Bacon’s Bites: Down Town and up the Tiger. Don’t tell me you didn’t get emotional
- Credit: PA Archive/PA Images
Mike Bacon takes a look back at an incredible weekend of sport, locally and nationally
Love it or hate it – (I’m guessing if you are reading this you love it) – sport just gets me time and time again.
Just when you think you are getting a tad older and seen it all.... I said a tad! And those days of running round rugby and footie pitches, or racing cycle speedway bikes apace are behind you, weekends like last weekend come along.
Oh, no, before you fret my dears, don’t worry, I wasn’t back in any sort of competitive action.
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The days of the hooker in the front row, or the pacy midfielder with an eye for goal – or even a British finalist in cycle speedway, are long behind me.
I’m far more armchair now.
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So, to watch Ipswich Town’s relegation from the Championship last weekend – even I wasn’t born the last time they played in the third tier – followed the next day by watching in awe at Tiger Woods’ extraordinary golfing feat in winning the Masters was... Well, was, mind-blowing.
The highs and lows of sport, right there, in a microcosm (well 24 hours!)
OK, so I suppose you have to be an Ipswich Town-loving golf fan to have felt exactly the same way as I. But you get the drift.
It’s not new territory for me – watching, rather than playing.
The old knee made sure I couldn’t hack five-a-side four years ago now, but I enjoy a round of golf.
I say to any young boy or girl out there playing sport today, enjoy playing as long as you can. Play as high a level as you can. There really is no substitute.
So, it was with the most mixed of emotions last weekend, I watched Ipswich Town get relegated and Tiger Woods’ triumph.
Much has been said about Town’s slippery slope towards League One.
As I said in this column before ... Lincoln City 1 Ipswich Town 0, FA Cup third round replay, 2017, was the day the red flags flew for me.
Relegation may have seemed like pie in the sky that day. But in fact it was just over a couple of years away.
And it wasn’t so much the result against the Imps I remember so annoyingly, but the apathy.
“On the back of the performance on Saturday (which ended in a draw), it was surprising how we played tonight,” Town boss Mick McCarthy understatingly said after the debacle.
“They controlled the game but I’m not going to stand here and give my team stick.”
Of course not!
Why kick backsides in public and lose the dressing room?
Why slate the team in public for the embarrassment they bought to the town that fateful January night in front of a live TV audience?
Why? Why? Why? You can’t do that.
Call the team out to the world and they might rebel with a string of crap performances – about two-and-a-half season’s worth to be precise!
Just when it needed to be said, it remained ‘in-house’...
... I get no pleasure from seeing Ipswich Town in League One.
I’ll be honest. I felt a tad emotional on Saturday, sitting high in the press box watching the Blues fans sing their hearts out to their relegated team.
I’m one of the lucky ones who saw Johan Cruyff and Barcelona at Portman Road (Barcelona, twice), as well as the wonderful 1978 FA Cup final win.
I enjoyed the Blues in the first-ever year of the new Premiership in 1992 and their return again in 2000.
There have been so many great teams, great players and great times at Portman Road, it all seems hard to fathom now.
Hopefully the club is at the bottom of the well, with only one way to go.
But then there’s the Tiger.
What a comeback from all his injuries and adversities.
I’ll be honest – Tiger Woods has never been my favourite golfer. I have never taken to his moody persona on the course. In the early days he seemed like a big kid who hadn’t got his way if he missed a putt.
I loved his talent, just wish he had Seve’s personality.
And I could never see him winning another Major after the last one in 2008 – the US Open.
His life became a soap opera with misdemeanours, injuries, marital infidelities making front pages, not back.
It was not nice to watch and even those, like me, who was not his biggest fan, felt sorry for him.
But Sunday evening, everything that is great about sport was there in front of you.
Not just the drama, not just the genius of the Tiger, but the human side t’boot... Tiger and his children embracing – Woods’ had come full circle.
I’ll admit a felt a bit emotional – see, there I go again!