My New Favourite T-Shirt, Liverpool For The Cup & Sneezing

31 July 07
Hi there,

It’s been a little while now since I’ve written one of these (for me) but knowing what I’m like I’ll probably end up writing less than usual as I’m constantly forgetting what goes on.

Been down south for last week, hence the lack of note last Tuesday. Went to Hever Castle (see photos on my profile) and London, got my hair cut in Orpington and went to see a couple of mates’ new flat which was very nice. The main event of the week for me is when I went to Carnaby Street though. Anyone who knows me well enough will know that I’ve got a green t-shirt with a red star on it. In fact, I think there’s a picture of me wearing it on the photo section somewhere. Now, I’ve had this t-shirt for 8 or 9 years, I reckon, and it’s a bit work out now. Fair enough for a shirt that only cost £5 from a tacky tourist shop. Anyway, I went back to the shop to get another one (bearing in mind that it was at least 8 years ago in a shop that looked like it was only going to be there for 6 months). I found one in exactly the same place in the shop for 99p more! I’m well pleased. I’d forgotten how dark the green was with mine being so faded etc. It did me well that shirt. Plenty of gig were either attended or played in with that on so it got a bit of abuse over the years. It’s now in the bin.

It’s only a week and a half away until the talking stops and the football starts again. I’m glad to see it back more than usual as you can probably tell from my rant about football in the close season a few weeks back. Here are my tips for the season:

Fergie predicts a 10th premiership too
Premiership: Man Utd
Championship: Charlton
League One: Nottm Forest
League Two: Rotherham
FA Cup: Liverpool
League Cup: Chelsea
JP Trophy: Bristol Rovers

If that comes in now and I’ve not put money on it I’ll be angry!

Darts Update:
The team won 3-2 and I put in my best performance of the season and won 3-0, took my games out in 21, 19 and 24 darts which outstrips anything I’d done over 3 legs (consistently) so far this year. That 24 annoyed me a bit though as I had 5 darts at a double before hitting it. Hit a couple of 140’s and a couple of 100’s but no more 180’s, although I did hit one back home just throwing in my old bedroom – wish I could’ve saved it! Got lots of praise from the team for the manner of the victory and enjoyed it. Hopefully I can keep it going for the knockout semi-final later on this season.

Summary:
Position: 3
My Result: 3-0 win
Team Result: 3-2 win
Season 180 Count: 1

I need to sneeze but I can’t. Isn’t that one of the most annoying things ever?

S.


Illness, Rain & Murray Walker

18 July 07
Hiya,

I’ve not been well over the past few days and am still not feeling all that great today but I’m back at work after working from home so far this week. I prefer it at home, things are clean and tidy there, this office is horrible sometimes. On the plus side though, my whistling workmate hasn’t come back after his holiday as was predicted by us. This is a very good thing as I don’t get anywhere near as annoyed any more. However, he’s been replaced by someone who appears to be on a bit of a power trip, but he works in the warehouse so it’s not as bad.

I’ve had lots of sinus pain & headaches and a dodgy stomach (you get the picture on that one I’m sure!). I’ve still got the pain but my stomach’s calmed down now so it’s safe to go back to work. I’m not sure if I’d have made it down those stairs here at work on a couple of occasions! One of the plus points of living in a flat!

Just your average summer in Huddersfield
The weather’s beginning to improve a little bit, despite the downpour of yesterday. at least that was only for an hour or so rather than 4 days or whatever we’ve been getting so far this summer. Hasn’t it been depressing?! I’m off down south next week for a packed schedule of tourist attractions, family and friends. The weather seems to be a bit nicer down there and it gives the car a bit of a change from its normal Huddersfield-Bradford-Huddersfield journey that it does every day.

I’ve just heard that Murray Walker’s doing the commentary for the German Grand Prix on Radio 5 Live! I’ll probably be on the M1 so I’ll be listening to that.

I think I’ll go and get myself a sandwich or something now, but not before the…

Darts Update:
Knockout Quarter Final week this week and with us being crap in the league I couldn’t see us coming out of this one with a win but low and behold… we did! We won 3-2 and I won my game 2-0, despite feeling like a pile of manure and with my brain simply not working properly. At one point I had 16 left and couldn’t work out what double I needed, it was quite scary actually! I think my brain’s working a bit better than that now although my typing’s been awful while writing this, lots of corrections, I bet I’ve not got them all either.

We now move onto the Semi Finals which are played on the same night as the final in a big finals night somewhere, not sure where. Should be a good one though. Hopefully we’ll get through to the final but with out ‘A’ team being in there too, I’m not sure if we’ll win it, they’re pretty good.

Summary:
Position: 3 (drawn out of a hat, but still 3 as always)
My Result: 2-0 win (it’s only best of 3 in K/O)
Team Result: 3-2 win
Season 180 Count: 1 (still.. grrrr)

Bye!

Scott.


Football, Bloody Hell

13 July 07

Sorry, but this is another note about football.

The football world is in a minor turmoil at the moment with the financial disaster at Scarborough which resulted in the death of the club, the corruption at Boston United who now find themselves relegated 2 divisions and with a squad of 3 players, the farcical Leeds United situation where Ken Bates has somehow managed to buy the club back from himself, again and the Carlos Tevez fiasco.

