Category Archives: football

The Run For Home

OK, some sports fanatics might like to look away at this point, just saying…right, have those crazy folk gone? 😉 Dont get me wrong, there are some sports I enjoy, baseball, and cricket being 2 of the obvious ones, but equally there are a few I cant stand, which include the soccer version of football (for US reader purposes) and boxing. So if you love those last 2 sports, and are still reading, get ready for ‘grumpy old woman’ moment lol!

I see myself as a sports follower, rather than a fan, in that yes, I have a few teams I follow, but none of whom do I get overly passionate about. No, not even the Dodgers lol!

Its fair to say I’ve been bored senseless by all the hype, and drivel that has been about over the Mayweather, and McGregor fight last night. Thank goodness its finally over, though I’ve no doubt its still going to get mentioned way too much over the next few days. Hopefully now, mighty mouth, aka McGregor will now keep quiet about it all, but I suspect that might be wishful thinking.

I’m sure most of the US sports actually have the infantile behaviour, relating to rookies joining the team, but I have to say that the NFL seems to take the biscuit. Fine, I know that by my standards, even the rookies in the NFL are on salaries beyond my wildest dreams, but why the senior players seem to find it amusing to get the rookies to pay absolutely preposterous amounts for a dinner, I have absolutely no idea? Seriously, does anyone with an IQ over 50 find this sort of behaviour amusing, because I dont! The latest team to involve themselves in this stupidity are the Green Bay Packers, where 12 players ‘took out’ some rookies to dinner, ordered the most ridiculous items, and presented them with a bill for over $34,000! Some of them will probably be cut before the season even starts, so how they are meant to afford this? Sadly, this isnt the first time, or even the second time I’ve read of this immature stuff this summer from NFL teams, so I really despair. Along with the whole Kaepernick based anthem stuff, I’m wondering if I really want to bother with the sport any more. Yes, CFL seems a lot more fun!

Ah, and finally the sport that inspired this rant, football. Though to be fair to the animals that support this sport, they were unlucky I saw this last night, because if First Buses ran a half decent service, I would have been out of Huddersfield before this happened. I got back into town last night, just before 5.00, and if the bus home had turned up, I would have missed the arrival back in town of the so called fans. Unfortunately it didnt, the next bus 10 minutes later (supposedly) actually left nearly 10 minutes late, so I saw the whole affair.

Not that I would have missed everything, because even as I was walking to the bus stop, I saw 2 fans having a punch up. Ironically, both were Huddersfield fans! Soon after I managed to see 4 people go by the bus stop, knocking 6 bells out of each other, but that was the more traditional 2 from each team stuff! Lastly I saw a group of about 20 men run by, shouting “Lets get the Bas****s” towards a group of visiting fans, but unluckily for them, a group of police were with said fans, so they were quickly cordoned off, and hopefully arrested!

Baseball at least seems to save all its punch ups to on the pitch, between players, most of which I see as pretty childish. Yes, I’m sure the Dodgers get involved in those, but never seen one yet!

But yes, all this only makes me grateful I dont get fanatical about sport, if thats what it does to you.

Fine, rant over!

Video time. A song from the 70’s, which I’m sure most will never have heard. But yes, I’m old, remember it, and it seems rather apt, given what I was trying to do last night

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Huddersfield Town, arent you the Cats Whiskers?

Oh, for those completely baffled by that title, try some flapper girl language lol! Oh fine, it means you’re the best, super, brilliant, and other terms like that.

I know, I know, I dont like football/soccer in the slightest, but I can hardly ignore events earlier today, concerning my current home town, could I? Today, in some ‘far away’ town called London, our local team played a game that puts them in the Premier League next year, and supposedly is worth over £100 million to them, presumably in TV rights, and other sponsorship money, and all that. Yes, as you can see, my knowledge of the sport, pretty much zero, and I hope it stays that way!

