Monday 28th May – Recent performances/results by sporting teams I follow are making it challenging to stay of the path to serenity I’m endeavouring to follow.

Unable to influence the outcome, ordinarily I never dwell on times of poor form, or take the disappointment too personally. However, when the hate mail, such as ‘Stop following our team, you chuffing Jonah!’, starts arriving, it’s time to seek prospective solutions

In an attempt to improve my sporting suitors fortunes, I recently indulged in a strategy of adhering to good luck superstitions. For instance, the brief wearing of a rabbits head around my neck during Leeds United matches in a bid to improve results.

As it’s rabbits feet that are deemed lucky, not their heads, it was even less likely to have been a successful approach. Consequently, #lufc were still rubbish and, despite it not being a real rabbits head, I started receiving hate mail from animal rights activists.

My wife’s mum is a highly superstitious lady, ingrained with old wives tales indoctrinated in childhood. On hearing of my teams poor results, she informed me good fortune would return if I stopped telling lies to gypsies. Never knowingly telling a traveller a mistruth, I opined her advocacy for bringing good fortune was flawed.

“Ok. Ignore my advice….. Just don’t blame me if Leeds are s***e again next season!” she cackled back……… Consequently, in her fury at my dismissive comment, her proboscis wart lit up like the patient in the board game Operation after ‘surgical’ error.

In my mother-in-laws defence, not all of her proclamations are implausible. The tale of folklore of avoiding the use of Blu Tac to aid traction when mountain climbing seems perfectly sound advice…… As was her advocacy of not securing posters on walls with crampons.


Anyhow, back to the poorly performing sporting teams I follow………

Until the football season’s conclusion earlier this month, in 2018 Leeds United mostly produced displays of ineptitude. Woeful shifts at the coalface resulting in their long-suffering fans having to endure the four D’s – Disenchantment, disillusionment, despair and dross.

It started poorly in January with a awful performance at lower league Newport County in the FA Cup. A catalyst to a month of further poor form, losing key players like Luke Ayling with long term injury, suffering numerous player dismissals for violent conduct and a PR debacle surrounding a proposed new club motif.

The latter, a badge designed for the club’s 100th anniversary next season bearing a headless fan performing the ‘Leeds salute’. On first sighting I thought it was a prank from a fan of another club. However, on reading subsequent disparaging social media postings and that BBC Radio Leeds’ phone lines lighting up like the wart on my mother-in-law’s nose, it soon became clear the proposal was genuine……. Thankfully, though, the idea was eventually shelved

Since our metropolis’ football team started their season hiatus, the baton of underachievement has been taken over by local rugby league team Leeds Rhinos.

One of the games big-hitters, they’ve far from lived up to their title of current Super League champions. The last month in particular seeing performances plummet, along with (or maybe because of) an injury list the size of their Headingley ground regeneration bill.

In fact Leeds RLFC’s displays have been so bad recently, the last time I saw them beat anyone was earlier in the month during a re-run of the 1968 Challenge Cup Final against Wakefield Trinity (to celebrate the iconic game’s 50th anniversary)…….. And they were flaming lucky to win that!

Fellow residents of Headingley stadium, Yorkshire County Cricket Club have started erratically with mixed results in the County Championship and shorter formats of the game…….. It’s early days though for Gary Ballance’s men, so watch too early to judge where this season will take the Tykes..

The start to England cricket team’s summer’s schedule continued where their dreadful winter tours signed off – The unofficial whipping boys of international cricket.

Watching them play regresses me to 1980’s/90’s Test matches. An unwanted odyssey revisiting times of despair during similar era of woeful capitulation to their foes.

Occasions when the lad working the scoreboard at Headingley, Old Trafford, Edgbaston, Lords, Trent Bridge and The Oval seemed busier changing the ‘Wickets Fallen’, ‘Last Wicket’ and ‘Last Man Out’ figures than England’s runs total.

Anyway, we fans must remain positive…….. I’m sure the times of Leeds United, Leeds Rhinos, Yorkshire County Cricket Club and England winning again are just around that corner.

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