The frenzied day when an entire region lost its mind
For 90 minutes, twice a season – if we're lucky and the two teams play in the same league – an entire region loses its mind.
It's a fixture this part of the world needs and craves, but it is not always happy days.
Neither side emerged from the afternoon with any credit although both tried to justify their behaviour.
Apparently the derby does these things to you.
High stakes: Fourth official Lee Mason steps in to control Martin O'Neill (right) and Alan Pardew
The goading, the incitement, the posturing and swearing continued throughout the game.
Newcastle goalkeeping coach Andy Woodman was sent off at half-time following a confrontation with Sunderland fitness coach Jim Henry in the tunnel.
The clatter of helicopters in the grey sky from early morning, the endless sirens echoing across the city – things you will never see and hear on the live TV coverage – were a reminder of the repulsive side to this fixture.
Flashpoint: Referee Mike Dean is surrounded by Sunderland players after Stephane Sessegnon is dismissed
Seeing red: Sunderland captain Lee Cattermole is sent off after the game
To reach the main entrance we, too, had to walk through the welcoming committee of baying Geordies held back by doubled-up lines of police officers, horses and dogs waiting to greet the platoon of buses carrying 2,650 Sunderland fans.
A few seconds of foul-mouthed greetings were more than enough.
It is hatred beyond belief.
When he was a nipper, Sir Bobby Robson, arguably the most dignified man to represent either club, went to Newcastle one week, Sunderland the next to get his football fix.
No chance of that happening now.
This is a fixture which brings out the worst in normally rational human beings, not least the players and managers.
Fall guy: Fraizer Campbell brings down Shola Ameobi but Demba Ba missed the resulting penalty (below)
Fraizer Campbell manically celebrated Nicklas Bendtner's penalty in front of furious home supporters, which was unbelievably stupid.
Midway through the first half, Simon Mignolet was the only one of the 22 players who didn't sprint to the push-and-shove competition in the corner of the pitch when James McClean cleaned out Danny Simpson.
It built up to a confrontation between the two managers after the break, with fourth official Lee Mason stuck in the middle.
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew went directly towards Sunderland counterpart Martin O'Neill, his fists pumping, when Shola Ameobi was brought down for the penalty which Demba Ba missed.
'I have never done that before,' said the Newcastle boss.
Surprisingly he did the same again when Ameobi equalised.
Not surprisingly, he was not proud of his actions.
Loud and not proud: Pardew clashes with O'Neill
'I have seen it again and it looked terrible,' he said. 'But it was just sheer relief. You don't understand the pressure there is on this game. Silly things get said and it was really unsavoury but it is a passionate game.
'Maybe our bench and theirs could have handled it better and we could have been more grown up but it gets to you. If we stepped over the line I can only apologise but it happens, you shake hands and it will all be forgotten and we can have a glass of wine.'
At loggerheads: James McLean (left) and Danny Simpson (right)
Sadly that did not happen because O'Neill got straight on the Sunderland bus after his press conference, but the repercussions of the spat and the game were still being felt.
Newcastle coach John Carver had appeared at the back of the Press room and accused the Sunderland manager of lying after O'Neill said one of Newcastle's staff went into the referee's room at half-time.
'I can tell you that is completely untrue,' said Pardew, on the record.
Late Sho': Shola Ameobi smacks the leveller in injury time
It all left a very unpleasant taste. Before he departed, O'Neill said: 'I have been a fair length of time in this game and I am sure I will get worse thrown at me and I will probably give out.
'It was everything people had told me to expect, the noise was deafening, the hostility, fans fervour, absolutely everything and in a perverse sort of way I was enjoying it, but you have to be really perverse. I am hoping we'll be in the same division to do it all again.'
No love lost: O'Neill glares at Pardew
On Sunday night my wife worked a shift in one of the region’s accident and emergency departments.
The night of a derby game is one of the worst of the year, down there with New Year’s Eve, bank holidays and the final pay-day before Christmas in terms of its drunken debauchery, nonsense and violence.
Before the game she had said: ‘Pray for a draw because it might make our night easier.’
So at least the nurses, doctors and police were happy.