1. Well, that was refreshing. Going to support your local team should, regardless of the result, be an enjoyable experience, and on Saturday it actually was. None of the division and rancour that befouled many a matchday last season was evident, the atmosphere was at all times positive and the focus entirely on football and football alone between 3pm and 4.50pm. Brilliant.
2. City did their part too, sending fans home still happy with a resounding 2-0 win. The performance wasn’t at all times convincing against limited opposition, but the Tiger Nation was given reason to believe that Steve Bruce’s men can play much better than they did, and if you can win well when not at your best, that’s a very good sign for the season ahead.
3. Disappointingly, the Allams have managed to create a negative headline or two amidst the joy of winning on the opening day, initially with their decision to boycott matches, and then with their later claim (not made directly by them, but revealed by the manager) that this was due to their property being vandalised by City fans. Notwithstanding the fact that we would condemn any such action, the fact remains that such allegations should go to the police, not to the media, and we have strong cause to suspect they haven’t. Their failure to rebrand the club still haunts them and eats away at them, and still they cannot bring themselves to stop besmirching the good name of their own customers. Shame on them.
4. Irrespective of their reasoning behind the boycott, we can now move on. In their absence, there is less need to call for the owner to do one and more need – indeed, necessity – to unite as supporters in concentrating on singing pro-team songs, as opposed to anti-Allam songs. The “City Till We Die” chant existed long before his signature on the deeds did, and so it should be reclaimed as the exclusively pro-team song it has always been. Re-singing ditties with the words “The Tigers” in should be considered too.
5. It has been a sadly rare occurrence for us to acknowledge a job well done by the club of late, especially if it has any connection with history, but the decision to allow supporters to hurl symbolic oranges on to the pitch before the game, in memory of Ian McKechnie and in homage to the unique way City fans of the late 60s and early 70s used to herald him pre-match, was a truly commendable one. It’s nice to see that someone crucial from the club’s past could be remembered appropriately and quite innovatively, especially in an age where football as a whole has become too sanitised and distant to allow such activity to occur regularly again. Anyone chucking an orange at Allan McGregor would now be arrested and banned, after all.
6. There’s always some medicine with the sugar though. Have you seen how the club have altered the Championship table? Putting ‘The Tigers’ instead of Hull City, while keeping all other surrounding club names intact, smacks of juvenile pettiness. Club nicknames have never appeared on a league table, and that’s what ‘The Tigers’ is – a nickname. The FA said so. If they’d actually doctored it so it was a table entirely full of nicknames, that might have been taken as a decent, if predictable, joke. As it is, those who made this decision just look total buffoons.
7. Accrington Stanley will, hopefully, be such a laugh. Hull City and the League Cup are hardly bosom buddies, and a first round exit feels almost inevitable given the circumstances (and our current regime’s less than exemplary record of respecting cup competitions), but we almost don’t care. It’s a ground tick, it’s a summer night’s trip to the devil’s county and it’s an opportunity to emphasise again, what being a proper City fan is like. We can’t wait.
8. See also Wolves next weekend, which is on Sunday, kicking off early and provides a proper opportunity for a Sabbath on the sauce at a ground which is always an enjoyable awayday.
9. On Thursday night, a group of supporters were invited to the stadium to taste, and opine on a variety of produce supplied by the deservedly much vaunted local firm Hull Pie. The outcome was a decision on which flavour pie would be stocked in limited numbers at stadium food outlets against Huddersfield, and a commitment to increase orders to satisfy demand if they sold well. Everything about this is admirable, it shows that there are people at the club actively engaging supporters to improve the matchday experience (even if the owners don’t like what the fans think) and that efforts are being made to showcase locally made produce and support local businesses. Barbecue pulled pork was the winning pie incidentally, we could have recommended that long before Thursday night having scoffed many, and if you haven’t tried Hull Pies wares, made by long standing City fan Matt Cunnah, you should. (http://www.thehullpie.co.uk/)
10. Bloody hell, Channel 5’s Football League highlights show was jenk wasn’t it?