Scarborough were around for 128 years and reached the 4th round of the FA Cup as recently as 2004 when they were beaten by Chelsea. It’s sad to see any club die but out of the ashes, a new club has been formed; Scarborough Athletic. The new clubs’ motto is “no battle, no victory”. This is slightly ironic as the fans of the previous club, many, if not all, of whom make up the support of the new club, battled to save their old club to no avail. They are due to play in the North East Counties Division One – a long way from the 4th round of the FA Cup I’m sure you’ll agree. The only way is up.

Boston United have been in trouble for a few years now. Steve Evans, the manager of the club for a number of years, and the chairman Pat Malkinson were found guilty of an error regarding the registration of players. They got promoted from the Conference that season and were deducted 4 points for their first ever football league season. It was a sign of things to come. Evans and Malkinson pleaded guilty in late 2006 of “conspiring to cheat the public revenue between 1997 and 2002” and were given suspended jail sentences. On the last day of last season, while the club was in dire financial turmoil (they owed over £100,000 to the Inland Revenue plus others), they elected to go into administration about 10 minutes before the end of their last match of the season hoping that the mandatory 10 point deduction would come into effect immediately. They were going down anyway at the point so it would have made no difference. The Inland Revenue said that they were first in the line to get paid which meant that other football creditors couldn’t be paid. This is a breach of the Football Leagues’ rules who then decided to demote them a further division to the Conference North.

Leeds United are a club in trouble. They still don’t have the appropriate licences to play in League One next year – a far cry from the Champions League Semi-Final they found themselves in in 2001. Ken Bates has had control of the club twice now during which time he offered a derisory 1p in the £ to creditors. A year or so ago, Bates said that the club would be breaking even soon. He was massively wrong. They are playing in the third tier of the Football League for the first time in their history and with them being the only league club in a city of close to 450,000 (making it the 4th biggest city in England) it’s big news. Bates has now been believed to have offered 8p in the £ to creditors but this still pends. Unbelievably, Ken Bates is still trying to sign players for his club when he can’t afford to pay his debts. This is like a tramp buying a car. Unbelievable. Thankfully, I don’t like Leeds United much but I don’t want to see them go out of business.

Carlos Tevez is a mercurial striker whose registration is currently held by West Ham. Notice I say that he’s not a West Ham Player, as such. There is a ‘3rd party’ involved in this one called Kia Joorabchian. He owns the ‘economic rights’ to the player and therefore is due to receive a transfer fee just like a club would when a player moves to another club. However, FA laws state that a club must be the receivers of any transfer fee as 3rd party ownership of players is against the rules. This is dragging on and on and has already involved the ‘gang of four’, Liverpool & Manchester United. So that’s 7 clubs (West Ham, Man Utd, Liverpool, Sheffield United, Charlton, Wigan & Watford) and three football authorities (The FA Premier League, The FA & FIFA – when they wade in as they inevitably will) – oh, and the courts of course. There are pages and page to write about this but the information is out there if you want it. It’s a farce.

All this ends up with me thinking that football is not a game any more. Close season used to be exciting – the anticipation, the friendly games & tournaments, new signings, managerial moves etc etc. Now it’s a time for the baggage of the season to be emptied all over the media. All we want as football fans is for the games to begin again, get the rubbish out of the way and get on with it. Not even the lower & non-leagues are avoiding it this year.

It’s making me sick.

Roll on 11th August.

S.


Synthetic Football Pitches – A Critique

12 July 07

You’d have thought there there was something built into the rules of football that a match has to be played on grass wouldn’t you? Well, clearly not as Russia want to play their game against England in the European Championship Qualifiers on a synthetic pitch.

In the 1980’s there were a few teams who had plastic pitches; Oldham and Luton amongst them if I remember, and they were bloody awful. The ball used to bounce to a height greater than the one it came down from (well, not quite but you get my drift). Any slide tackles were for the bravest of the brave as they left your leg looking like a side of corned beef. Very unpleasant. I know about these pitches first hand what with being a goalkeeper for my school who had one. I never really enjoyed playing on it and it got worse when you ended up with loads of sand in your bag and holes in your kit from the friction.

Synthetic pitches have improved over the years to a point where they are awarded “FIFA 2 Star accreditation”, whatever that means. 2 doesn’t sound that good to me but I know nothing about it! Manufacturers of them say that “players take to them instinctively”. However, I’ve been listening to the radio today and a Scottish Player, Gary O’Connor who’s was playing for Lokomotiv Moscow for a while, and played on the said pitch, said it was horrible. He said that it was bumpy & they soaked it with water 15 minutes before kick off. This was to slicken it up so the ball doesn’t get held up with the increased friction, so any slide tacklers/goalkeepers don’t just hit it with their skin stopping on the surface while the rest of their body moves on in a natural way (nice, eh?!).

For training, they are fine as there’s nothing at stake, but they are not fine for major international competitive matches in my opinion. A rule should be written in saying that any competitive football must be played on grass.

