Alex has been doing some fantastic work writing up our longer recaps lately, and they've been one of my favorite things to read around here. But yesterday's look at Aston Villa's 1-2 loss to Spurs caught me for a reason other than his writing. It was the image he chose for the article. Here it is, in case you didn't see it:
The framing of the picture, taken by Getty's Stu Forster, is perfect. And it's the single best embodiment of everything this six-game skid has been that I've seen. The word Villa on the poster, literally in the twilight. A dad holding his head up and walking away hold the hand of what looks to be an absolutely heartbroken daughter. I'm not exaggerating when I say that it nearly brought tears to my eyes. There's this sense of "Well, she's in this for life too. Might as well get her used to it" that is just so moving.
So when I was looking to promote the story on Facebook and Twitter, I used that image as my go-to. And within minutes of posting it, I got this tweet:
So of course I had to dig a little more deeply. I asked @VillaBoy68 (whose real name is Stuart Jinks) if he'd be willing to answer a few questions about her trip to Villa Park and hoped that the story would be adorable and something to make us all smile. I've got good news for you. Prepare to smile. Below is our quick little Q&A:
7500 to Holte: So the photo: before or after the match?
Stuart Jinks: The photo was before the game on the way to buy some gloves from the Villa shop.
[Robert note: I won't let facts get in my way. In my mind, this thing was still after the match and it's the agony of defeat and you'll never convince me otherwise despite the pesky "truth".]
7500: You mentioned on twitter that this was only your daughter's second match. What was the first one, and what were her thoughts about football after it?
SJ: Her 1st game was the home game against Hull and she loved it which was a massive surprise as I thought she's be bored. I bought her the full home kit with her name on the back and she's hardly taken it off since. [Robert note: awwwwwww] She wants to go training and wants to join a team. (She's 5 by the way).
7500: Did the gut-wrenching loss to Spurs change her feelings at all?
SJ: No not at all she understands that Villa are rubbish but that they are our team and things will get better.
7500: Who is her favourite player?
SJ: Benteke's her favourite when I show her a photo and ask her who it is she answers "The Beast" [Robert note: awwwwwwww]
7500: Are you having any regrets about bringing up your daughter as a Villa fan?
SJ: Look if any child of mine supported anther Club there would be long periods spent in a darkened room. I think you know where I'm coming from. Joking aside we'll be back. History dictates that. And when we are back these bad times will make those good times feel even better. We were relegated in 86-87 three years later we should have won the league and would have but Graham Taylor bought Tony Cascarino and the rest is history.
My thanks to Stuart for brightening my day a bit, and my absolute best wishes to his daughter. I hope she never has to witness another loss again!