|But We’re Not Playing Derby|
Written by NormEmerges on Sunday, 2nd Sep 2018 11:30
As we head into the derby game against Norwich, it seems curious to name it after a completely different town.
According to various sources, the name seems to come from the Earl of Derby. It seems that the Derby name was given to two events: the famous horse race, founded by the twelfth Earl of Derby in 1780, and the Rugby League match between St Helens and Wigan, which were at opposite ends of the Earl’s estate at Knowsley. The name became more widely used at least as early as 1840 to denote any sporting event.
Thus a ‘local derby’ simply meant a match between local teams. The earliest recorded use of this for a local football match seems to have been the Daily Express in 1914 referring to "a local derby between Liverpool and Everton".
So any match is a derby. But a local derby is not just any match. And the ‘Old Farm Derby’ between Ipswich and Norwich is not just any local derby. It stands up there with the Merseyside derby, Newcastle and Sunderland, Tottenham and Arsenal, the Sheffield derby. It might lack the cachet of being in the Premier League, but it is definitely a serious match.
Why should that be? It’s only three points after all (and three we really need just now!). It’s all about pride, bragging rights between friends, that smug feeling of one-upmanship. It’s that feeling that we might not be champions of England, but we can lay claim to the unofficial championship of East Anglia.
A derby match isn’t really a league match, it’s a cup final. It’s winner take all. It’s the lifting of the gloom of other league losses, and the mood boost going into future games. We might feel good about finishing above Norwich in the league table, but we feel so much better about beating them in the derby.
So let’s look forward with hope, anticipation, excitement, and a little trepidation, and with a bit of luck we’ll be the ones feeling euphoric by the end of the day.
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