The Importance of Indoctrination (Wolves NFFC Programme Notes 2012/13)

In the last Red Revolution of 2012 I shared a list of New Year’s resolutions and, after two months of gruelling intensity and hardship, it’s time to update you on my progress. I think you’ll be impressed!

In 2013 so far, I have not drawn any comparisons between Jonathan Greening and Jesus Christ, nor have I written a single derogatory word about muffin-munching mercenary, Kris Commons. Though I have to admit that, despite these great triumphs, the most important resolution still eludes me; I am yet to convert my prodigal 10 year-old nephew into a die-hard Red!

Little Jimmy was, in fact, born a Forest fan. Having only recently vacated the womb, he did not have the tools by which to express this fully for himself but, amidst the wailing and gurgling, anyone could sense that he had the aura of a proud Garibaldi Red!

Maybe it was Grandad’s home-made mobile, with carven images of Ian Woan circling over his crib as he slept at night. Maybe it was the unorthodox lullabies that accompanied the gentle plight of the left footed wizard – Mull of Kintyre, You’ve lost that Lovin’ Feelin’ and the more abstract, Andy Impey’s got no neck.

It seemed to all the world that Jimmy was a Forest fan, just like the rest of us. No one could foresee the monster that lay within!

It was a proud moment when, at the age of two, Little Jimmy booed his first flock of sheep, on the A449, just outside Kidderminster. Back then, we believed we had cemented him into the Forest family, that he was impervious to corruption. It was a simpler time; it was a happier time.

You can imagine my despair when, at the cynical age of seven, Jimmy betrayed the Reds for a team closer to home. He cut his ties with Nottingham Forest, locking all his tree emblazoned family heirlooms into the depths of some forgotten ottoman and draping a gold and black garb over his mercurial shoulders. He had, under the influence of some callous and snotty-nosed peers, become a Wolverhampton Wanderers fan.

I wish this tragic tale had ended there.

I suppose it did make more sense for him to support his local team, and at least Wolves are a proper team, laced with misery and regret, much like ourselves. I can’t pretend I was happy with his decision but at least he would gain some invaluable character-building life experience from fortnightly trips to the Molineux. I begrudgingly accepted his controversial transfer request, making it clear that this would significantly decrease the quality of birthday gifts in future years.

Jimmy’s Grandad appeared to take the news rather better. He even used his own petrol to drive the youngster to a game at Molineux! However, during the car journey home, after a 0-0 draw against Stoke City, Jimmy decided that he no longer wanted to be a Wolves’ fan, with immediate effect.

My Dad claimed his intentions were pure … but my instincts tell me better! He was fully aware of Stoke’s ‘Stig of the Dump’ style football and chose the fixture accordingly. This was all part of his Machiavellian master plan to lure Jimmy back to the City Ground!

A few years later, in the summer of 2012, Jimmy, now a free agent, gathered the family together in the Chris Cohen Executive Suite (living room) to make an announcement. Dad and I prayed for good news … but it was not forthcoming!

Jimmy, hand pressed firmly against his fast-beating heart, went on to declare that he was now a Manchester City supporter, claiming that the spirit of Manchester ran deep within his veins and that his decision was in no way connected to the fact that City had recently been crowned Premier League champions. The room fell silent.

We tried to reason with him. Of course we did. But how can two ordinary, slightly neurotic, football supporters compete against the might and majesty of Yaya Toure?

We both attempted to convey the wonderment and romance of supporting a rubbish team, in comparison to the hollow evils of glory-hunting. We produced diagrams, proving that supporters of successful teams are more likely to develop gross personality disorders in later life. We even watched the film ‘Escape to Victory’ three times, hoping that the spirit of the underdog might transcend from the screen into Jimmy’s very being. None of it worked.

Kids today are more cynical than they used to be. In this age of Grand Theft Auto and Tracey Beaker, it’s all about winning, no matter what the moral implications!

If the horse meat scandal has taught us anything, it’s that the way to get things done is through cold hard lies and deceit. With that in mind, we have recently adapted a new strategy and it appears to be working! His love of Manchester City seems to be waning, at least a little.

Whilst Dad distracted him with footage of the 1979 European Cup Final, convincing him it was a live match, I altered all the player stats on his FIFA 13, so that Forest became the best team on the game. Doctored league tables, fallacious transfer rumours and subliminal tree images, strategically placed along his route to school, all played their part in undermining the sky blue influence in his life. Of course, the lie that really turned the tide was when I told him Batman was a Forest fan. I’m quite proud of that one!

According to scientists, it’s important to try and indoctrinate your children at the earliest possible age, whilst they’re at their most impressionable. Without your input, they could grow up to be nothing more than soulless pawns in a capitalist agenda, defenceless against the gentle propaganda of One Direction.

It’s imperative that those of you with sons, daughters, grandchildren, nieces and nephews don’t allow this to happen! Do whatever you can to trick them into supporting a real team … otherwise, in decades to come, teams like Forest may be playing in empty stadiums!

Your club needs you!

Follow me on Twitter: @Dave_Abbiss


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