Sheffield derby: What would make ex-Sheffield United ace Kevin Gage take a defeat to Sheffield Wednesday
If, like me, you’re a huge fan of the TV show Taskmaster on the Dave channel, then you’ll undoubtedly be eagerly awaiting the start of series eight in a few weeks
If you haven’t seen it or know nothing about it, find out quick, catch up with a few past episodes and watch it…its brilliant, and I should know as I’ve watched all the past seven series and have also got the book!
However, while waiting for the new series, I’ve stumbled upon another Dave TV show called ‘Hypothetical’ with James Acaster & Josh Widdicombe.
It’s okay, nowhere near as good as Taskmaster but fills a gap and quite clever in its format.
So…what has this got to do with football you are already thinking, and please bear with me because I’ll get there eventually.
Us Blades fans have all now done our potential/needed points predictions for either auto-promotion or play-offs, having studied our run-in of games at great length.
I know I have, and in doing so, the month of March seems to be of vital importance in my eyes.
After our superb victory at West Brom, we are now faced with two very winnable home games in Rotherham United and Brentford, sandwiched between two away Yorkshire derbies, followed by the visit of Bristol City, who are storming up the league but will hopefully have blown themselves out a bit by then.
Three home games then, and two away ones….and here’s the question regarding those away games I am going to ask – the hypothetical question, naturally.
After recent discussions over the course of a few weeks with my football following mates, the subject of the looming Sheffield derby has raised it’s head.
And it seems in some quarters that rational, logical, sensible thinking goes out of the window at times.
The all-consuming, over-riding desire to beat our blue and white neighbours appears to be the sole focus of a few I’ve spoken to, at the expense of all else it seems.
In a normal season, I can fully understand it, and have probably been guilty myself over the years.
But these are not normal times.
We stand on the verge of achieving something few Blades would have dared to dream of just a few seasons ago.
So, finally, here’s my hypothetical question:
If you had to chose between winning one of the two Yorkshire derby games 3-0, but had to accept losing 3-0 in the other game, which way round would you chose?”
Now, in an instant, I know which one I’d chose to win. I know which one, this season, is actually MORE important.
I know what a huge body blow a 3-0 victory would inflict on one of our Yorkshire rivals, and what it would do to our campaign to get into the Premier League promised land.
That’s not to devalue the importance of any of the other games of course, but if asked that hypothetical question, there can only surely be one answer, and at the risk of falling out with tens of thousands of Blades fans, here’s my answer:
I’d accept losing 3-0 to Wednesday, if it guaranteed a 3-0 win at Leeds.
Hypothetically, at least!
My answer doesn’t make me a bad person, nor diminish my absolute overwhelming desire to see the Blades triumph at Hillsborough, which on current and past form we probably will do anyway!
But the overall prize and prestige of promotion, coupled with the huge financial riches to set the club up for the next decade – if invested prudently! – has to take priority over some local tribal victory in my thinking.
I’ve had the red and white United blood in my veins slowly injected in me since I came up here some 28 years ago, so fully accept that I’m not a Sheffield ‘born and bred’ United fan, and perhaps that’s why I don’t actually ‘hate’ our S6 neighbours!
Some of my good friends and drinking pals happen to be Owls fans, including my business bank manager!
I don’t particularly want them to do well, but if they did suddenly get promoted, win the Premier League with more massive Tuna investment and then beat Real Madrid in the Champions League final, I wouldn’t lose much sleep to be honest.
And anyway that’s highly unlikely ever to happen is it? In fact, its not even hypothetical!
So there you have it. Ask your mates the same hypothetical question in the pub pre-match….Lose to Wednesday and beat Leeds, or other way round?
You can’t have both and there are no draws.
TV channel Dave, 9pm Wednesdays.
Hypothetical derby games…..discuss.