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April 10th, 2005

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08:26 pm - Footy
The colour has returned to my journal's cheeks and I've adopted a non-trivial default icon once more. Hey, life goes on. :-)

Very interested to see passing mention of a movie called Fever Pitch today. Nick Hornby wrote a novel about his love, his love of Arsenal Football Club and how the two interacted, so the adaptation to baseball and the Boston Red Sox is a non-obvious one. (Credit for a title that works well for both football and baseball but in different ways, too.) In short, it seems to be a boy-meets-girl boy-meets-baseball boy-leaves-girl-for-baseball etc. film - a romantic comedy with lots of sport in. Meeeeeeeeeg! [1] Can we go and see it pleasepleaseplease?

English football fans, or fans of English football from any nationality, which twenty teams would you like to see in the Premiership? Pick based on tribal loyalties, geographical spread, clubs' past successes, clubs' fanbases, clubs' names or any other sort of basis that takes your fancy. When I asked him this question, my Dad, who's a much bigger Sunderland AFC fan than I am, picked this twenty.

4 from London: Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur plus one from south of the river, probably Charlton.
4 from the West Midlands: Aston Villa, Birmingham City, West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
4 from Greater Warrington: Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Everton.
4 from the North East: Sunderland, Newcastle, Middlesbrough, Leeds.
Other 4: Nottingham Forest, Sheffield Wednesday, Portsmouth and Accrington Stanley. Very nearly Bristol Rovers instead of Portsmouth and very nearly Bolton instead of Accrington Stanley.

[1] "Meeeeeeeeeg!" looks wrong to me, it looks like it should rhyme with "league". Μηηηηηηγ, that's what I mean.
Current Mood: geekygoooooaaaaaallll-a-goaoaoaoaoa

(17 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:April 10th, 2005 12:57 pm (UTC)
I can't see the point of remaking it though, particularly without Colin 'eye-candy' Firth. ;-)

I'll pass on the Premiership question because I don't like football. I like songs and films and books about it, and playing it, but not watching it.
[User Picture]
Date:April 11th, 2005 04:21 pm (UTC)
Ahhh! I vaguely thought there had been a film of it before...

Perhaps we should have a Fever Pitch double-header by way of comparison and contrast, though I suspect it may be tricky to obtain UK FP in the US.
Date:April 10th, 2005 01:09 pm (UTC)

Football League, Division I

contains 22 clubs, and don't you go forgetting it! My take is based on past glories, future prospects, current success, and not playing rubbish and unproductive football. In alphabetical order:

Aston Villa
Burnley (II)
Crystal Palace
Huddersfield Town (III)
Leicester City (II)
Manchester City
Manchester United
Newcastle United
Oldham Athletic (III)
Preston North End (II)
Reading (III)
Sheffield United (II)
Sunderland (II, but not for much longer)
Tottenham Hotspur
Wimbledon (VIII)
Wolverhampton Wanderers (II)

Heading for promotion: Blackpool (III), Redditch (VI), Wycombe Wanderers (IV)
[User Picture]
Date:April 11th, 2005 03:30 am (UTC)

Re: Football League, Division I

How anyone can leave out the mighty West Ham United, home par excellence of past glories, fine football, and prospects for the future, I don't understand at all...

And since when has Leeds been in the north-east? It was in West Yorkshire last time I looked. York City I might give you at a pinch.
[User Picture]
Date:April 11th, 2005 04:17 pm (UTC)

Re: Football League, Division I

Leeds: I suppose so. Leeds is almost certainly closer to Manchester than it is to Middlesbrough and definitely so by the train travel duration metric.

West Ham? No top division titles isn't a good start, but three FA Cups is more than most and not many teams have a Cup Winners' Cup, so I guess that puts them in the top 25 or so of glory by most reasonable metrics. Mentally I have them filed away as Yet Another Interchangeable Quite Good But Not Very Good London team - especially another one from north of the river - of the sort that I always internally groan when they get back to the top flight. Why does London have so many of these teams, apart from being a world capital with many millions of people who have strong local identities more specific than just being Londoners? Can't you merge with Tottenham Hotspur, or something?
[User Picture]
Date:April 11th, 2005 11:51 pm (UTC)

Re: Football League, Division I

We did win the World Cup as well, you know! -- in the sense of providing the captain and both goalscorers in the final...

