Come 11.45am this Sunday morning, most Wolves fans will either be singing on the Smethwick, screaming in the pub or shouting from the living room sofa.
Me? I’ll be running up the Brown Clee with my phone in the glove box, hoping to find some salvation instead. If I had the wings of a sparrow and all that…
Having failed to get a ticket for the Black Country Derby for me and my son, I’ll be legging it as far away as possible instead, as thoughts of another soul-destroying instalment become too horrific to contemplate.
Not content with snatching the bragging rites for my entire lifetime (give or take Bully’s occasional powers of resistance and *that* Rob Hindmarch goal), the stripey lot have stolen the essence of my very being, turning me from a happy-go-lucky lad about town to a miserable pessimist who always fears the worst.
Call me a coward, but my logic is that by running up a hill on Sunday morning, I’ll be far enough away from it all to poison you all with my manifestation. If I leave the positive thinking to those with hardier souls, then we’ll surely stand a chance of breaking the curse? I can only picture the worst. I can only visualise travesties of justice, pies and pints and tears, which is why I’m best off out of it. And Carlos Vela. Carlos. Fucking. Vela.
After Jordao, Jason van Blerk and just about every heartache in between, I look upon our FA Cup opponents as an insufferable Crazy Gang mingled with Read Madrid. Ergo, the thought of a fixture at the Hawthorns is more daunting than the Bernabao and Plough Lane combined.
It’s not that I hate them, but more I hate the thought of them, as their hex-like curse knows no limits and stirs a genuinely morbid obsession which I’ll never shake off until we finally win on their own patch. It’s for this reason that I’ll be drifting along the Shropshire Hills like a Tesco carrier bag in the breeze, hoping that nature takes its course and a footballing god finally shows mercy.
If it was down to ability then I wouldn’t be waking up at 3am, worrying if Pedro Neto can get the better of Conor Townsend down the right. (Surely Pedro Neto can get the better of Conor Townsend down the right?!)
Even Nuno’s Dream became an unfathomable nightmare in the space of 90mins back in the day, as Romain Sawyers, David Button and their Championship-bound chums reduced our messiah to a near breakdown and our wonderkid to the dugout in a puffer jacket. Eyes watery and a beard bewildered. As is ever the case when we play them, things would never be the same again.
It’s not the fact that they always beat us either, but more the manner in which they do it, with VAR as complicit in my misery as any referee who screwed us over before the technology ever existed.
My admiration goes to any fan who keeps chirping in the direction of B71 right now, because after so many slings and arrows of abhorrent misfortune, I’ll be hiding away elsewhere instead. I can’t take their smoke, nor the heat in the kitchen so I’m just going outside for a bit instead. I may be some time!
This isn’t so much a game of football, but a personal Pandora’s Box and a 90-minute exorcism that was always going to catch up with me eventually.
I can run, but I can’t hide.
COME ON YOU WOLVES!