Time to tell this albatross to do one. Time to say goodbye.

22 Aug

Well, here goes. Time to get back on the horse. Metaphorically speaking. I can’t ride for real. Much as I love our equine friends, motion sickness is a curse suffered at the best of times and would make me useless in a post-apocalyptic world. I dread the thought of society falling apart to the point where we are then reliant on saddling up as a means of getting from A to B. There’s bicycles, I suppose. Just as long as puncture repair kits don’t need to be invoked (unless the good folk at Halfords were also able to survive the opening waves of the Zombie plague or whatever it is that eventually does for us). No, it’s time to talk about Brentford once more. Football has come back into my life.

The end to the  Championship still feels far too raw. Far too recent. No complaints about who went up automatically. Likewise, play-off defeat is on us and the team that kicked us out are a genuine irrelevance. It was Fulham. It could have been Stoke City, Barnsley or anyone else in the division. The empty feeling in the stomach is still there. A knot of angst and frustration that has been niggling away for the last few weeks. A dead weight hanging around the neck like a particular piss-taking albatross. Hey, you know those play-off things? The thing that your own former chairman helped put in place? Well, guess how we’re going to make them even more painful? Even more frustrating than the previous 8 times? 

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Martin Lange – much missed

I saw a Twitter post from Beesotted asking fans to rank their play-off defeats in order of priority. Personally, I couldn’t even be bothered to reply to their request. Who needs to rake over it all, yet again? For what it’s worth, this one wins it hands down. Something to finally push Huddersfield into a very close second although the pair of them remain streets ahead over the other 7 in the pain charts.

The one thing these two have in common was our coming ‘so close’ over the run in. Of the prize almost being there and then missed out on as much through off-field circumstances as anything else.

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94-95. Still hurts. So much

The only positive to be taken being the record ‘low’ number of points The Cottagers are sure to acquire in the forthcoming season. Their defence something that is only going to give Fantasy Football managers nightmares. Mitrovic sure to be exposed (again) as the flat track bully he is. Unable to make that step up surrounded by the flotsam and jetsam of his team-mates.

Being blunt, football has been dead to me. I can’t help how I feel but that’s how it’s been. The positive for you guys is the blog has been at the bottom of the priority list. Likewise the thought of even putting together the usual season review.  That’s the normal means of keeping busy over the summer but the motivation has been non-existent. Not even close to picking up a keyboard. Let alone sitting through it all again. Self-inflicting the torture of coming so close not a particular cup I want to drink from any time soon. Perhaps that may come in the next week or two but for now I just can’t find the inspiration. 

It’s not even as though we’ve got new kits to salivate over. Despite a brief tease from Bob last week, throwing down the gauntlet to Brentford official on social media, there has been nothing. With pretty much every other club having released their efforts (and the Bristol City goalkeeper shirt / Watford home win the early plaudits) we’re spinning this out longer than Who Shot Mr. Burns. Come on already. If ever anything was there to give the fans a boost then we’ve a ready made opportunity. Surely this is the week? Surely……

Bristol City have taken inspiration from the Hummel back catalogue

So, fair to say, inspiration has been at an all time low. That’s before we even touch upon blinkin’ Covid and our own inability to see the team in action. To pay one last hurrah at Griffin Park. Of now knowing we won’t be allowed in to Lionel Road until October at the very earliest – not the club’s fault, I hasten to add.

Then, last night happened. Closure, of sorts. Mrs. Bruzon, HB and myself got our chance to go on the ‘Farewell Griffin Park’ tour. The opportunity to say goodbye to our home. To take one last look around. To actually remember that there are other Brentford fans out there in just the same boat. To admire the plethora of retro kits on display by our tour group – seems everyone had their Sunday best on with Osca, Spall and Hummel all out to play.

From the off, the flame began to burn once more. There was Mads in the ticket hutch to welcome us in and check us off. The smile broad. Her enthusiasm infectious. No question able to phase her – although how HB’s thought process happens, I still can’t even begin to fathom. 