Still, it gives Steve McLaren an excuse if he needs one doesn’t it?!

S.


Live Earth, Needing Football & Shrek 3

10 July 07

People flying in from all over the world in high-powered jet planes, massive lighting rigs, huge powerful speakers, an enourmous stage that took lots of energy (both manpower and electricity) to put together and all this to save the planet. Hmmm. What more can I say?!

Anyway, I thought I’d get that out of the way first. I hope everyone’s well. I’m missing the week in-week out football at the moment. I think I need to league to start as soon as possible. It’s only a month away I suppose and the bi-centennial Brazil vs Argentina game’s still to come in the Copa America final. Should be a good game that one. Follow that up with the excitement of such games as Manchester United vs Uwara Red Diamonds (!!) & Chelsea vs. DC United (!!)…. actually that just makes the league seem so much further away! Booooo!

Anyone watch the latest instalment of the Lewis Hamilton show? Wasn’t that exciting was it? The result opened up the world championship again which is a good thing. Massa drove a blinder after his car buggered up on the grid coming all the way from 21st, starting in the pit lane, to finish a very well deserved 5th and only a determined Kubica (who’s been especially brilliant since his accident) kept him from getting 4th. Well done to Raikkonen though who seemed to have it all in control for the whole race. Did anyone else notice the crap trophies they gave out for 2nd & 3rd place?! Emma’s got bigger wine glasses than that.

Nothing all that exciting has happened with me this week really. Work’s just work and apart from watching Shrek 3 I can’t think of anything new. Shrek 3’s not really all that good by the way. It made me laugh a few times but the story’s not that good and Shrek didn’t seem to be in it much. Still worth watching though I suppose as there’s a 4th one on the way in a few years.

Darts Update:
I lost 3-2 in a game that could’ve gone either way but fell the way of my opponent again. They were a good team and did us 5-0 in the end. It turns out that I’ve won nearly half of my team’s points this season and there are a couple of us who’ve not won a game yet!

Summary:
Position: 3
My Result: 3-2 loss
Team Result: 5-0 loss
Season 180 Count: 1 (still… grrrrrrrr)

Not expecting any comments to this as it’s possibly the most boring note I’ve every written! And that’s saying something 🙂

Scott.


Slippery fences, more rain & 41mph on a dual carriageway

3 July 07
The wait is over! My weekly update is here 😉

Hope everyone’s well. I’m in quite a good mood today as I’ve not got huge amounts to do after working hard last week and my coughing, spluttering, burping work acquaintance is off for 2 weeks! Do you know what makes that even better? I’m off the week he comes back!! (If he ever does).

Right, that’s the celebrations out of the way.

Me & Emma spent Saturday night in Leeds stopping over at Stephen’s house (Emma’s brother). We had a laugh and a drink or two.. or ten in Stephen’s case, then as the rain started getting heavy we decided to move indoors. Somehow, Stephen managed to fall onto his right eyeball. I didn’t see this happened but it apparently involved a slippery fence, a drunk person and a concrete floor.

Not Stephen
Anyway, he opened up his eyelid in the most spectacular fashion making it looked like he’d taken a plum right hook from someone who knew what they were doing. He had to go to hospital in the end and had it ‘glued’ with something or other. They did a good job. He told me that when the doc asked how many he’d had, he’d said “10”, which got a stern look. So, to make things better, the next time he was asked, he said “8” instead. Now, on the face of it that’s a better answer. However, here are some points to consider:

1. Lying to a doctor isn’t necessarily the best thing to do
2. Saying you had 10, then saying you had 8, makes you look like you had 20.
3. 8 probably still isn’t the answer that a doctor would be pleased about

So, Stephen Derwent, I salute you drunkeness and all that comes with it! Good man! Hope you’re feeling better.

Oh, one final thing; they gave him a leaflet (photocopied, I noticed. Maybe there’s a lot of head injuries in Leeds). The leaflet stated, in the final point of a 2 sided sheet, that you should refrain from reading anything. Good eh?!

Well, I knew I was going to right about that but never realised how much there was to say. If anyone asks you Steve, just point them to this!

Isn’t the weather awful? It’s hammering it down out there again and my work building can’t cope with it. In fact my flat has a bit of a damp mark on the ceiling now and I’ve got stuff in the loft. I hope it’s ok. I’m dreading checking and I’d rather things dried out first. It makes people drive like dickheads too.

Talking of which, I got pulled over the other day and stopped for speeding. I was doing 41 in a 30. I thought it was a 40 myself as did 3 or 4 other people I’ve spoken to since. The road is 1 lane until it turns from 40 to 30, then it goes into a dual carriageway. Have you ever heard of anything so daft?! Oh well, never mind I suppose. It does mean however that I’ve got to go on some speed awareness course and pay for the privilege. Better than 3 points, £60 fine and higher insurance I suppose.

Darts Update:
Singles knockout this week, I lost 1st round 2-0 despite hitting two 100’s in one leg. Not that arsed though really. That’s probably why I lost!

Right, I should find some work to do. I hope everyone’s well and in a sunnier place than Bradford!!

Scott.