Mind the gap!

Early days (well, day) in the Championship league of English football, but the gap between Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday is just about as big as it could be. And we’re the ones out in front*.

A Billy Sharp header 39 minutes in was enough to dispatch Brentford, and we’re now unbeaten since January 24th. Wendy lost at Preston.
You crow about these things while you can, because who knows what the future may hold.

Other, related stuff:
The original 6000 miles… Mind The Gap post.
Still none the wiser over my Fantasy League selections.


* obviously, or I wouldn’t be writing about it. 

The best weekend

Football is back!

I’ve missed football. Hell, I miss it when there’s a week off for an international break, so the last few months have been tough. And after United’s amazing exploits last time around, the close season has been a bit of an anti-climax. I simply can’t get into these televised friendly “Sponsor Cup” tournaments – they clearly mean very little to the clubs involved, given that you find wholly different teams fielded for each half, never mind each game.

Sadly, that’s left me a little behind as we head into the Fantasy League season which goes hand in hand with the EPL. I have no idea who’s playing for whom, how well he is playing and if he’s likely to feature each week. These are important things to consider, as the leagues I’m part of take fantasy football very seriously. Draft night is coming up for the Togga league on Tuesday and while testing the system, I chose Goran Ivansevic and Mitt Romney as my central defensive pairing.

I’m feeling a bit out of it.

This may be the best weekend, but it’s also going to be packed full of me studying football websites. Or maybe I need to crowdsource: who would be your top 3 player picks from the EPL?
(Or top 5, or even top 11 if you’re feeling wild.)

Rugby is laughable

“My sport is better than your sport…”

So goes the playground-style oneup[person]ship on social media and at braais and even occasionally at the Molton Brown Curry Club.

I don’t usually get involved.

My sport is football, and I understand that it might not be everyone’s cup of tea. Additionally, I also recognise that football has its faults. I’ve been telling the authorities how to sort them out for years and years. Thankfully, it looks like they’ve finally begun to listen.

Finally, some progress being made to make football less laughable.

Meanwhile in rugby (so often the sporting bastion of the anti-footy pisstakers) they’re heading the other way.

Yep – next time some egg-chaser has a pop at my favourite sport, I might just bite back by showing them this… this… utter mess.

That’s the final Super 18 table for this season, and beagle-eyed readers will not amusing little cameos like the fourth placed Brumbies having 34 points and the fifth placed Hurricanes having 58.

That’s really not how leagues should work.

At least football is working to stamp out its problems. Local rugby bosses are compounding and exacerbating their troubles and generally trashing their sport, season by season.

It’s both sad and hilarious to watch (which is something that fewer and fewer fans are doing, unsurprisingly).

Schadenfreude isn’t just a river in Egypt.

Another flying thing blog post

(After we doubled (or trebled?) up in this one.)

Drug-taking. It’s all the rage in France at the moment. A number of fairly famous drug-takers are cycling around the country in their annual tour, and weirdly, people still want to watch them doing it.

People can be odd.

Best way to watch EPO-fuelled bike riding? Helicopter.

Helicopter times 3, in fact. With drunk pilots.

OK, so clearly, those pilots aren’t drunk. That was a slur against them and their profession in exactly the same way that saying the cyclists are cheating wasn’t. Those circling manoeuvres, avoiding each other and any surrounding buildings and countryside are the perfect way to film the race.

Other not drunk people who have made pretty patterns in the sky more locally include a BA Captain and Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden.

Football: Cape Town City win PSL title

There were amazing scenes at Cape Town City FC HQ this morning as it was confirmed that Cape Town City FC (the artists formerly known as Mpumalanga Black Aces FC) announced that they have secured the 2016/17 PSL Title in their inaugural season.

Aces/City actually finished 3rd when the arduous, old fashioned process of actually playing games and getting points was taken into account, but as their spokesperson Purchase Status told the assembled SA football press this morning:

We realised that since we had just bought our way into the league, we might as well go the whole hog and buy the title as well. It doesn’t always have to be about winning, getting points and your playing ability.
If you give local bloggers enough free caps and keyrings and stuff, that’s almost the same as being a real local club. Naturally, it’s a small step from there to buying the title.

Indeed, in the PSL, money talks: while we were at the City press conference, news came through that Amazulu – who finished in 5th place in the NFD in 2016/17 – had bought their place in the PSL for next season. But paying for position and honours isn’t always plain sailing, as Status went on to explain:

We made Bidvest Wits an offer that they couldn’t refuse, but they did refuse it, so then we simply threatened to buy their whole club and move it to Cape Town, and suddenly they changed their mind and sold us the 2016/17 title.

Plans are being made for a victory parade through the city, but no-one is sure whether it should be in Mbombela or Cape Town. Either way, we’re told that huge billboard-sized pictures of hundreds Cape Town City FC fans are being printed to line the route – wherever it may happen.

We’ll be spraying the crowds with JC La Roux bubbly. Sure, it’s not real French champagne, but then this isn’t a real club or a real title, so it kinda fits.

Who knows what the 2017/18 PSL season will bring us, aside from a poorly-attended, often interrupted, absolutely pointless charade in which the clubs with the most money will simply buy their way to where they want to be?