A 3-1 defeat by Norwich City leaves Nottingham Forest 10 points adrift of the play-off positions with just seven games left. Steven the Camel offers a fan’s eye view from Carrow Road…

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Riddle me this: what is the one thing the Camel loves more than football?

Going to local care homes and performing wrestling moves on unsuspecting OAPs? No… I’m not allowed to anymore. Not since the ‘hipbone scandal of 1989’.

An evening in fluidic space with Species 8472? No… But they are my favourite trans-dimensional alien. I’ll debate anyone who thinks otherwise. You will lose.

TV Shows starring Bob Monkhouse? No… Although hilarity always prevailed when that guy was in the room. I loved him so much that when I contracted mumps back in 2007, I legally changed my name to Bob Mump-house in his honour.

OK, allow me to answer the riddle. The one thing the Camel loves more than football is, of course, falconry. These super intelligent winged beasts give a whole new meaning to the everyday term – ‘bird-slaves’.

Now I’m not talking about basic falconry – oh no – my version has a very subtle difference in that I refuse to wear the protective glove. I remember one time where Sebastian (my falcon) dug his talons into my arm so hard that he ripped the pulse out of my wrist upon take-off.

“Sebastian,” I bellowed. “Bring that back… and don’t you start nibbling at the bone again.”

Upon witnessing my barely conscious body slump to the floor, Mother Camel slammed down her pint of wine and rushed to my aid: “How many times have I told you to wear the protective glove,” she screamed. “And if you want to partake in falconry then at least go outdoors!”

“Sorry mum.”

“Look at this – you’ve got blood all over my new carpet – and Sebastian’s hit his head on the roof again. I’ll tell you this young man, it’s a good job you have super-human regeneration powers else I’d be really cross.”

She was right. I had become reckless since receiving my secret gift of invincibility. I had to take more care of my beautiful body.

After both Sebastian and I had regained full consciousness, we watched a riveting episode of Star Trek. The plot cantered around a derelict spacecraft. I felt so inspired by this tale of isolation, that I cycled down to the local mine in Moorgreen and deliberately trapped myself in there for three weeks.

“You’re no use down here Sebastian. I don’t need a falcon, I need a canary…”

Eighteen years later and I’m en route to Norwich to see if Dougie and the boys can maintain our late push for the play-offs. I arrange to meet a canary-canoodling friend who takes me to their local bar pre-match – a quaint establishment complete with straw-filled seats, complimentary turnips and over-indulgent table service. I immediately order 17 pints of beer and a bag of nuts for Sebastian. That’ll teach them.

It’s now 2pm and the starting line-up comes through on Twitter. I find myself explaining to my local Norwich friend that this also means that it is 2pm here.

He points at the sun dial on the wall and just shrugs.

Wow, Dougie has given a start to Swansea loanee and Olympic hero Mo Farrah. An interesting move and one right out of the Camel’s textbook. Other than that, the team seems about as strong as we could have hoped for.

The game begins and Dexter limps off with a hamstring injury, which I can only assume was brought on by the £19k a week weighing heavily inside his shorts pocket. The guy was born injured. If only he had my powers of regeneration. Who’s Dexter’s agent? Whoever he is he deserves a knighthood for negotiating that contract.

Ooh what’s this? A chance for Antonio – but it’s well saved by Ruddy. All we need to do now is hold out until half time.

So we are 1-0 down at the break, conceding with literally the last kick of the half. Bloody typical Forest.

I storm down to the concourse with Sebastian. It’s worth pointing out that he’s now disguised as a local, so is not getting much attention. He has a fetching pair of pink high-heeled shoes covering his talons, and a matching headscarf.

Ten minutes into the second-half and we’ve already crumbled more than one of Delia’s pies. A neat finish from Jerome and a penalty following a stupid challenge from Burke. All of a sudden it’s 3-0 to Norfolk’s best team. I say best, I mean ‘only’ (obviously).

I’m not bitter, oh no, though I’m at a loss to understand why their full-back was allowed to run 40 yards unchallenged to put in the cross for their second. It’s all getting a bit too much for fans and falcons alike as the grumbles become more evident.

I feel a warm white liquid trickle down my arm. This one’s going to be hard to explain.

We did manage to pull one goal back – thanks to a jinky run by Paterson and a neat finish from Burke – but in the end we were well beaten.

What is my summary of this performance? Well, the wheels fell off Mo Barrow, but have they fallen off our promotion chances in general? And where the hell is Lars? I can only assume that he’s roaming wild in the hills of North Nottinghamshire, gently plucking the leaves off trees with his huge gob.

The Lost World of Lars.

Half a million we paid for that Diplodocus. 500 thousand pounds!! In real money!! Just let that sink in for a minute…

Tyler Walker – who’s clearly 12 years old – is now ahead of him. An astonishing day all round.

So it’s the third week and I’m still trapped down Moorgreen mineshaft. I hear an angelic voice singing from above the soil: “Wherever you go… it’s pure and simple baby”

It’s none other than my old drinking buddy, Noel from Hear‘Say. “I’ve missed you Camel’, he says dragging me above ground. “When I heard you were missing, for some reason I knew instantaneously where you’d be. Down a mineshaft. Of course.”

Silence.

“Look I’ve even released a charity single for you – It’s a remix of… Hold on, you know that bird has eaten half your face don’t you?”

I knew, but I didn’t care. All was good with the world. I was above ground – Bridge Over Troubled Water had reached Number One in the charts, and Sebastian had some fresh meat to devour.

Noel was never seen of again.

Farewell Camelettes, until next time.

#Freedmania
#falconryisbetterthanfootball


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