Thanks to Wikipedia, I now know that the last time Huddersfield were in the top league, was back in 1972. Not that they were any good then, obviously, but at least Huddersfield’s MP was the leader of the Labour Party, Harold Wilson, whose statue is outside Huddersfield Station. Thankfully, as yet, the current social media star of the town (yes, that cat), doesnt have one! 1972, when, if things had worked out differently for me, an innocent schoolgirl might have been learning all about kissing boys (or back then, heaven forbid, girls). Ah well… PS If anyone knows how to send me back in time, and let me live my whole life as a physical woman, I might not say no. 😉 Option to start at teen years, lol!

So why the flapper talk, I hear you ask? Well, because back in the 1920’s, when footballers werent all grossly overpaid prima donna’s, Huddersfield were one of the leading teams in the land. Yes, they won the FA Cup in 1922, and the first division (as it was known back then) 3 seasons running, shortly after that. Up to WW2, they still had a decent side, getting decent league positions, and doing well in the FA Cup, but after that…not a lot!

OK, lets get practical. Short of something amazing happening (and Bournemouth have proved it can be done), its likely to be a short stay in the top league. One season, maybe two, who knows, who cares? In truth, it will be swings and roundabouts for me, with Saturday working. Those times when they kick off at 3.00 on a Saturday, its probably going to be worse getting home from town, as I try to get out of town about the same time as the crowds empty out. But because of the demands of the TV stations, live games kick off at all sorts of weird, and wonderful hours, so there will be less of those Saturday afternoon games.

So yes, good luck, Huddersfield Town for next season. Just dont expect to see me going to any games, or any other involvement, mind lol!

Yes, you’re expecting a 20’s moment with the video, I trust? If not, you’re getting one anyway! 😛

You’ve got to beat the crowds

The only problem I have with working Saturday’s in Bradford, during the football season, is getting out of town before the football (soccer, for US readers) crowds pile out of the stadium in Huddersfield. As in, if I make it, the bus from town takes 10-15 minutes to get up here from town. If I got caught up in the crowds, it would be more like 40-45 minutes! Yes, that bad, especially with road works between here, and town at present. And thats on a normal week, with a league game going on, which is once a fortnight, or so. Bad enough if you like football, but if like me, you cant stand the sport, even more annoying.

Oh, and yesterday wasnt a normal week, it was an FA Cup match crowd, playing against one of the top premier league teams, so the crowd would be huge, and if I got caught up in that, an hour to get home from town might be good! Now normally, the 4.10 bus is fine, gets me into town for 4.50, so I can get the bus up before they come out in too large a number. We sometimes meet a few sneaking out over the hill (back route) when almost home, but thats it.

So of course, yesterday, things didnt go to plan. It was time for the bus to leave, and he starts reversing out of the bay, fine. Until someone rushes through the door, he drives back into the bay to pick them up, and they take 5 minutes deciding where they want to go, and where the money for their fare is! Anyway, in theory I should have about 4 minutes (to allow for time to get to other bus stop) between buses, so all should be OK. Well, it was until someone in a wheelchair got off the bus in Brighouse, and couldnt direct his motorised chariot off the bus. In the end the bus driver assisted him, and we got back under way, but by now, it was cutting it close! Good news, got there, just in time, got the bus, and nearly got home fine. Yes, nearly, I ended up getting off one stop earlier than planned, as the queue down the road was so bad, it would have taken forever to cover the next 100 yards or so.

Oh, the result, Huddersfield got a draw, but thankfully the replay will be in Manchester sometime (I really dont care!), so the crowds wont be a challenge for me. But yes, roll on the end of the football season, please. Or move the football ground, or…anything?

The video, some vintage Sparks. They’re doing a world tour later this year. Oh they play LA in May when I’m there! That would be one crowd I’d happily get caught up in!

Nothing more than a dream

Yes, I’m a bit of a sucker for contests, principally free ones, that might at least give me a bit of joy, if I ever won one. I know, stop laughing, with my record, I’m about as likely to win one, as swimming the Atlantic, but anyway, I give it a go.

So, I admit it, each time there is one, I give the Pick 6 on Channel 4 a go, even though my horse tipping skills were never great, and even less so nowadays. But someone might be going to win £10,000, and if I enter it, well, yes, fine, I enter it, and make a losing entry, for sure! Something went wrong last Saturday, I actually picked the first 2 winners, but it went rapidly downhill from there!

