Ok … I’ve cooled down a bit, culled some “friends” on Facebook, but still cannot get how some people THINK! Or NOT THINK, for that matter.
Sunday started off fairly busy, due to the Antiques Fair being on the same day we didn’t have the concourse or the shop at Meadowbank, so had to improvise (which we managed ok with 2 areas sectioned off inside the stands for merchandise and for the tuck shop.
We just started to have our gameday crew meeting, when our HC shouted for me to do the card check (Player names and numbers to be called out for the oppositional Manager or general dogsbody like me). Yes, Cal told me Don wanted it at 1:30pm, but of course it couldn’t wait. So I dashed down, hadn’t even prepared anything so had to get myself through, calling out names and writing jersey numbers down at the same time, getting help from Gordy (ex Claymores fan and the GM of the opposition, the Shropshire Revolution). Then card check on their side, afterwards marking up 2 more sets of our jerseys for the Refs and the stats booth, then get the Junior Wolves sorted for the sideline help, speak to the refs and suddenly it was time for kick off!
Don’s asked Doug and me to be honorary Team Captains … well, suppose that’s probably as close a Thank you as he would do … AND THAT’S EXACTLY THAT!!!
It’s weird to go into a game (specially playoff game) not really wanting your team to win as you’ve already several things planned for the following weekend, and the HC wants you to stay OVERNIGHT if we’d have to travel down to Manchester!! Felt quite wrong, a bit like a traitor, but on the other hand I just about remembered all the reasons why it was time to leave/step down/get away from that club/sport.
One of those reasons was sitting on the stands – our foes (and yes, that’s about what I can mention here, everything else would have to be censored!!) from Dundee. I mean – it’s a Scottish Team playing an English Team in the playoffs – you’d think that all differences would be buried in that case, but NO – of course not! The guys from Dundee cheered for the Revolution – and I’m sure Lump, one of our ex–linemen – did the same. I would understand that if we’d played the Tigers or Trojans (both Scottish teams) in the playoffs, but an ENGLISH TEAM??? But then – I’m talking about Charlie Campbell, who’s been googling for photos from the BritBowl 2007 (where Dundee played and I made a couple of comments on their worn jerseys/them lying to the League about not having 2 sets of jerseys, Charlie wearing shorts and flip flops (British finals – you’d think there would be a different dress code??!) and the fact that I doubt their Star Runningback raked up all the yardage as they played us 3x and he didn’t get near 1/3 that yardage during that time) and claiming I’m the reason for the animosity between Dundee and Wolves. He did that openly on the forum, even was planning on suing me for libel. That happened about 6 months after the finals, and shortly after my gran died and us having trouble with IVF – if he’d read more of my blog he’d have known but of course he didn’t. I actually was asked by the league board (who understood me) to make that post with my comments private to prevent any more trouble for the club.
So yes, the fact they did support the opposition riled me quite a bit (but didn’t surprise me)… but then … I calmed myself down by telling myself they paid money to get into the stadium to hurl abuse at us (or cheer for our opposition).
During halftime Doug played “When I’m 64” for his dad as it was his birthday, and at the end of the game he played our song “You get what you give” as a thank you for the 9 years I’ve supported him in the sport and because it was close to our wedding anniversary. I even had some tears in my eyes after that – partly because it was my last Wolves game, and partly just because of feeling touched by Doug’s gesture (he IS a bit romantic sometimes!! ;) )
But after the game … you’d think with an ex-Head Coach come Defensive Coach and the current Head Coach ONE of them would think about thanking Doug and me via the PA system for the 9 years we put into the club?!? Surely? Or at least get one of the announcers (both ex Wolves players) do it??? BUT OF COURSE NOT!!!! WHY WOULD THEY!!!
Even in the team huddle after the game there was NO word mentioned about our work.
We stayed back as usual, about 1.5 hours after the team probably went to Sportsters for the aftergame food, had our FAB Volunteers and the Juniors helping clear the stuff away. Then we went to Sportsters, had a wee chat with some players, and then the big announcement by the HC - “Guys, Hailey (our physio) has baked cake, that’s your dessert, so THANK YOU HAILEY!”
ERrrrrrr…. Apart from the fact that Doug and I have been spending 10 months out of the year on Wolves stuff, working about 25 hours per week during season, put OUR OWN MONEY into the club to carry it until players decided to finally pay their subs to the end of the year, washed kit (and nearly broke out washing machine about 4x during that time), had kit & shop items stored IN OUR OWN HOUSE, giving our everything for everyone on the club, giving up holidays (Doug travelling home early during 2006 because our then HC decided to pull out of the season), rebuilding the team, having open ears for the players, helping with job/girlfriend/family troubles, booking holidays & IVF around the season, giving up Sundays for training (and then Wednesday evenings), more or less played B&B for 3 residential training camps (well – in a different location, but we provided the food/did the cleaning up), pulling off the organisation and running of Superbowl Parties (the only Fundraisers for the club as players/coaches couldn’t be bothered to do anything else) since 2003 and Awards Nights for which we provided the Awards, Highlight Reels and “Outtakes” (which again took a lot of time), me getting haggled for photographs I took (but had the audacity not to post online yet). I’ve also been doing the taping and some sports therapy bits and bobs (for which I was sidelined by the HC with just providing the physio despite him knowing that I just got my diploma in Sports Therapy…
So apart from all that (which are of course the HUGE BIGGY BUGS that anger me) I’ve also been baking for the players for away trips and other events and I never got a thank you for that. Or Anna, who’s been baking fabulously decorated cupcakes for the home games this year – or Calum’s Cat who did baking as well and supported some sideline help in her capacity as nurse … no thanks for them either. But because Hailey made a cake she got a public thank you.
