A Long Night: A New Dawn
It was 5 a.m when we got back from emergency.
For hours I'd sat alone, waiting to know if my wife had indeed had a heart attack.
In the end, thank God, she hadn't. Angina induced by a debilitating migraine.
Washed out with exhaustion and too tired to sleep I switched on the specialty sports channel and waited for the 6.30 a.m kick off.
Sitting in the pre-dawn wondering why is it, at life's sharp end, I can think of Sunderland?
If it's a security blanket then it's a damn thin one given our record over the last 50 years. So why, after such a night, am I not trying to get some sleep?
Ninety minutes later there was an answer. Of sorts.
Not the win. That matters. Of course it does, but teams win and lose all the time.
It was the belonging. The jumping up and down when Seb scored when hours earlier I'd felt like crawling.
I could tell my friends here in Canada and they'd say this was all trite. All bullshit. Of no importance at a critical time.
But at times of stress we need our tribe and, I'm sorry, but Twitter feeds and my own website don't do the job.
I think Martin O'Neill gets that.
Certainly Steve Bruce never did.
In his four minutes of TV fame following the game he didn't indulge in I-told-you-so silliness. He tried to heal the wound between the fans and the players - the very wound opened up by Bruce in his weak defence of his lack of results.
O'Neill praised the players and praised the fans. The tactics? New players? For another day.
We've seen many new dawns as Sunderland fans and this one could fade to black too.
But I think we're in in together now.
As for my wife?
"Did we win" she asked, after finally waking up at noon.
We're more than OK.
I think my team will be too.
(Our Canadian Correspondent)