I do take your point about London teams. West Ham are a bit unusual in that their natural constituency covers the big urban sprawl that extends most of the way into Essex, a lage population for which there is no other club -- but there's clearly a case for merging Fulham into Chelsea, Spurs into Arsenal, Palace into Charlton, Brentford into QPR etc.
[User Picture]
Date:April 11th, 2005 04:19 pm (UTC)

Re: Football League, Division I

I really think Nottingham Forest have got a strong claim to be in there and suspect Leicester City look like the easiest to omit to me. Past glories aren't everything, but two consecutive European Cups against one League Cup make the East Midlands derby (county) an easy one to call in my view.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
Date:April 11th, 2005 04:28 pm (UTC)
I think there are far worse accents to adopt.

Why hasn't Kriss Akabusi been dragged out of motivational speaking for reality TV, I wonder? Compare with I'm Famous and Frightened, a celebrity reality show so obscure I didn't know it existed until I saw it mentioned on Wikipedia, who hired UKIP's Rustie Lee, one of the other famous laughers. If we could get Lee, Akabusi and Stuart Hall together in the same place at the same time then I think we could cause an anti-tsunami of laughter to repair the damage in South-East Asia.
Date:April 10th, 2005 01:40 pm (UTC)
I'm rather shocked at how little the question interests me, actually. I'd rather answer "How many current Premiership clubs would you like to see spending a season in League Division 4 (as it should properly be named)"

All of them.

Mr. Wenger, your dream comes true - your referees are no longer the "biassed" ones at the top of the game, merely the incompetent ones that you didn't realise are there. Mr. Mourinho, nobody cares about your media silence because nobody wants to interview you. Messrs Bowyer and Dyer, you don't get the back pages for a week, but I think we can spare you a paragraph on Ceefax p312, subpage 8. Sorry Sir Alex, no budget for transfers - nor actually paying the players - nor you, come to think of it.

They wouldn't last five minutes, and it would be supremely entertaining watching them try. :-)
[User Picture]
Date:April 10th, 2005 08:53 pm (UTC)



Which is how you pronounce "FLCL" in Japanese. ("Footy cootie")

In English it's actually "Fooly Cooly" :)
[User Picture]
Date:April 10th, 2005 08:55 pm (UTC)
Hello, of *course* we can, it's got Jimmy Fallon in it. Who is no Colin Firth, but it's also got Johnny Damon and several other Sox in it, so all told, it's holding up its end of the bargain. ;)

It's been all over the news here recently, and the world premiere was at the Fenway AMC over by Bed, Bath & Beyond last Wednesday. :D I've heard cries of sacrilege, but New England seems to be pretty receptive, so....

Love you! :-*

I have just realized that both my Chipper and Go Sox! icons are no longer loaded. Woe!
[User Picture]
Date:April 13th, 2005 01:34 pm (UTC)
Ipswich purely so I can say that my next door neighbour is a premiership goalkeeper.
[User Picture]
Date:April 14th, 2005 04:30 pm (UTC)
They've got a good chance of promotion, but I wasn't hoping for a reason to feel sympathy for Ipswich just before we (Sunderland) play them in a match that could determine the eventual destination of the Football League Championship. Forgive me if I don't wish him all that much luck - though it would be nice to see Ipswich come up through the play-offs.

Is he a decent enough neighbour?
[User Picture]
Date:May 30th, 2005 04:15 pm (UTC)
If it's Kelvin Davis, he just might be before long, via my team Sunderland, though I doubt the route would be consistent with him remaining your next door neighbour. (Who knows, though? It might. Buying a second property in Sunderland is quite possible on Premiership goalkeepers' wages.)

Unrelatedly, did the cheque arrive OK, even if rather late?
[User Picture]
Date:May 31st, 2005 02:00 am (UTC)
Yes, the cheque arrived last Monday, but I didn't get it until Sunday when I came home. Thanks ever so much!
[User Picture]
Date:April 15th, 2005 07:07 am (UTC)

oh dear! back to White Hart Lane!

