Thursday, 29 November 2012

Have you seen the Muppet Show? Or 27 reasons why I hate Palace

At 3pm on Saturday afternoon Brighton & Hove Albion will once again face off against their fiercest rival, with the Seagulls looking to knock the Eagles off their lofty Championship perch.

To many outside of BN1 or whatever postcode Croydon has, the animosity between the two sets of fans is baffling. I am not going to go into it here. If it needs explaining, you don't deserve the answer.

But whether supporters of other clubs understand it or not, the two clubs DO hate each other. And with a passion not oft seen outside the Balkans (copyright some reporter, possible from the Daily Mail writing after we were ROBBED by them at Withdean 3v2).

On Saturday I will be among 2,800 Brighton fans hen-pecked into the stands at Selhurst hoping the Albion underdogs can spring a surprise and take home three points (after being kept in for an hour after the game, obviously).

The gulf between the two teams is not too great. Both have talented individuals capable of turning any fixture in their team's favor. Palace look to have the edge in attack, while Albion have the best defensive record in the division. A good game is genuinely threatening to emerge from under the cloud of vitriol shared by both sets of fans.

I hope we win. I would happily have lost 10v0 against Bristol City if it meant we would get three points on Saturday. I can't stand Crystal Palace and I know the feeling is more than mutual.

I hate their kit. I hate Mark Bright and Ian Wright. I hate the crap seats and awful view at Selhurst. I hate the fact they only gave us 2,800 tickets. I hate the fact I have to go anywhere near their ground. I hate that Glenn Murray is scoring goals for them. I hate the Holmesdale Fanatics. I hate the fact Wilfried Zaha is really good. I hate the fact they once had Attilio Lombardo in their ranks and we didn't. I hate that they have reached the FA Cup final more recently than us. I hate the way they call us Seaweed. I hate the Team of the Eighties tag. I hate Gerry Ryan's broken leg. I can't stand Simon Jordan. I don't like Andy Johnson's left or right feet. I hate the fact we are no longer The Dolphins. I especially hate the fact that up until recently they have been better than us for most of my supporting life. I hated 5v0, 3v2 and 3v1. I definitely hate FFS Murray. I hate that I couldn't properly love Steve Coppell. I hate Ron Noades and Ron Challis.

But, unlike other Brighton fans, I don't hate the fact Palace are doing OK as a club. Looking at Southampton and Celtic fans I can't help but think the initial hilarity of seeing their main rivals crashing down the leagues will soon fade and be replaced with a feeling of utter miffedness that they won't be locking horns any time soon.

Palace had their financial problems. I am glad they came through them. They faced relegation a few years back. I am glad they stayed up. And, however funny it might be that despite being top of the league (or thereabouts) they can't fill their stadium, I applaud the fact their owners are doing all they can to attract more fans to the games (not that I won't be joining in with the 'Groupon, Groupon...' chant).

Why? Because what fun is football without rivalries. Who would we hate if it was not the Palace?

We went years without a competitive game against them. I don't want that to happen again. These games mean too much to never have them.

Their fans have also been hugely supportive of the Robert Eaton Memorial Fund - a brilliant charity helping football projects in memory of a Brighton fan. Whisper it, but some of their fans are, well, decent enough blokes.

So no, I don't want to see Palace fail in the same way other Brighton fans do.

But I do hate them. That is official.

1 comment:

  1. Nice comments mate and as someone that plays a part in REMF, we know that Palace vs. Br*ghton is a rivalry with brains (although Saturday might prove me wrong). Its going to be a good match tomorrow, with both of us doing well for once.

    I hate you too. xxx

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