Lights out at Murrayfield

You don’t see the Haka, you experience it…

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Like many people, I have a bucket list of sorts; stuff I want to see or do before I finally kick the bucket and shuffle off this mortal coil. A lot of things are probably a bit too big for me to really do – I want to go see a live WrestleMania, a want to see a Superbowl, I want to see a Houston Astros game… and one of them? I ticked it off this weekend.
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Big Reffin’ Deal

So, you may well have noticed there’s a kerfuffle in Scotland right now, regarding referees and a strike. You may not know how it came about, or what happened to make it such a big deal. Granted, you may not care, but tough – I’m going to tell you all about it.

So, you may well have noticed there’s a kerfuffle in Scotland right now, regarding referees and a strike. You may not know how it came about, or what happened to make it such a big deal. Granted, you may not care, but tough – I’m going to tell you all about it.
Continue reading “Big Reffin’ Deal”

And the cup runneth over… then stuck the boot in

So that was the World Cup that was… and to be honest, with a few exceptions, it was distinctly average.

So that was the World Cup that was… and to be honest, with a few exceptions, it was distinctly average.

The big names that were supposed to set the world on fire were nothing more than an accessory, there to show face, not form. The majority of those “big name” players that were featured in the Nike ‘Write The Future’ ads ended up writing a Shakespearean tragedy rather than a triumphant tale of glory. This was a tournament that was living in fear. Almost every nation had the desire to not lose, rather than to win etched into their pre-match tactics.
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Baseball Bits n’ Bobs #1

Being that I now have access to baseball on ESPN, I figured I’d like to start doing the odd little recap on it here and there. Nothing major, just what pops into my head on a random basis. This time…

Well, hello.

Being that I now have access to baseball on ESPN, I figured I’d like to start doing the odd little recap on it here and there. Nothing major, just what pops into my head on a random basis. This time…

Continue reading “Baseball Bits n’ Bobs #1”

The Fantasy Effect

The title of this is nothing to do with any of my dreams, before anybody gets remotely excited. No, I’m talking about sports.

The title of this is nothing to do with any of my dreams, before anybody gets remotely excited. No, I’m talking about sports. Baseball, NFL, Premiership – anything that has the fantasy sports effect.

What is this effect? It’s the wrenching, tearing feeling you have in your gut as a sports fan of a specific team, when you’re forced to either pick a player from a hated team, or root for a player against your own team. Why would you do this? Because all’s fair in love and fantasy sports! For an example, my fantasy baseball team. I run a team – The Bongonian Conspiracy – in a Yahoo league. It’s safe to say, I like baseball. A lot. My team? Well… for my sins, I’m a Houston Astros fan.

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So Farewell Then, Big Tony Mowbray

Mogga hits the road as Rangers fans go into mourning…

The axe finally fell on the tortuous reign of Big Tony Mowbray at Celtic Park today. Unanimously hailed as “a nice guy” by pretty much everyone – including me – that niceness wasn’t enough to paper over the glaring cracks. From his tactical ineptitude, mind boggling substitutions, and bizarre transfer dealings, to his tendency to treat the captain’s armband like a hot potato.

At one point last night, I think there were something like 5 forwards on the park, with Aiden McGeady playing at left back… I mean, seriously… c’mon!

The squad that he inherited did need some work done to it, even Gordon Strachan would admit to that. What it didn’t need was constant rejigging from week to week, overloading on wingers, and just awful, awful tactical decisions.

The man got West Brom relegated by playing pretty football… what on Earth made him think the same tactic would work at Celtic? Yes, at times, it was great to watch – but 90% of the time, there was no end product. We’re like a cheaper version of Arsenal right now.

As for his signings, the jury is well and truly out on some of them. Fortuné looks like a world beater with the ball at his feet but has spells where the proverbial cow’s arse and banjo would never meet; Danny Fox came and went, felt like a loan signing more than someone Mogga thought would improve the back four, and as much as I’m loving having Robbie Keane in the hoops, it’s always gonna be short term, and a centre half would have been much preferred.

But the main thing is, Mogga himself never looked happy. He always had the look of a man that had dropped a tenner and found a pound. He looked like a rabbit caught in the headlights and had absolutely no idea how to cope with “THE MEDIA” as a whole. His constant “we’ll take it on the chin and move on” lectures after each loss or dropped point or European whuppin’ started to grate a little.

Well, I hope Mogga goes on to make himself happy, and I’d love him to go back down to England and make a go of his career.. But as a Celtic manager, he made me reminisce about the good ol’ days of John Barnes. We had little excitement on the pitch, and crucially, even less passion, something Neil Lennon will instill for the rest of the season, if nothing else.

Farewell, Big Tony Mowbray.

Death knell rings for Portsmouth

The big breaking news story in football today is not, as I would prefer, Clarke Carlisle going for a three-peat on Countdown, but the long running saga of Portsmouth FC finally giving up the ghost and going into administration.

PFC Crisis
The inevitable badge-split-in-two picture

The big breaking news story in football today is not, as I would prefer, Clarke Carlisle going for a three-peat on Countdown, but the long running saga of Portsmouth FC finally giving up the ghost and going into administration.

Seems to me this isn’t so much breaking news, as “Is that it? Finally?” – this is a tale that’s dragged on as much as Who Killed Archie Mitchell… and has just about as many suspects. Portsmouth were living the dream at one point, a rich owner, FA Cup winners, Good Old ‘Arry Redknapp in charge, wheeling and dealing – and that was just his tax returns wa-hey!

Then this season… it’s all gone down the pan. They’ve had four owners, 2 managers, and countless off field amateur dramatics and distractions. It’s been all go at Fratton Park, and not in a good way.

So, given that they are almost certain to be relegated, with or without the nine point deduction they rightfully deserve, how are they to raise the cash to cover the estimated £60-£70million that they are in debt? That, dear reader, is where I come in. I have ideas, see. Portsmouth becomes a hotbed for fund raising, by simply offering the following:

  • DAVID JAMES can offer hairstyling advice, and draw the results for you! Failing that he can collect sponsorship to shave his hair off.
  • AVRAM GRANT can offer massages. Make your own conclusions about his experience in those matters, please.
  • PETER STORRIE can hold career advice seminars, how to keep a job despite seemingly doing nothing of merit for years.
  • HERMANN HREIDARSSON should try and get a sponsorship deal for the bandages he inevitably ends up wearing at some point in the season.
  • KANU can market a range of comfortable heated cushions, for those long winter nights when you have to sit around doing nothing.
  • TOMMY SMITH can hold motivational speeches on how to achieve the a high level in your career despite not actually being up to it; positive thinking over aptitude.
  • RICHARD HUGHES and other assorted Portsmouth midfielders can challenge local children to games of Hide and Seek at £1 per go.
  • JAMIE O’HARA can sell customised calendars with the day marked down that he can return to the financial security of Tottenham.
  • DAVID NUGENT can simply donate some money and hope that gets his some good karma, and pray on his hands and knees that Burnley want to keep him.
  • Oh and in case you were wondering, as I type this, Clarke Carlisle just lost out by 3 points on the final Conundrum. He walks away with his teapot and his dignity. Maybe he can put the teapot on eBay and donate the proceeds to Portsmouth?