In my misspent youth I lived for a time with a fan of British football and even (to amuse him - yes it was a guy, shock horror) memorised the names of the GROUNDS of the clubs who were then in the top 2 tiers. Actually that really helped if one wanted to read any soccer journalism as the ledes were things like, "Dog's breakfast this week at Anfield," and if you didn't know which team played there...

My sweetie could never just say, "Motherwell", it had to be "Hapless Motherwell". (This was early 80's but I see no one on your flist has picked them this year either.) He taught me some of the then-current cruel songs ("Who's that lying on the runway? Who's that dying in the snow?" to the tune of Jesus Loves The Little Children) and rude cheers ("City! Shit!" - repeat until exhausted) and so on. Looking back, this was actually one of the most fun parts of the relationship. So naturally I loved Fever Pitch and actually understood more of it than a US dyke would ordinarily expect to take on board.

I can no longer remember all the grounds but the fact that relegation/promotion EXISTS makes the league competitions so much more exciting than the equivalent things in the US (e.g. baseball to pick a sport not quite at random) in which if one does not actually WIN there is nothing at stake. Moreover I've held onto the really useful term "fixture congestion" - it's cool that when a team wins the FA cup or the Premiership they have to play extra games (usually in Europe, hence the danger of lying on the runway) which make it extra challenging to repeat - so many felicities!

I am just sad (for the British fans) that all the best players in the world ultimately end up playing for Real Madrid or Juventus. Or is that just the way it seems to me now that I no longer follow things full time.

Anyway, in self defense (or if you prefer defence) when I was in this relationship I had to pick a few teams to actually support. (I would say, "root for" except in Australia "root" is sort of the same as f--*, and the correct fairly genteel usage is "barrack for", but I wasn't in Australia then.) Anyway I decided to support Spurs as my main Premiership team (glad to see they're in your list) mostly because of Hunter Davies' The Glory Game, although sadly the only British supporters' scarf I had was Liverpool. And because I spoke German (better than now) I got all into the Bundesliga. But my favourite ever team (and I really did buy a lot of their merchandise - wonder where it is now) were Hearts, because I got the idea they were named after a novel (Sir W Scott's Heart of Midlothian), which I read several times despite the fact that it's more than a bit sentimental. If they weren't named after the novel, if both they and the novel were named after the city itself, it's too late...my sweetheat said they were named after a novel and that was (then) good enough for me.

Google tells me he lives in Milan now - wonder who he's supporting!

Totally off topic / eq

[*Australian insult: "S/he couldn't organise a root in a brothel."]
[User Picture]
Date:May 30th, 2005 05:49 pm (UTC)

Re: oh dear! back to White Hart Lane!

Fascinating and fun reading!

Your ex has a fair point about Motherwell; they are, indeed, bereft of hap. (Might a hapless entity be prone to mishap? I'm unclear of the etymology here, but apparently so.)

Football chants seldom change substantially and a small number of tunes remain perennially preferred. (In vogue, at least a few years ago and possibly still today: "Who's that team they call the 'Boro? Who's that team we all adore? They play in red and white and they're rooting dynamite and we'll support the 'Boro evermore", etc.)

Promotion and relegation are one of the key factors in making a sporting competition be between clubs rather than businesses. It's interesting to see rugby (not sure whether union or league) debate within itself whether or not to have promotion between the top two levels of domestic play; the argument against is that because the weaker teams in the top tier do not need to spend money on players, they can afford to spend more on their amenities and marketing, which is good for the game there in the longer-term. Hmm! They have a point, but it certainly feels counter-intuitive to me.

Real Madrid may be the team of the galacticos, as they sometimes term the world's superstar players, but they haven't won a single trophy in the last year or two and have been through either four or five different managers in that time, with even the current manager rumoured not to be long for his job. These days, Chelsea may be an even greater economic force than Real; it is unclear.

A friend in the US expresses great delight at being able to see AFL footy coverage on Fox Sports World, and I must express great jealousy at not being able to! In this global digital world, surely sport should cross every frontier? Perhaps...

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