Sunday, October 08, 2006

Just win, baby...

So, Hull KR are just a win away from Super League and later today the jigsaw may be complete. While The Independent also found a space for the "Hull may be supposedly" rugby league piece (although, in a case of superb and inspired sub-editing, they moved the "be" in the copy to the other side of "supposedly") as part of their pre-match coverage, The Observer has a lovely few words in it re the city of Hull facing the prospect of once again being the capital of RL. It's written by Arindam Rej, a young chap who did work experience at the Hull Dreary Mail en route to getting himself noticed by some proper employers who appreciate talent. You can read the whole thing here but one bit did stand out for me was about Hull KR goal kicker Steve Hubbard (father of The Paddingtons guitarist and Dirty Pretty Things substitute Josh, trivia fans), who, back in the previous glory days, figured highly in the all-Hull Challenge Cup Final of 1980 by scoring all but one of Rovers' ten points in their 10-5 win over the better team.

"The scorer of Hull KR's try that day, Steve Hubbard, admitted that after that game, Black and Whites fans threw bricks at him from building sites."
Quite fitting, then, that Steve now works for builders merchants MKM and is surrounded by bricks every day - showing that psychology is a big part of the professional sportsman's mentality. Mr H helped me out big style when I was researching Kicked Into Touch (which was about that very day) and, after I'd gleaned all of his anecdotes, I forgave him for his sins against Hull FC and asked if he'd mind if I rewrote the score.

I do worry that all the frenzy and excitement that some of us are feeling is also tempting the fates to come crashing down on us. But just reading Arindam's opening paragraph,
"Hull was once the capital city of rugby league. It could soon reclaim that status after a 20-year lull, as its top two clubs are playing in the Grand Finals of Super League and National League One."
makes me get all goose-pimply. So fingers crossed all day. This really isn't the worst city in the country, you know. What's wrong with it is that it's full of people that refuse to believe that we're just as good as other cities and, as a result, are unbelievably cynical and apathetic. So, although rugby victories and league status don't really mean much in the real world, if Hull KR do rejoin Hull FC in the top flight, and the black and whites topple St Helens next week, at least there's something there to hold up and believe in and build on.

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