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A Letter From K

K shares their thoughts about lockdown, football, and being a Nottingham Forest fan in this letter...

Monday 21st September 2020

Reader,

I’m writing this letter at the beginning of the week where it seems the announcement of a second lockdown, or at least stricter measures for the coming months, will be inevitable. I’m writing this letter after what has been yet another disappointing weekend on the pitch for Nottingham Forest, too. (Note, I’ve had to refrain from calling them my ‘beloved’ Nottingham Forest, they’ve made themselves quite difficult to love of late.)

Back in June the restart of the football season could not have come soon enough. No, I wasn’t too bothered about witnessing Liverpool win the Premier League. Anyone with any sense knows that the Championship is a far more exciting proposition. I mean, if like me you’re (un)fortunate enough to support Nottingham Forest, you may as well embrace this league, we’ve been in it for thirteen consecutive seasons now (for reference, I’m 28, that’s almost half my life with no movement up or down).

Although, of course, there were no trips to the City Ground, no pre-match trips to the pub debating how many central defensive midfielders we’d play or wrongly hoping we’d see two strikers start a home game, there was much to be excited about. We were doing alright, better than alright actually, there was a decent chance we’d be gifted at least two extra games in the playoffs. The final fixture of the season came, and despite criminally conceding multiple goals in extra time in previous games, it would have been a miracle for us to fall out of that play-off spot we’d occupied since forever. Who’s ever witnessed their team lose out to a playoff spot on the last day of the season to a seven-goal swing? Oh yes, that’s right, I have, and so has every other forest fan. We couldn’t do it on a balmy Wednesday night in June against Stoke.

And so, another season in the Championship is upon us, just as it feels like another lockdown might well be heading our way. Can the football at least provide us some solace and distract us from the baffling, confusing, and often contradictory COVID guidelines that keep coming our way? After 3 games and 3 defeats, it isn’t looking great, but we live in hope.

If I’ve learnt anything over the course of the past several months, it’s that there’s definitely more to life than football, sure, but the couple of hours of relative normality that comes with sitting down to watch a match is something that I have embraced with open arms. And anyway, what can be more normal than Nottingham Forest being wildly unpredictable, frustrating, and sometimes brilliant beyond words? (I’m still waiting for the latter this season, though).

Keep the faith!

K

(I’d like to dedicate this letter to Derby County FC, whose similarly bad start to the season has at least made things feel a little less awful!)

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