Sunderland fans continue to represent the club in a beautiful mansion

If you overlook the fact that Sunderland sits in the middle of League One and scored one point from home games against Burton and Coventry, you do not look like obvious promotion candidates where some people talk about the opposite …

… have retired from the FA Cup at least two rounds before AFC Fylde, have a manager of seven full weeks whose future is already doubtful …

… Have not discussed much about a takeover, whose owners now have another 10 million pounds of debt, whose players have alarmingly little confidence …

But if, as you said, you overlook all that but a few other things that are not good news, things still look pretty bleak.

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In times like these, people stop participating in games, if there has ever been such a time. Who could blame them?

There is every reason to stay away. No criticism from me. It's not up to me how other people spend their money.

I have no argument with someone who simply says, "I do not want to see that, let alone pay for the privilege."

The irritating ones are those who imagine they will get smarter if they do not go to football matches. That's not the case. It certainly does not make them any funnier either.

Not that they seem to be aware of this when they publish funny and eye-catching messages on social media.

For example, online contests titled "Do you fancy two tickets to Sunderland's next home game?"

Admittedly, the question today invites an unkind response. But one must ask oneself in which primitive society the answer "No!" Is considered as a kind of comedy gold standard.

The best you can hope for Facebook is something that was at least considered humorous when it was first heard in a music hall around 1927.

Despite everything, I still like to go to the match. Not surprisingly, this is not just football. There are other social aspects that I like, including the common groan.

Why are football fans selected for intentionally humorous spikes doing what they want just because their team does not win?

I do not see any appeal in most other sports, in the garden, in home improvement or cooking, and in many other leisure pursuits.

In particular, I can not understand why anyone goes fishing, especially when the fish are thrown back into the water. An act of Sisyphean futility, if ever there was one.

But I also do not go online to join an unnecessarily malicious Twitter mob that ridicules those who enjoy such activities. Good luck to you and everyone for yourself.

These hobbies can be expensive. But that does not make their enthusiasts stupid or gullible.

So it is with people who like to participate in football matches. even games that are contested by a constantly under-average club.

Neither participating in games in Sunderland nor avoiding them entitles you to a round of applause. We all do what we want and should reasonably expect only a little respect because it does not demand much.

At Stadium of Light, there's a lot to taunt this season, but fans are certainly not there.