At half time of Wigan's game against Arsenal on Tuesday, it looked very much as though this game was going to be a vitally important one. The Latics were level with the Gunners, and they'd been the better side for much of the first 45 minutes; given the way this season had gone to that point, it was a perfectly reasonable reaction to assume that Wigan would prevail, and that Aston Villa would be playing for their lives in the final week. But then, the weight of the journey caught up to the Latics. They just weren't the same team come the second half, and Arsenal took every advantage. By the time it was said and done the Gunners had prevailed 4-1, and Wigan's Premier League membership was no more.
Erased along with Wigan's hopes of another season in the Premier League were any fears that Villa would be deprived of the same. We're not going down this season, folks, and if current tends hold that could be true for a number of years. So, why even care about this game? Well, the wonkish answer would be that there are millions of dollars worth of difference between 10th and 17th. The prideful take would be that every fan wants to see their team finish as high as possible. The realistic take would be that there isn't really any reason to care much about this result one way or the other, because it won't have much of a tangible impact on anything.
The only real reason to care about this game is that there won't be another one for three months. This is the last time this particular incarnation of Aston Villa will take the field, and though it isn't necessarily a chapter in the club's history particularly worth celebrating it is a chapter in the club's history. The 2012-13 season will be over by this time tomorrow, and we'll all get going on transfers and such, but there won't be another game until August. And that will be, to be completely honest, pretty nice for a week or two. But after that it will suck, and you'll miss watching Villa. So, whatever matchday rituals that you have, indulge in them. You wouldn't think that you could possibly miss this team. But you will. So have fun, just this once. We'll be back to freaking out in no time.