In the meantime, we have the weekend to tell us just how important Portsmouth v Sunderland will be on Monday night.
But even if the Mags, Boro, West Brom and Hull all lose, we cannot go into the game at Fratton Park thinking defeat won’t matter.
Since few of us hold out much hope of as much as a point from the final game at home to Chelsea – lamentable as that seems not so many years after we were hammering them 4-1 one season and doing the double the next – this may be one of the most important games of recent times.
We have to get something out of it.
It’s a match that will be previewed here later today by Peter Allen, a friend and ardent Pompey fan. Pete is the author of the last but one Who are They? feature – and he will emphatically not win a prize, nicely written as his piece naturally is.
Someone will win, however, chosen from the many contributors we have had to the series this season. Salut! Sunderland has decided to have a champion of its own.
We are immensely grateful to all opposing fans who have taken the trouble to answer questions, write introductory pieces linking their clubs and Sunderland, provide biographical detail and supply pictures. Among the fans’ websites of other clubs, a few adopt the haughtiness of official club sites and refuse to help as if terrified that acknowledging our existence will somehow threaten their own.
But this has not stopped us finding warm, witty or wise volunteers for the series – thanks in large part to countless other, open-minded fans’ sites that have entered quite superbly into the spirit of the exercise. To them we also extend our sincere thanks.
Entries are being judged by a panel of three Sunderland fans: Ian Todd, who combines his lifelong Mackem passion with tireless efforts on behalf of the fans of all clubs (currently as a national council member of the Football Supporters’ Federation); Pete Sixsmith, whose regular articles and match verdicts are essential to the special quality of Salut! Sunderland; and me, exiled season ticket holder and hack.
The editor’s decision – ie mine – will be final though I will take account of any comments from readers who may have their own thoughts on the best of the series. There may be one prize or more than one, depending on what I can come up with.
The reason Peter Allen will not win has nothing to do with his prediction of 2-0 to Portsmouth on Monday evening. He is a professional writer, contributing to loads of newspapers and magazines, and is even a published author. The prize or prizes – to be decided – will go to a fan or fans whose writing has not, so far as we know, been commercially published.
More on the prizewinner/s once the selection has been made, after the last Who are they? of this season. If you want to read what Peter has to say about Portsmouth and SAFC, come back around noon British time …