Any questions before we start?” Silence from all until he piped up, “Yes. When were the turnstiles made? 

And with that, we were off. The group full of anticipation. The opportunity not one to be missed. The last look around an experience that will be different for all. For some, funereal. For others celebratory. For all of us, the knowledge that this really is now the last look at our home for so many years. The memories we have made over that time are what really counts. The good times, and the bad, what we’ll take with us. 

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Griffin Park now the stuff of ghosts and memories (good and bad) as we look to the future.

Yet to be able to draw the line under Griffin Park. To pay a silent farewell. To drink it all in one last time was beautiful. To look down from the top of the matchbox stand, a rare and unique view. Our visitors over the years probably unawares of just how lucky they were for having that perspective. Albeit one that doesn’t even come close to the magnificence of the Royal Oak stand.

Some photos were taken but probably won’t be looked at down the line. We’ve all got plenty enough of the place full. The ground rocking. The players celebrating with us. That’s what I’ll remember. That, for me, is what will live on about Griffin Park.

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Griffin Park at her best

But I wouldn’t have missed out on this last look for anything. No matter how low the last few weeks have felt, and they have been terrible, the club have been brilliant. Again. We’ve made the best of the shit situation that has been handed to us by the global pandemic and social distancing laws to at least give supporters this chance to say goodbye. 

And I’ve woken up with a smile on my face today. Football wise. There’s also been a message in the ‘in-box’ to help kick start my sorry behind (you know who you are) and the thought of being a Bee is once more front, central. Time to try and haul myself out of this pit of misery and despair. Time to, erm, go again. Sorry. Sorry.

So who knows what today will bring. Hey, I might even nag Kitman Bob again or check the fixture list. Apparently it was published yesterday…..

F*ck sake. Birmingham City away. I hate football. So much. But it’s in the blood. You can’t give it up. Here’s to the forthcoming season ending up ten times better than the last one.

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Time to say goodbye…One last look at the hallowed turf

Nick Bruzon  

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5 Responses to “Time to tell this albatross to do one. Time to say goodbye.”

  1. Martin West August 22, 2020 at 7:26 am #

    Welcome back Nick, still too raw to comment further, so welcome back

  2. David Carney August 22, 2020 at 7:33 am #

    Thank goodness other people than you are running Brentford because they have been off and running planning for the even better future that you are craving for. It’s no good moping around when just one more little step is needed to reach the promised land.
    It happened, it cannot be altered and we all go again in a couple of weeks with, as you suggest, with a ten times better result for this season – and starting against the ten times better mob that our team has a score to settle from last year’s opener.
    I suggest you get back on your horse and start going forward again otherwise you will miss what promises to be one hell of a season.

  3. Simon Sapper August 22, 2020 at 9:56 am #

    Good to have you back Nick – Our farewell tour was just like yours:a good way to draw a line under all of the past, a chance to be with a group of entirely like minded folk, and to recognise and embrace the fact that time doesn’t stand still – the future is both unavoidable and unwritten! To coin one of your phrases: “I can’t wait” – even if it is B’ham away!

  4. Rod Davidson August 22, 2020 at 11:20 am #

    Now here’s a thought, right out of left field.
    Goodbye Griffin Park and farewell to all the pain.
    I like many others I will fondly remember the good times, the friendships, and the iconic players that over the years have made me happy, but do I want to remember all of the rubbish as well ? No I don’t think I do.
    I don’t want to remember things like Doncaster Rovers and Barnsley. Like Murray Jones, Stan Webb, Neil Shipperley, Joe Bonson and Brian Edgley.
    Hall of Fame ? I could fill a hall of failure with all of the memories I have !
    So good riddance to all of those bad memories and the gipsy curse, burn Trotters crossbar, get back up on that bike – take off the stabilisers – and pedal on to BENHAM PARK.
    Sorry, but last season capped all of the misery for me. As you often say Nick – ” Move on nothing to see here”.
    Best Wishes to all players staff and supporters for a Golden Future, but be sad at leaving GP – I don’t think so.

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