“A ‘Black Swan’ is a metaphor that describes an event that comes as a surprise, has a major effect, and is rationalized after the fact as inevitable with the benefit of hindsight. The term is based on an ancient saying that presumed all swans were white – a saying that was reinterpreted to teach a different lesson once black swans were discovered in the wild.”

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

I believe the final days of this season will prove to be Tranmere Rovers’ black swan in the years to come. We will look back on the week of 29th April 2019 and say it was meant to be. Of course it was. Just as the vital victory at Wembley the year before had been. Even if it all had seemed to be against the odds at the time, that the stars weren’t about to align, that all hope was about to be lost and we would suffer from cruel sod’s law once more. We’ll say it was inevitable we would win out. Because we’re Tranmere Rovers, and we’re on our way back to where we belong.

Just a week ago our season’s fate appeared to have been decided. With a creditable draw away at the champions our place in the lottery of the play offs appeared assured, with the automatics now out of reach.

That ship had sailed.

The Nautilus Museum and U-534 – many mixed maritime metaphors incoming

There would at least be a second bite at the cherry. It would be no free ride back to the promised land; rather we faced choppy seas with adversaries as keen and capable to reach the same destination in our way. Still, a chance at the play offs was ample reward for a maiden voyage.

But the fates weren’t done with us just yet. A storm came and the tempest blew our rivals back into range whilst we were safely at port.

“A football season is like a long sea voyage. Sometimes the wind is in your favour and you can make good headway. But, equally, there will be times when you’re becalmed. That’s when you have to stick to your course, believe in your crew, and then hoist the sails when the wind changes so you can take advantage of it.”

Johnny King

You may already know the maths behind the last two fixtures on Tranmere’s calendar. But for those wondering how the unlikely heroics of Crewe, Stevenage & Colchester over our enemies have impacted the Rovers chances of breaking into the top 3, here is what is needed to return the SWA to League One after 5 years in the doldrums:

If Tranmere win against Bury and Crawley we need either Mansfield to draw with MK Dons or Bury to lose against Port Vale on Saturday.

It may not be entirely in our own hands, but then life seldom is. And right now Lady Fortune seems to be spinning her wheel in our favour.

The important part is what we can control. A task that will be clear in the minds of the men in white who represent this town. This oft struggling, working-class town, with its storied, industrious history, in its picturesque sleepy borough, hidden in shadows by giants over the water. A dirtied, scuffed pearl that was lost in the depths, that sank into an abyss. But still a pearl. With all the potential just waiting to be dredged up and given back its shine. What a reward awaits us when we, the thousands of birkonian fishermen and women who have never lost faith find her and see her restored to her past glory.

And so, it falls to a single week’s events, our decorated officers and the 11 brave men they command. Micky know’s well what orders he’ll need to dole out, what obstacles to navigate, and as for words of wisdom, he can lean on his forebearer, as our black swan is sighted over the horizon:

“We are all together in this boat, crossing the ocean, looking for dry land. When you see a bird with a twig in its beak, you know you’re near. That’s when you have to pull hard on those oars so you’re first to that beach.”

Johnny King


Email: swasuperjase@gmail.com

Cowsheds: SuperJase Profile

One thought on “One week to make a date with destiny

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