The one sport I do decently on contests on, is Golf. I assume its because there is a major stats element to selections for that sport, aided by the fact there is a major ‘horses for courses’ feel to the game. Hey, there is one running on CBS at present, where I am 52nd overall, out of over 15,000 entries! I know, cant last, but the prizes are only open to US residents, so its just practically for fun. But yes, loving doing it.

About the only other sport I do much fantasy stuff on, is the NFL. Again, I know a bit, and as they only play once a week (a major reason I do not look at baseball games), I can find the time to do my entries. Skill level? Modest, I do decently, but never threaten to win anything, for sure.

So yeah, now I’m going to do a contest on a sport I know little about, and care for even less, football, or soccer, as they call it, depending which side of the pond you’re reading this. In truth, the last few weeks of the season, I was doing some silly game, attempting to pick 6 correct scores on English football, for £250,000, if you got them all right, but lets just say I never got close!

Next month, something that would have driven me nuts, if I was still in a betting industry call center, will happen. Euro 2016, or something like that? Yes, that big a football fan, arent I? Well, one company that I may not ever work for, but have great social media contact with, is The Hager Group. The reason I probably wont work for them? They’re in Europe, and my foreign language skills nowadays wouldnt pass muster. Shame, because they seem a nice set of people to talk to, but anyway…Fine, they’re running a prediction competition for Euro 2016, and I’m going to give it a go. If you want to, the link is http://www.hagergroup.com/en/media/online-prediction-game/1024-783.htm and I’m sure they’ll appreciate your entries. Some nice prizes, by the look of it, for those who like gaming, and things, by the look of it. Yes, again, I’m not a major gamer in the slightest, so I may not be the expert to say things like that, and I certainly dont need a football, at my age. All irrelevant, the chances of me finishing anywhere close, has to be zero, or less!

OK, if anyone wants to give me any helpful tips for selections, feel free, I havent a clue! But fine, it should be good for a giggle, if nothing else. And hey, someone has to come bottom, it might as well be me!

Right, the video. What I might have for about 5 minutes of the first game, just maybe?

Changing of the seasons

So, lets get away from me, for one blog at least, and look at the change of the sporting seasons, both sides of the Atlantic.

Starting over here, the cricket season is nearly over, and though I dont like to brag too much, it looks like Yorkshire are going to win the County Championship again this season. They might also win the 50 over tournament, but as the semi finals for that only take place over the next couple of days, lets not tempt fate yet. Also, similarly (though less immediately) the Rugby League season is nearly done, which still amuses me, as I’m old enough to remember it being a winter sport! Personally, I think it works better as a summer event, but I’m sure there are some who prefer tradition.

That means the football (soccer, for my US readers) season is already under way, and all those overpaid, overhyped footballers who think they are so wonderful. International games this weekend, and it was a comment made by an ex workmate (we’ve both left Hills, him before me) about the team England are playing tonight, that probably led me to writing this. Yes, San Marino, that mighty footballing nation. But on a night, 22 years ago, after a mere 8 seconds, they scored against England. Fine, England won in the end, 7-1, but it was funny at the time, at least.

Rugby Union is also getting under way, and this year, very soon, is a World Cup event, being held over here, in England. It starts just before I get back from New England, and ends just after I get back from Hollywood, so I wont see a lot. I’m not a big follower of the sport domestically, but show a bit more interest in the international game, but not sure if I will see much, if any of it this time around. Being honest, I havent even checked which TV company has the rights! Fine, its ITV over here. Some coverage in the US of their games, and the last few matches, but thats it. Funny to say, given I will be 8 hours behind, they might be on at unsuitable times for me lol.

