A late (dodgy) goal has shone a light at the end of the tunnel for Effra.
It has happened. It is beyond reason, it is a detour to more misery, and, after Charltonâ€™s win yesterday, it is already terminally ill. But it is still here: the tiniest bit of hope that went coursing through my veins on Saturday night.
I was so absolutely sure that I was beyond it this time, that nothing could happen to give it another chance, that I was so battle-weary of this season, that I was totally accepting of our fate, but hope has had its tormenting way. That it has done so because of comic refereeing incompetence on a wet Saturday evening against Blackburn only made it that much more believable, given the absurdity of this season and the inability of most of the players to rouse themselves for the fight.
Of course, West Ham are not staying up in the Premiership, and thereâ€™s a moment when we are all going to have to accept that all over again. One look at the fixture lists of other teams told me that on Saturday evening. And seeing as Charlton just might escape, there could yet be the most perfectly galling end of the season imaginable. But looking for some consolation for this renewed pact with insanity, I am telling myself football is better this way.
As West Ham fans have discovered for the last few months, football entirely devoid of hope is sado-masochistic torture. Even when you do give up, when you think that there is no lower place your club can you drag you to, they will still find it so resignation to existing misery doesnâ€™t works either. Just for a couple of weeks, I am going to let hope have its shout.