IT’S A word we know well.
It first made its way into the English language in the 70s I believe; when a new band arrived on the scene they were often described as the greatest thing to hit music since the last greatest thing.
Yes, that word is HYPE.
You may have noticed it in a multitude of footballing scenarios.
Every time our glorious national team goes off to a major championship we have the same old hullabaloo about them winning the darn thing, only for the inevitable crushing disappointment to follow.
Why am I talking about this? Well, having not been to Meadow Lane at the weekend due to other commitments (ie holidays), I thought I’d settle down for an afternoon of watching some of the games the “best league in the world” has to offer.
Sometimes we moan about what we see in League One but, to be honest, the evidence I saw on Sunday suggested that maybe the Premier League isn't the promised land after all.
Settling down at the Old Pickled Partridge with a nice warming drink I hoped for an exciting afternoon.
Well I should have taken up the offer of a ramble round a nearby supermarket because what I witnessed left me underwhelmed in the extreme.
So why is everything so hyped? The simple answer is MONEY. We're entering a time of the year when you won't be able to move for commercialism.
These days you can't go to a “football match”, you have to go to a “big” match or a “tremendous” game and then, like the Chelsea-Man City boreathon, it turns out to be a damp squib.
But of course the hype sells the product, for that is what it is, to a ludicrous degree. It must have worked because I got drawn into it and watched the matches.
Maybe we need to get a dose of realism about our national game.
After all it has its problems, like the ongoing horror of racism, the swilling around of cash like confetti and the high cost of tickets.
Many aspects of the sport have improved. Seating has made watching games more comfortable and it’s sometimes played at an incredible pace on surfaces that are like bowling greens.
Credit the hard work of the groundstaff for that. At times it thrills and inspires us.
Sadly, though, that hype is becoming a tad tedious.
My old mate Tim Spicer sums things up perfectly on the supporters bus on many occasions.
With the use of a generally terse and colourful phrase Tim hits the nail on the head.
I guess he would say, perhaps in a slightly different way, ‘forget the hype - it’s not all its cracked up to be’.
Still, the Old Pickled Partridge was okay.