You can't turn away. You know you shouldn't look. You don't even want to look. And yet you find yourself rooted to the spot, watching in slow motion as everything falls apart. Impact. Damage. Shock. Flashing blue lights. Stretchers. A growing crowd of gaping onlookers, also unable to look away. 'How could this happen?' you think, even though you know it does happen, sometimes.
That's pretty much how I feel about WFC at the moment. I'm just not sure whether I'm part of the crash or one of the gaping onlookers. A year ago, WFC was my club, and if something happened to it, I'd have been in that car that got smashed. In the back seat, maybe, but fully involved nonetheless.
But now, as the 'restructuring' slices yet another machete through my attachment for the club, I don't really feel part of it at all. I'm still there, watching it all unravel, reading watfordfc.pravda.com, Watford Observer, BBC Sport, Teamtalk, etc...but it's not my club anymore. It was, but there's only so much you can take. It's like that period when you realise you don't actually like your girlfriend anymore, when every day is a numb ache, yet you still can't quite bring yourself to chuck her. And you feel a bit guilty when she's actually in a coma already....
In fact, my attachment for BSaD is about all that's left. And that's because ig, Matt and co seem to be about the only people that feel the same as I do. For me, the last few months have burst the fiction that for ninety minutes a week, you are part of one big happy family with everyone around you, regardless of class, colour or creed, just because you all support the same club. The next home match after Ray was sacked, I went along expecting some protests, some chanting his name, something...but no, it was like the elephant in the room that nobody wanted to mention. And I don't know, maybe I'm wrong, but it didn't feel to me like the anger that I and other BSaDders feel is replicated across the ground, more like there's been a collective shrug of the shoulders. Maybe a lot of people were even secretly happy that Ray was gone, and genuinely believe that a new manager was what was required. Look, I went to that Preston match, and much as it pains me to confess it, for the first time ever I walked out early (I'd not done this since I was a kid, haunted by missing the last goal of England's 8-0 thrashing of Turkey back in 1987 because my friend's dad wanted to miss the Wembley traffic). But Ray didn't deserve that. We didn't deserve that.
And everything that's happened since has just made it worse. And worse. And worse. It's the being lied to, or at the very least, severely patronised, that gets to me. If Graham was to say to us: 'Truth is, that financially we're still screwed, and if we don't sort it out soon the club's long term future is in danger. So I'm going to release or sell off any players who cost more than a fiver a week to employ, pay peanuts to a bunch of youth academy graduates and lower-league hopefuls and just try and stay in the division until the storm's blown over and at last we have a solid base to start going places again' - if he said that to us, I wouldn't mind too much. We know we don't have two brass kopecks to rub together. But no, he couldn't possibly tell us all this. Instead it's all about exciting new faces in the politburo, pulling together for the bright future we're building, and bombarding us with ghost-written bullshit. So Ray, Gibbsy, Dyche, Cox, Gayle, Ardley, Webber, Dyer, Fitzgerald, (and Smith, Darlington, Ferrell, Coleman, and Norville) are all surplus to requirements in the Great Leap Forwards? Well, they all had their flaws, granted, but are you sure? And we always knew that H would go (and good luck, Heidar, you deserve it and you're best off out of it).
I've got an escape route out of here too: I'm moving to Ukraine at some point in the next few months. So I won't have to deal with the dilemma of whether to give several hundred pounds a year to a club that blatantly doesn't give the tiniest rabbit dropping what I think. I'll still be reading BSaD every day (providing they can face going on), as from far away, it's the only way I can get a real feel for what's going on from people who share the same outlook as me. But I doubt that the sinking feeling I get when I think about WFC at the moment will disappear any time soon, even if Betty goes on a run and we are, as he asserts, surprise contenders for promotion.
Watford 'til I die? Yeah, I still mean that...to death do us part, I promised...but let's have a trial separation anyway. We're just going through a rough patch...I need time to find myself...it's not you, it's me.... No, scratch that. It isn't me. It's you, Graham.