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Nothing to see
By Pete Bradshaw
Move on, now! There's nothing to see!

You know the scene, especially if you live north of Junction 11. You're driving down the M1, plenty of time for a beer or two before the game. The blue signs foretell your approach to Luton. The traffic slows. At first imperceptibly, then tangibly and finally completely. You stop. Stop, start, stop, start inching past the A505 and that fence they are building to block the view of Bedfordshire. You round the bend under the old railway bridge and you see what it's all about. An accident on the opposite carriageway has caused everyone to slow down to take in the gory details. Like everyone else, I am intrigued. I don't really want to look but am fascinated by the details.

It's been a bit like that this summer. My views on the last few months are well known to many. Disappointed that Ray went. Amazed by his replacement. Unimpressed by the board's explanation of events. Uninspired by the successful avoidance of relegation. Ambivalent about renewing my season ticket. Shocked by the treatment of Nigel Gibbs. Perplexed by the reliance on youth and journeymen. Amused by the appointment of a sports scientist (Martyn Pert, though - top name).

I view the onset of the new season with strange indifference. I know we're playing Preston North End first up. But after that the fixtures aren't ingrained on my mind. I seem to recall we're playing Cox, Ardley and Darlington some time soon but that's about it. I'll probably not go to the Charlton game maybe I'll just send Alec the dosh.

The club remains oddly distant from me.

So why do I spend all the time poring over the minutiae of the close season? Checking up on new players' squad numbers, gleaning every last item of news from websites and newspapers. Hell, even finding a way to access the official site and BSaD on my mobile service while in Canada*. It's the rubbernecking, isn't it? I want to look away but can't. Life is driving along nicely when suddenly I get a text from another member of the Hornet diaspora saying "Gunnarsson to Reading" and I need to know. Need to know more. Need to know everything.

I believe I have mentioned elsewhere my nightmare of turning up at the Vic and not recognising players. I just can't do it. Can't look away. Even if it still seems like a slow motion accident or one waiting to happen.

* What? Oh! Look them up on Google's WAP site and it renders the sites for phone browsers.