On the other side of ‘The Pond’, its also a changing of the guards. Technically, the baseball season is drawing to a close. Well, the first weekend in October is the end of the regular season, but some issues are beginning to get settled already. Mind, the play offs will stretch to the beginning of November! For me, Kansas City, and the LA Dodgers have performed well, Seattle (to the so called experts at least), and Boston have under performed. Personally, I think Seattle were over rated, so not as surprised as the experts are, by their demise.
At present, I plan to get to a Dodgers game, that last season of the weekend, with luck.

The sport starting up, is what the American’s call football, both in the NFL, and the college game. College season has already started, though the serious conference matches generally dont start for a few more weeks. The NFL starts next Thursday. The one thing that has pleasantly surprised me, is how fresh I found the CFL, the Canadian version, seemingly more action than the NFL provides, maybe the different rules work? And very soon, about a month or so, basketball, and ice hockey will start up over there too.

But in all honesty, apart from the American football, its the summer sports I prefer, so…

Right, video time. One thing about US Sports, especially Football, is the cheerleaders. This song is probably the most apt for them. Mind, this isnt the cheerleader loaded version, but what I assume is the original demo one, though the other isnt hard to find. Oh, its the extended version too.

Those David and Goliath Moments

As I’ve said in the past, I’m not a football (soccer) fan in the slightest. But every so often, something comes along that amuses me, and this weekend has provided plenty of those moments.

Yes, that wonderful English tournament, when David gets to come up against Goliath, and try and give them a surprise. Well, this weekend, its been a bit more than surprises.

It actually started off last night (TV, and sport timings, ah well…) with the minnows of Cambridge, taking on the might of Man United. If you havent heard (and I have no idea how you havent), the game ended as a draw, and in all honesty, from reports, Cambridge deserved to win.
To say the Man United manager blamed everyone, but himself, and his team, would be putting it mildly. Bad loser syndrome, and all that.

A fellow workmate (passionate Cambridge supporter) enjoyed that no end, and I gather he plans to go to the replay.

On to today.

Liverpool only drew, at home with Bolton, and get to live again, the week after next.

But, for 4 of the top teams in the Premier League…oh dear!

To be fair to Tottenham, and Southampton, they were playing other Premier League teams, but they were at home, the opponents were well below them in the league, so all in all…

Then we come to the 2 that amuse me the most, the top 2 teams in the league, at home to lower league opposition.

Firstly, Man City hosted Middlesboro (a league below them), and lost 2-0. At least their manager was gracious enough to admit that once their opponents scored, they deserved the win.

But lastly, but very much not least, for a Yorkshire lass, Chelsea hosted Bradford City (2 leagues below them). To cut a long story short, Chelsea led 2-0, and seemed to be cruising…to defeat! Yes, Bradford came back, away from home, to win 4-2! Truly amazing stuff, and as someone born in the Bradford council boundaries, I’m thrilled.

The Chelsea manager, Jose Mourinho may have justifiably called his teams performance a disgrace. I have no idea, havent seen any of it. But what seemingly he did do, was go into the celebrating Bradford dressing room, and congratulate each player personally, a lovely touch.

And for those with long memories, of the Bradford City fire back in the 80’s, you would understand that the club has a special relationship with the local burns unit at the hospital. Chelsea FC gave them £25K towards that cause!

But no, despite these 2 wonderful gestures, I’m still thrilled that Bradford beat them.

An Abba tribute to all those big names, no longer in the FA Cup

I probably wont travel to Rio

And to be honest, I suspect the England football team wish they hadnt bothered too! But enough about football…

Thankfully I missed the first game, going to something far more delightful, the Postmodern Jukebox concert. And I wont have to put up with the last game either, as its on Tuesday, and I’m not working again until Wednesday, so…

But, Thursday night, for the second game against Uruguay, there was no getting away from it, I was at work. To be honest, I assumed I was probably the only person in the whole office, who didnt have it on TV, but seemingly I was just about wrong, as I discovered yesterday. A lovely guy named James told me that he didnt have it on either, so…

Alright, alright, I’ll get to the funny bit. I wasnt watching it, racing was over, so given I was on Escalated Desk, I set to doing some figure work, and not taking any notice of what was going in around the rest of the office. I’ve never yet heard the roar of a tornado, though I’ve heard a few jet engines revving up for take off. But the crescendo that roared down the office, when England scored was quite something. Me, I just had one of those ‘what the hell?’ moments, and looked up, in time to see what was probably the umpteenth replay of the goal. Of course, it goes without saying that the groan, when Uruguay scored again, the winning goal, was quite something too.