I mean – I’m trying to get Don’s thought process for that … maybe he thinks there will be an Awards night this year (which neither Doug nor I are prepared to do) so he can thank us there. But then – even players who joined half way through last year don’t know that it’s Wolves HQ who put all the hours into the Awards Night planning and running.
So … no thanks … but then – what do I expect? I’m talking about the man who still hasn’t apologised for his behaviour on the Chester Trip last year (which in my books means the HC has to stay sober as part of“Duty of Care” for his players when the GM had to drive an injured player in that player’s car home and couldn’t do the “Head teacher role” – and nobody listening to me at that point anyway! ). Or the fact that he’s called me childish and other things, who wouldn’t accept my apologies for something I didn’t think requires an apology but I gave it anyway as he saw it as a direct attack at him and his family (apparently I didn’t do a good enough apology) – who still hasn’t given me an apology for that (I opened up about my reasons for doing all the work for the club and he effectively brushed it off – one main reason being that the club was my “child substitute”).
But the biggest thing … We get thanks from our opposing teams – thanks for being a model club and helping other clubs setting them up to the “blueprints” of the Wolves.
We even got a public thank you for our work in the sport etc during the last game at the Glasgow Tigers – by THEIR MC via their PA system!!!!
Makes you think… doesn’t it??? Actually … it made me RAGING MAD on Sunday.
Monday – big THANK YOU to all the players (and I believe the Fans) on Facebook by the HC again … and Congrats to the Revolution. Still nothing towards us.
I’m getting too emotionally involved in such things … and I probably will have to change my mind about Wolves players I thought are my friends but just took advantage of everything I (and Doug) did. I’ve started weeding my Facebook friends list, and – even if it’s hard – I think a lot more will be falling to the axe.
And now … BREATHE!!!!
Have to let go of it all, but it’s hard after 9 years and next to no recognition. I had a lot of face slaps during these years in the SPORT, seeing bad people reaping all the rewards for something good people have done, good people getting into cross fire because bad people having more influence, and good people leaving.
I’ve made a lot of friends during those 9 years, a lot of them being our overseas players, who we still keep in contact with. They are more appreciative than the ones who live here.
Our Volunteer Group was FAB – and I made lots of friends through players (their girlfriends/ex girlfriends) who are now better friends than the players themselves.
Maybe after a while I will be able to concentrate on the good things from those 9 years, but right now the bitterness is still there, and we should have probably retired last year after the Chester game already … but we again put our own feelings aside for the good of the club and to provide support for everyone else.
We also won’t be going to BritBowl – I personally have not been asked even though I have been helping out for 4 years in the stats crew – I believe they have asked Doug if anyone of the Wolves volunteers will help out. That seems to be the normal way in the sport right now.
Won’t be going – because the people who CARRIED BritBowl over the last years are not there anymore, as they’ve been kinda chucked out of the sport/been sidelined. Also, the finals have been moved from the middle (ish) of the UK in Doncaster to Worcester – of course to accommodate the southern teams.
To be honest, a lot going wrong in the sport since February/March in my eyes, and that’s another reason why we step away from the Senior league as a whole. I might be taking photos next year at Wolves games if the fancy tickles me.
There are a couple of friends who want to help out the club next year who just joined us this year – I would love to tell them not to bother or at least not to expect ANYTHING in return (not even a thank you) – but that’s for them to figure out. And maybe it’s just that everything we did was taken for granted, so we didn’t even deserve anything in return apart from hassle?
To me the club is not the Wolves anymore … and right now I wouldn’t mind if they’d change their name … There’s hardly anyone left from the inception year 2002, hardly anyone who knows & appreciates what we’ve put into the club.
I won’t be stepping away from the sport in full though, I am about to give my all to my University team for the 2nd season – the Stirling Clansmen. Things I do are getting appreciated, the players are nice and giving me respect and not mouthing off at me. And the added bonus – I’m just taking photos, and the season is 2 games shorter. ;)
Phew – that’s a lot to write up, and probably still not 100% understandable for most of you reading this.
Like in 2007 I suspect some bad people will be picking up on things in this post and try to give me a hard time, but this time I won’t make the post private. I’ve not been on the new league forum since its inception in March, so won’t do so now. And I doubt I will see many of them again any time soon.