Do I really hate Leeds United? Yes and no. It’s become a bit like an abusive relationship.
What do I hate?
I hate the way that Leeds raised my hopes as a young boy, nurtured this by teasing me with Champions League football at the age of 16 and then spent more than a decade ruining my weekends.
I hate that I continually have to defend my decision to travel for hours on a rainy Tuesday night to watch us be embarassed by smaller teams. I hate that colleagues crack a wry smile when they discover my support for “dirty leeds”.
What do I love?
But I love our legacy. I love our fans. I love the way that winning makes me feel. I love standing in a dirty, dilapidated away end with 3,000 other people lacking sensible judgement.
My love of Leeds is the triumph of hope over experience at best, and Stockholm Syndrome at worst. But the very notion of supporting anyone else is lunacy. It’s for those reasons I both love and hate Leeds United FC.