Hello again you lovely lot. Strap yourselves in for a painfully long and boring post.
I used to post on here a lot, then took a self-imposed hiatus. Whatever. Boring. This isn't about me.
I feel absolutely cheated tonight. I feel robbed, like I've been hard done by. Not because we lost or because we were the better team or because things didn't fall our way or because we were unlucky. We were edged by a superb strike by a team that defended resolutely and had slightly more shots, slightly more chances, slightly more experience and slightly more know-how when it came to game management and shutting us down before we could coil our tail and strike. We let them have possession, we defended well most of the time, we tried to hit them on the counter but it just wasn't quite there.
But it's not the loss that hurts for me, not in itself. It's the fact that this was our day. It's the fact that we have pissed around in the doldrums for years and for once we have achieved something not by chance but on merit. It's the fact that when I go to Hillsborough instead of groans and boos and divisive views I hear applause and chants and see smiles.
My Dad brought me into the Wednesday family as a kid. Exiled himself to Kent where I've grown up all my life but this was his team. So from there, this became our team. This was our thing. This wasn't football, it was me connecting with my Dad, my heritage. Where I come from, who I am.
Then suddenly we're at Wembley and we're on the brink and I have a moment that may never come again in his lifetime where I can stand next to my hero and my best friend and revel in our shared love of something that connects us. And all around us are fathers, sons, mothers, daughters, cousins, aunties, grandads, grandmas... all doing the same thing. Before we'd even kicked a ball we'd shown the world what it means to us and it completely transcends football - at least for me anyway.
I feel cheated because it was supposed to be our fairytale finish. I was supposed to hug my dad and cry and watch my team, our team, lift the trophy and say to him "we've done it". Instead, when it came to slotting in that last piece of the jigsaw, we were fairly outdone by a team that - had the game been played off the pitch and in the stands - don't deserve it in my opinion.
Why today really mattered is because it showed a whole new generation what is just slightly beyond their fingertips and it reminded several generations previous what we were and could be again. It was a fleeting glimpse of what could be. It was 90 minutes on a knife edge that could have potentially seen us back where we feel we can be. It was the kid in the playground not having the mickey taken out of him anymore for supporting Sheffield Wednesday, or the Dad with his Son watching us finally do something good for once. It was the single moment that made someone fall in love with our club and vow to follow us forever, for better or worse. It was the reminder to all of you who've witnessed complete sh*t that it doesn't have to be like that anymore. It was way more than football. The result was irrelevant.
Anyway f**k this I'm rambling, the main point is you all looked and sounded absolutely unreal today. I don't give a flyer whether the people who got tickets were "true fans" or people who haven't been to a game in 20 years. You rocked that place to the foundations. You deserved a goal. You deserved a win and you deserved to see us lift the trophy.
If you do it again for another 12 months there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that we'll be singing we're Sheffield Wednesday - we've found our way back.
Next year. Next year.
disclaimer : I'm leathered.