I have come to the conclusion that a fact of life is, if you plan a family day out – it will rain, and on the other hand, if you’re stuck indoors, you will not be able to hear yourself think over the sound of flags cracking outside.

Recently, I had a couple of days off work, and because of the unusually good weather, intended to take the family to the seaside. I was up nice and early, but something came up, and at the last minute had to change our plans and postponed the trip until the following morning. The majority of the day therefore, was spend in several stuffy shopping centres and a windowless soft play area for the kids, whilst outside people took to wearing less and less clothes as the day got hotter and hotter.

Undeterred, as the forecast had been sunny weather all week, we set off early the next morning with a car packed full of picnic things, towels, chairs, footballs and an assortment of beach clobber. But as sure as eggs is oeufs, there was a chill in the air, and the sun shone for a mere ten minutes only to be replaced by cloud and the odd bit of drizzle.

An ice cream man who was parked up on the beach sadistically quipped from his van – which was rocking in the rising sand storm, ‘You should have come yesterday mate, it was sweltering down here’.
‘Thanks for that, now, I’ll have four ninety nines, a rain mac and some ski gloves please’.
But did we let it bother us that much? No we didn’t. Naturally we were disappointed, but we’d come to the beach to enjoy ourselves, and that’s what we did. I know there are people that would let something like this ruin their day, as they’d whinge and moan, forgetting that they had been there for sunnier days in the past, and there will be sunnier days in the future. So, why get all depressed about it?

Wigan Athletic, and indeed most football teams, is the same as that changeable weather. One day the sun shines brightly, then next day, when least expected, it lashes it down and everyone gets drenched. No matter what the forecast or prediction, you can come out of a stadium having had all the sunshine you hoped for, or like the recent Sunderland game, feel like you’ve been caught in a sudden downpour whilst wearing a vest and Bermuda shorts. But that’s what happens when you support a football team.

We have supporters who shrug when the sun goes in, knowing full well it’ll come out another day; we have supporters who scream, shout and boo when the sun goes in, as the forecast promised better weather; we also have supporters who sit in their deck chairs looking through binoculars at clear blue skies, hoping for the chance glimpse of a black cloud just so they can say ‘told you so’.

Following the Sunderland game, some posts on Cockney Latic have been talking as if it’s the end of the world. It’s not. It isn’t even the end of the season. Yes, it was a bad result at Sunderland, but surely if you’re a supporter, you’re supposed to take the rough with the smooth, the rain with the sun, the Ince with the Parbold?

There are far too many ‘supporters’ these days throwing their arms in the air, and season tickets in the bin if all does not go to plan – and it’s not just a Wigan thing. Isn’t it generally accepted that good support can spur a team on? Surely then, petulance and poor support does the complete opposite, and yet we have even had posts on the forum saying we should be more vocal in protest. Why?

Last time Latics visited the seaside – the actual seaside, not a metaphorical one – the support was superb, and it was matched with a suitable performance accordingly. Yet a week later, the booing hysteria is back. It’s akin to returning home from a day out, sitting on the couch sulking and vowing never to take the family there again because it rained, even though you’ve had some fantastic times there in the past.

I’m sure it’s not expected that everyone jumps up and down and applauds wildly at whatever the outcome, but please, is it too much to ask for a bit of a reality, and indeed, solidarity at least until the end of the season? You never know, it might actually make a difference.

Wigan Athletic have come a long way – always remember that. There have been some memorable times over the years, and there will be more memorable times again in the future. So, if you truly support your football team, isn’t this the most appropriate time to show it?
How does that song go again? ‘You are my sunshine….’

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