The Cowley Show – Guest Article by Unbelievable Jeff


“We accept the reality of the world with which we’re presented. It’s as simple as that.”

Have you ever thought your life was like a TV Show? For me it would be a sitcom, a farcical one at that. With a certain amount of dark humour and the occasional bit of tragedy. I imagine we all go through this thought from time to time, when unexplainable things happen to us.

(Cut to Sincil Bank 4.55pm Saturday 24th February. Danny Cowley being interviewed by Michael Hortin, who was doing a superb Darth Vader breathing impersonation.)

This interview made me think back to a film in the late 90s. A film that was unique, funny, sad and incredibly moving, all at the same time.

I saw a picture of Danny Cowley’s face on the post match press conference report. I immediately thought of The Truman Show.

Strange isn’t it? How someone can sound so tired and upset when what you are looking at is a picture of them smiling and fresh-faced. The stock BBC iPlayer radio picture of Danny Cowley was beaming out on my phone, when the reality was as cold as the biting easterly wind that plagued the supporters and no doubt players, on Saturday. For yesterday I saw a man who look liked he had lost a million pounds and found a penny. The contrasts in photographs is astounding.

Danny said he was, and indeed looked and sounded, shell shocked. It was a look that was acted so superbly by Jim Carey in the Truman Show, when he also received some news, that well and truly “shocked his shell.” I have never seen our manager look like that before. The realisation of what he had just been party to.

For the past 18 months his life has been somewhat of a Truman Show type adventure. Sunshine, adventure, people following his every move and just wanting to see him. People not able to take themselves away from watching him and his brother take on this amazing challenge in an almost unbelievable way. I wrote in my a last article for this page, that it seemed some sort of afterlife – it was so unbelievable it couldn’t be true. An almost fairy tale. Something straight out of a Disney writers’ room. A TV Show perhaps.

Like the film, people worship the Cowleys as if they are the Messiahs. Or that they “know them”. They have to have their daily fix of watching a press conference on FB live…in the bath. Well I hate to tell you this. They are not the Messiahs, they’re not even very naughty boys. They work incredibly hard under immense self-generated pressure. They are two professional hard-working blokes, of whom have been elevated up to Truman style status with everyone hooked on their next move.

Unlike the Truman Show, there isn’t a Christof manipulating them or trying to guess their every move, to influence the story, but there is the similarities of the media wanting to show their every move and have Danny on TV at every opportunity. There also appears to be a love in from the local radio, which for me, makes it harder to ask those difficult things when they are needed. At times it can appear to be sycophantic, and could do with being dialled back a bit. The exception is Sue Whittaker, who asked a brilliant testing question at the start of last Thursday’s press conference. It made a nice change. Sue is polite, but not afraid of putting the journalistic boot in when required. More of this please.

I won’t spoil the end of The Truman Show, in case you haven’t seen it, but I will add the following caution. The Cowleys are people. They have families and recently there have been questions at fans forums and other meetings about when they were going to move up to Lincoln. To be blunt, that is none of our business, apart from their own. The Cowley families will decide where they live and where they school their children, and it has nothing to do with us whatsoever. To use a lyric from an excellent Banderas song. “And this is not a play some TV show you’ve seen, this is real life.”It’s about time we all realise that they are not public property, they are employed to do a job. They do far more than they have to and are real ambassadors, but we have to realise that this is no TV show.

I do hope that this week is not a difficult week for the management team. The players, on the other hand, should be made to carry round an object with them, everywhere they go. I hope Danny and Nicky find sometime for themselves and their families, away from the game and give themselves a break. To go for a long walk. Or to indeed spray their bathroom mirrors with shaving foam and pretend to be aliens. Perhaps a trip to Fiji, sadly is asking a bit too much.

I am sure, though, like Truman, that the shell shock of last week, will allow them to seize the proverbial bull by the horns and get the show back on the road. Their show.

In the meantime we all face a hopefully good morning’s travel to Coventry on the 3rd March.

There will be over 3500 fans there, so I hope to see some of you there.

But in case I don’t see you. I hope you have a good afternoon, good evening and goodnight.

(Cut to black screen and roll credits.)


  1. nicely put Jeff. I’d like to think this has been a reality check for all concerned. At the end of the day this is real life and sometimes we won’t win. This has been a momentous 18 months being an Imps supporter so the fact we were very poor in 1 match isn’t going to get me angry, etc. – I’ll leave that to the management team and the players to sort out – that’s what they get paid to do. If we don’t make the playoffs this season then so be it, I’d rather be where we are now than where we were 2 years ago. Imps 4ever.

    • In defence of the players there was no way they threw in the towel on Saturday. They just did not “click” on the day. It happens to everyone in any walk of life. The players on the day we were relegated absolutely threw in the towel and should be sweeping the gutters of Lincolns streets forever. At least Saturday the team did try.

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