The next night, Costa Rica beat Italy, and that was it, England were out!

And equally, no, I have no plans to travel to Rio for 2016 Olympics either!

The video, one of those truly amazing ones from the 1970’s. Just remember, computer graphics were a lot more basic back then.

Oh, and an added delight.

Most people would assume that given the era they were made, there would be no colour film of Jean Harlow in a movie…wrong! There is this, from the horribly expensive Hells Angel movie, that Howard Hughes lavished a fortune on! By today’s standards, the colours are exceedingly basic, but this was 1930, so…

To be honest, its one of those matters that might be better in black and white, but seeing someone else found it…

Back home, I’ll be trying to avoid it

Totally the opposite to millions of football fans of course, who are already getting hopelessly over excited about the World Cup, which starts in Brazil on Thursday. Yes, I hate the sport, but lets face it, I can hardly ignore it, especially given the way its going to get pushed at work. Thankfully, most of the games will be late evening, or overnight, so avoiding them might be slightly easier than sometimes it is.

From all I gather, from the prices, and the comments, England arent expected to do well, judging by the prices on offer, it seems about 50/50 if they even make it out of the group. Unfortunately, in terms of annoying, and stupid phone calls, I doubt that will help much at work, but I can live in hope. And believe me, some of the price requests we’ve had already have been very stupid!

Who will win it? I could say, don’t know, don’t care, and it wouldnt be far from the truth. Stats, as I gather round the office would suggest that it will be a South American team, generally when its there, or in Europe, a team from the home continent generally wins. Probably explains why Brazil and Argentina top the betting!

To me, they are all a bunch of over-hyped, overpaid sportsman, generally intellectually challenged, and lets leave it at that. Fortunately for me, I’ll miss all the build up to the first England game on Saturday, as I’m not working, off to see Postmodern Jukebox in the evening. Match starts at 11.00, about the same time as I should be travelling back, so I should easily miss all the fuss, unless the train conductor insists on telling us all the score, I hope not! I doubt I will miss the build up to the other 2 games as easily, sadly.

The first full week of the tournament coincides with Royal Ascot, so that should cause staffing chaos at work, as we will need cover at both ends of the day, oh joy! And no, we dont have to dress up as they do for Ascot, that would be something…not! More thankfully, we dont have to dress as England football fans!

Oh fine, I’ll admit it, I have got a slight interest in the World Cup, even if I dont know (at present) what our selections are. We have got a pool running at work, and I have joined up with 2 of my workmates, to do a pair of entries. Beyond choosing the name of one of the teams (Double Whoopee, an early Harlow film) and picking Argentina to win it outright (to split a disagreement between the other 2), I’m leaving the picking entirely to the experts. Hopefully we can win something, but £7 wont break me either way, if we dont.

Right, unless a footballer comes out as gay, or trans, dont expect me to mention the whole thing again! 😛

The video, oh fine. Nearly half a century ago, England did the remarkable, and won the tournament. So 4 years later, someone had the bright idea of the squad, making a song before they left for the tournament in Mexico, and this was it!

The end of the Winter Olympics, and Gibraltar issues

Well, pre Sochi, all the fuss was about Russia’s new ‘anti gay’ laws, and how they would effect the Olympic events. In all honesty, its been a bit of a damp squib really, despite certain countries (deliberately) sending diplomatic groups determined to say that, we are sending out all our LGBT celebrities, just to annoy you, Russia.

To be honest, what I’ve seen of the laws, the main thing Russia seemed to be concerned about, was grooming of youngsters, which I personally think is wrong, that everyone should be allowed to make their own choice, and not to make ‘anything’ homosexual illegal!

The irony I find in all this, was the British stance on the matter, because if they looked a little closer to home, they might decide to stay quiet about things. Gibraltar, so very British that you would assume their LGBT rules would match the UK. Wrong!

