Sunday, September 2, 2007

Football - Crystal Palace 0-1 Charlton

Yesterday's game was one of the two times this season we will meet our "local" rivals so any win is a good one. Although all the newspapers will use the term local this shows a lack of understanding on how London transportation works. A trip on public transport across South London from Charlton to Crystal Palace is best done by a railway ride into central London and them back out again.

When I left England Palace were not our local rivals as really we didn't know any Palace supporters. Millwall up the road were local but they didn't see us as rivals as they already had a historic one in West Ham. They were the two London dockers teams. Palace considered Brighton on the south coast their main rivals for some reason that I never bothered discovering. It used to be quite embarrassing as nobody thought Charlton were a worthy rival.

That all changed a number of years ago when Charlton, in financial trouble, were forced to share Crystal Palace's ground. The brave souls who made the journey across to continue supporting their team were never made to feel welcome so had no fondness for the Palace. Charlton gave the Palace fans reasons to dislike them two seasons ago by winning in a game that relegated them to the division we both now play in, and cheering while we did it.

Thank god for our minor tribal loyalties. I doubt a Charlton or a Palace fan would send us to war in Iraq, although we might be tempted to us weapons of mass destruction on each other.

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