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IN MY OPINION: Raise the roof for the Warrington Wolves boys
I WISH someone had bottled the atmosphere at Wilderspool.
Then we could unscrew the cap and let the Wire Choir ring out around The Halliwell Jones Stadium on match day.
Perhaps a whiff of the pie and peas drowned in brown sauce from the corner cabin at the old place would drift around our noses too.
Don’t get me wrong, the new den has been electric on many occasions.
The Andrew Johns debut night was the best, while the visits of St Helens and Wigan always lead to a pump up in volume. And for some reason, games under floodlight always seem to generate an extra spark.
But it also feels as though there have been more, shall we say, civilised displays of audience participation, than at the old haunt.
The noise from the Fletcher Street End used to carry beyond the stadium and into the Latchford homes across the railway line.
I can still hear the chants now – give me a ‘W’, ‘I’, ‘R’, ‘E’, ‘S’, what have you got?
It’s quite strange really. There were many a year when Warrington won nothing and were expected to win zilch, but the backing was roof-lifting, especially so in the later years when the fan known to all as Geordie was banging out the rhythm on his big bass drum. You could sense the players lift to it on the field.
Yet now, in these exciting times of being in the hunt for every piece of silverware, the decibel levels have dropped.
Perhaps there is more focus on appreciating the skills on show, breath having been taken away. Maybe sometimes with the team’s rate of scoring, there isn’t time for a song between cheering tries.
And there is the fact that today’s audience is different, more family orientated than it was back in the day.
That might explain, too, lesser variety in the songs sung by the supporters. Let’s be honest, Bennie Westwood must be getting embarrassed that the record-player seems stuck on his ‘Super’ song.
I’ve brought up the subject of atmosphere because some of the quietest games are when Catalan Dragons are in town.
A flat atmosphere can rub off on the team and it might have played a part in three wins achieved by Dragons in seven visits.
You hear sportsmen referring to aims of ‘silencing the crowd’ as a motivational factor for a visiting team.
So, raising the roof might just make the difference tomorrow.