standard dropped since I’ve been away? Is that as good as it gets in Nottingham these days?
Part of me thinks it must be because I watched most of Saturday’s game round at a mates house on Premier (I think that’s what it was called anyway) and I might as well have been watching the same game all over a again. What, if anything, has been happening? They don’t look like they’ve learned from their mistakes or maybe they’re not even trying. It looks to me that the Panthers have been happy to plod along coining the money in. The mate I watched the game with was telling me that crowds are way up this season? Why? If I was being handed this kind of fare week in week out I’d have walked away years ago (actually I did, to the other side of the world!)
Have the club done anything to build on winning the league? Looks like I picked the wrong year to emigrate eh! Is it just a case that the Panthers have improved and everyone else has improved more or have they just stood still or even gone backwards. Surely, they must have built on that success and kept a core of the team to move forward with?
Sorry to be asking so many questions but I just feel so far out the loop and this seemed the easiest way of finding out. My mate isn’t a huge fan, he’s been to a few games but not for a while so he knows about as much as me these days. He only stuck the TV on because he thought they’d be showing an NRL game.
I went to the Coventry game as well as much to find out if the Steelers game had been a one off as to avoid visiting my wife’s cousin. To be honest I’m none the wiser. I can’t remember watching an easier win. Is that the kind of team you have these days? A team that’s happy to beat the also rans but always falls short against the decent sides? As an aside I have to say I felt a bit sorry for Coventry’s netminder. It must have been really frustrating for him the way his defence were playing in front of him and let’s face it we all end up letting off a bit of steam like that every now and again.
I know I’ve only watched three games out of I don’t know how many this year but if that’s where the club is at then I feel sorry for the fans. Well, those that aren’t happy with what they were seeing, if there are any (like I say I could be misreading everything completely based on those three games). I’ve known plenty of people who have been going for years and there’s no way they’d be happy with what they were seeing. I can only say that I wasn’t. They were out thought out played and out worked by a team who just looked like they wanted it more than Panthers did. Victories like the one against Coventry can only paper over the cracks for so long. Well, that’s what I would think normally but if the crowds are going up like my friend said then I really and truly don’t get it. It makes no sense at all.
Anyway, that’s enough of me ranting away so I’m going to stop there. It looks like I’ll be around for the play-off quarter final at the weekend if I can get away from the wife’s family for a few hours. So there may be another one of these next week, then again don’t count on it.