Derbies. Why are they so important?
A week before a big derby match. Sitting in the pub with your mates, at work with your colleagues, on the phone to your brother or sister. One topic rules the roost. Derby matches. The excitement, the nerves, the adrenalin, it is there with you all week. This one match is planned out as a day out, not just the 90 minutes of a match.
But why?, why is it so? Why are derby matches so life changing? Why does one game make a person so demonic to 11 men whom they probably never met? Why is the fear of losing one match so worrying?
This is my verdict.
5 years ago (this very week), I was working as a nightshift postman. Sunday nights are the worst, as the chances to have a sleep before work are minimal. This very Sunday, Hearts and Hibs shared a 8 goal thriller. The only trouble was Hearts had only scored 2! Working in a Royal mail sorting office, The football supporting workers are split 50 / 50 in terms of Hearts and Hibs. The thought of going to work that evening made me ill. "Bite your tongue and let them get on with it" I thought to myself. But not speaking my mind was not one of my strong points. "I will bite!"
I HAD to go to work, as there was no cover. 2 of the nightshift were staunch Hibbies. They arrived for work eaarlier than I did. As I drove into the car park, Their cars seemed to be staring at me with a huge grin on them! "Maybe i could just sneak in unnoticed".
"Barry weekend for fitba!" , "What was the score chief?" , "Lets all laugh at Jambos!" "6-2 6-2 6-2!" were the chants ALL NIGHT.
As morning broke, The postmen and wimmen arrived for work. The green lot for some reason came in bright as a button (5.00 am) massive grins on their faces. The Hearts lot looked like they've been dragged through a hedge backwards.
Then it all started. EVERY HEARTS FAN BIT. BIG TIME. Especially me! The hurt and humiliation was immense. I spent time trying to find a counter excuse. There was nothing that I could say to make this 'thing' go away! Even the Hearts superior record or the fact that we beat them 10-2 donkeys years ago did absolutley nothing to abait the waves of abuse! The Hibbies were having the time of their lives! It was absolute murder! for days and weeks after, it was unrelenting.
Cue Mark DeVries.
The following season, as we all know, Hearts brought in Dutch defender Mark DeVries. No one really knew who he was. Jean Louis Valois also was added to the squad pre-season. They sounded good, but without any pedigree to name of, Hearts fans just had to wait and see.
We didnae have to wait long!!
First home game at Tynecastle strangely enough was against Hibs. DeVries and Valois were paraded in front of the home crowd to mark their competitive home debut. The atmosphere was electric, as Edinburgh derbies usually are. once the game got under way, Andy Kirk bulged the onion bag. Game on! Then_
BANG! Goal 1 BANG! Goal 2 BANG! Goal 3 BANG! Goal 4!!!
Mark DeVries. Played 1 Scored 4. Legend after only one game!
Guess who coulden't wait to go to work the next day! The exact same punishment was dished out that we had all recieved the season prior to this one.
That same season, Hearts grabbes a 4-4 draw from the jaws of defeat. 2 goals from Graham Weir in injury time. Another game saw Hearts 1-0 down with a minute to go, just to score TWICE in the dying seconds!
Us Jambos LET RIP after all these games. Hibs have now reverted to using the 30 year old 7-0 drubbing (When half of us weren't born!) to try to wind us up. This doesn't wash anymore!
So to conclude, It's not the winning that counts, its the taking apart!
I love being a Jambo!