In fact, it took until 2011 before equality of the age of consent for gay males happened there. Work discrimination rules have been brought in, but for anything else, its under consideration, and will probably stay that way, as long as they can! As for transgender rights, oh please, dont go down that road. Putting it simply, it doesnt matter what you do, you cant change gender out there! So full sex change op, totally a true woman, but in the eyes of Gibraltar, sorry, you’re still a man!

How do I know all this? Well, a few years back, at work, the opportunity arose to move out to Gibraltar to work, when they decided to reshuffle (for want of a better word) the whole telebetting side of the firm. I wasnt really interested, but took a cursory glance, because if things were highly favourable, it might have been tempting to make a clean break, and start again. But, given it was just the opposite, I didnt take it any further. Of course the British government conveniently overlook this, and focus on Russia!

Of course, some folk have taken a look at the whole LGBT thing in Russia, and came up with a wonderful Canadian video, included in this next piece

As noted, some lugers werent impressed lol!

Oh, and one last amusing piece on Gibraltar. Today was the draw for the qualifying groups for Euro 2016 (Football), and for the first time, in the draw, Gibraltar. Firstly, the top seeds were drawn into groups, and Spain were drawn into Group C. Next to be drawn were the minnows, also known as the 6th seeded group, including Gibraltar. Guess which group they came out for, that they should have gone into? Yes, Group C! After a few, err, diplomatic words, they went into Group D instead. For anyone who doesnt understand why, try looking up Spain, and Gibraltar together on Google lol!

Added footnote, which I’ve just found. The first openly gay athlete to play in the ‘Big 4’ US sports.

http://www.cbssports.com/nba/eye-on-basketball/24454370/report-jason-collins-expected-to-be-in-uniform-for-the-nets-tonight

he has played in the NBA for years, as the report says, but this is his first match since coming out. Good luck, Jason

Its a shame, does it always have to be the way?

Yes, if you use a few cryptic clues there, you can work out the video, if not, just read on.

Yesterday, I finished work at 6.00, the last shift before the holiday, which actually started today, but more on that during the week. So therefore I was lined up to get the 6.40 train back to Huddersfield, on a train starting from Newcastle, and heading to Manchester.

Now, the football fans, or indeed, people like me who have to know about football will know that there was a match yesterday afternoon, between Newcastle, and Manchester City. if you dont know, and care about the result, look it up, I know Man City won, but beyond that…That isnt what this blog is about, unsurprisingly.

Yes, when the train rolled up, more or less on time, which is something for Trans Pennine Express, it was pretty full, and yes, full of football fans at that. No, I had no problems with anyone on board, but…we were also greeted by 6 Transport Police on board, and not hard to work out why, lets face it. Now, dont get me wrong, things have improved dramatically from how they were with football hooligans 30-40 years ago, but even so…

I didnt see any actual problems in my carriage, though the underlying atmosphere amongst the football crowd wasnt pleasant. My main amusement was 1 guy, with one of those e-cigarette things, who clearly wasnt certain whether he could ‘smoke’ it on the train or not (I neither know, nor care), and trying to do so surreptitiously. Judging by the police reaction, he was either fine, or they were more concerned with other issues!

Sad to say, their radios crackled into life, just before we pulled into Huddersfield, and when the doors opened, all moved forward to the front carriage, I heard someone saying that there were threats of trouble in the tunnel, so they were taking no chances, clearly. To me, its just a shame that grown men still have to act like animals on board a train, just because they like football, and seemingly like alcohol too!

No, I’m not suggesting that away fans shouldnt travel, though in these days of blanket TV coverage (Yes, it was on Sky), do they really need to? What might be more practical though, is a total ban on alcohol on such trains, and not just in terms of actual drink. In other words, if someone is showing signs of being drunk, and aggressive, stop them travelling! They wouldnt do it again, thats for sure! But no, in the real world, in a land when football is seemingly king, its not going to happen, is it?

The video, as I say, there’s been a few clues