Carter has contributed to every TSLR to hit the streets of Withdean / Falmer since TSLR001 was released at Crewe in August 2008 - that's a whopping 41 c'articles. His witticisms are always featured on the final page of ill-thought Albion comment that we produce each month. Here, in the first of a series of blog posts this week about 'that' match, Carter writes about Paul McShane, Eric Cantona and a Ford Fiesta. Follow Carter on Twitter here.
The Albion seem to be spamming my inbox these days. How many meals am I supposed to have with Charlie Oatway? I might start putting him in my packed lunch box. In amongst all these Beam Back, shirt deals and pre-match briefings was a quick email from one of the co-eds asking me what the game on December 1st meant to me?
Now, I know a lot of Palace fans. In fact, I once bought a Ford Fiesta from one.
Almost 17 years after dishing out some infamous martial arts moves on a Palace fan at Selhurst Park, Eric Cantona has no regrets: 'I think maybe it's like a dream for some, you know sometimes to kick these kind of people’. But for me, I actually like the ones I know and find them half decent human beings.The rivalry that exists is all really one-sided, it's me who's the absolute and largely immature bastard. Regular readers of my column (yeah, right) will know that I always try to cram a bit of hate into each article for the Eagles. This extends into my everyday life.
I certainly don't see any day at the office complete until I've set the Palace fans' hompages to seagulls.co.uk or changed their wallpapers to pictures of Paul McShane scoring that goal. Although, I once tried to do this so hastily when one of my colleagues disappeared for a toilet break, that I accidentally set their background to a photo of Paul Shane, the actor from Hi-de-Hi! On one occasion, I installed an aggessive porn pop-up 'virus' on someone's PC, purely because FFS Murray had scored a hat-trick against Ipswich at the weekend.
Despite all of this and my constant gentle reminding of our Championship-topping average attendances at the Amex, our higher position in the 'all-time' league table and the general superiority of our hygiene, I don't get much abuse back. It's really annoying.
On the pitch, there isn't really much to boast about. That 3-2 reverse at Withers in 2002 was particularly painful, not least because somebody had thrown up all over my seat before kick-off - maybe they'd been 90 minutes into the future and seen the scoreline? The stewards had no inclination to clean up and I ended up having to watch the entire game from the comfort of the disabled section. All I really have to cling on to is Paul McShane...which is pretty hard with the restraining order. It's time for 3 points, which is bound to happen - we've never lost at Selhurst when Dean Hammond's been in the squad.
So I suppose, for me, the whole Palarse thing comes about purely because I'm aware of the Albion's history; it's just in-built. But, it also doesn't help that the exhaust fell off that Fiesta within 3 months of buying it.