June 17, 2024

Oh my, the promotion battle is getting rather tense, isn’t it? Against Southend on Saturday, the entire DW Stadium will be wracked with anxiety as that 90th minute mark approaches, a place in the Football League Championship potentially at stake for Wigan Athletic.

But you’ll be cooler than Doncaster Rovers during a typical Yorkshire April snowstorm, because you’ll be armed with this handy guide to settling your nerves in the promotion run-in. Amaze/amuse/confuse your fellow spectators!

Okay, I’m here at the DW. Now what?

Sit backwards in your seat, facing away from the on-field action. Always remember to get permission from the person directly behind you, as they may be uncomfortable with you staring at their stomach for 90 minutes.

Showing your working out, divide the number of functioning pixels on the DW scoreboard by the number of dead pixels. But be sure not to miss a significant goal while you’re fumbling for a bingo pen and bus receipt.

Give amusing names to the various pigeons flying across the DW rafters. Examples: Hugo, Max, Antonio, Jussi, Arjan… but not Homer or Carria.

Unwittingly put on your underpants back-to-front. Hey, it does work! When I did that this time last year, Latics won for the first time in six weeks. Remember that Brighton game?

Watch looped video highlights of the 2013 FA Cup Final on your phone, remembering to jump and cheer whenever Ben Watson scores a last-minute winner. (Don’t worry, it’ll never happen – the notion of Wigan Athletic ever winning the FA Cup is thoroughly absurd.)

Join in with the obligatory ‘oooh’ that follows a near miss. Then, taking advantage of the stream’s 30-second delay, run down to the concourse and rewatch the incident on television. Cry ‘oooh’ again, then rush back to your seat and start the next task.

Using your trusty Biro, add the names of international footballers to Latics’ squad list at the back of the matchday programme. Then, confuse your fellow spectators by shouting ‘come on, Ronaldo’ and ‘get moving, Rooney’ whenever Wigan regain possession.

Bring this newspaper and correct all spelling and grammatical errors in this particular article. Email your findings to gullible@iamasilly.corn with the subject ‘not a real competition’.

…And by the time you’ve finished all that, it ought to be full time and Latics will have confirmed (virtual) automatic promotion to the Championship! But only if you’ve done everything right, of course.

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