Dearest Sunderland AFC,
I love you, Sunderland Association Football Club. I’ve loved you for as long as I can remember and it looks as though I’ll love you until the day I die.
I can’t think of a single logical reason for this state of affairs but as they say, the heart wants what it wants.
Right now though, you’re testing my love for you like never before. If we were in an actual relationship, you’d be the kind of partner that lets the washing up pile up while wandering around for days on end in an old Take That T-shirt and gravy-stained jogging pants.
I’d be watching on in disbelief as you spend most of your time playing online bingo and slagging off any of your Facebook friends who dare to post anything positive or uplifting about their own lives.
Sunderland, you’ve given up, and you don’t seem to have the faintest idea how to turn things around.
— Andy Dawson (@profanityswan) October 31, 2017
Supporting you has always required a distinct gallows sense of humour, due to your ongoing fundamental shitness. A couple of seventh place finishes aside at the start of this century, our existence in the Premier has either been clinging on by the skin of our teeth or ludicrous abject capitulation leading to relegation.
We thought the 19-point season of 2002-03 was pretty brutal, but then you came up with the 15-point season three years later just to mash our heads in completely.
And now look at us. A third of the way into our first season outside of the top flight for a decade and we’ve found our natural home in the bottom three, rudderless and once again managerless.
But that isn’t enough. The icing on that particular turd of a cake is our 2017 home form. Twenty times we’ve traipsed through the turnstiles at the Stadium of Light this year and we’ve been subjected to eight draws and twelve defeats.
Before Tuesday night’s white-knuckle 3-3 draw with Bolton (lest we forget, the only side in the Championship who are worse than we are), we’d seen ten goals.
Ten. One every couple of matches. Approximately one goal a month. You absolute bastards.
In all that time, for all those months, in all those matches, Sunderland have been in the lead for a total of three minutes. Three. F*CKING THREE. Not enough time to even boil an egg. In fact, I did some thinking and I worked out that I’ve spent more time vomiting in my home in 2017 than Sunderland have spent in the lead at their home.
Three minutes in the lead. Three. Earlier in the year, our speedy forward Duncan Watmore saved the lives of three people following a boat crash while he was on holiday. Three.
ONE OF OUR PLAYERS HAS SAVED EXACTLY THE SAME NUMBER OF MANY HUMAN LIVES IN 2017 AS THE TEAM HAS SPENT IN THE LEAD AT THE STADIUM OF LIGHT.
I THINK I’M ABOUT TO START VOMITING AGAIN.
And yet still we come. The official attendance for the Halloween fright night against Bolton was over 26k. Some rival fans mock our dwindling support but when you consider the abominable statistics I’ve cited about our 2017 home record and we’re STILL getting over 25,000 through the gate. That’s outstanding.
Or it’s some form of Stockholm Syndrome and we’re all madly in love with our captors. See my opening paragraph for confirmation.
I don’t know who we turn to as our next manager. In the past, I’ve always had four or five names in mind who I think could come in and take the club forward, but this time I’ve got nothing.
The only man who I think can save us is Diego Maradona. And when I say ‘save us’, what I mean is ‘lead us into the oblivion we deserve but in the most entertaining way imaginable.’
He’s never dabbled in management but one day, a club should just hand over total control of every aspect to Maradona, just to see how it plays out. (I’ve just told you how it’ll play out – oblivion.)
Happy birthday Diego Maradona. pic.twitter.com/zMXinyTOvc
— EPL Bible (@EPLBible) October 30, 2017
There’d be swearing, threats, cigars, firearms, probably an encroachment on to the pitch on a motorbike, more swearing and threats, a disappearance and a few high-scoring defeats but it would be amazing.
The club is completely f*cked so we might as well end it in a blaze of glory with the greatest player of all time and one of football’s most notorious maniacs at the helm.
Then, once he’s killed it to death, we can press the reset button and go right back to our origins – a team formed by local teachers that play on a patch of grass in the east end of the city.
And I’d still turn up every week because Sunderland Association Football Club, I will love you until the day I die.