Father’s Grey

As it is a rather grey Father’s Day here in Cape Town and I’m full of cold, I have spent most of the day inside watching the T20 final, reading my new Jeremy Clarkson book (sorry Mum) and listening to Placebo and Kasabian’s latest offerings. I’m never sure about albums with completely ridiculous titles, but despite its name, West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum is absolutely superb. Underdog is still my favourite track, which many of you will have unknowingly heard on the Kaka Sony Bravia ad which features the world’s largest zoetrope.

I think it’s a great ad and I’m not just saying that so that Sony read this and send me a free 42″ Bravia for my living room. I’ve still got the last one that they gave me and that’s working fine, thank you very much. So I’ll take the cash alternative this time, please.

Incidentally, Mr Kaka – who will be playing for Brazil against Italy just up the road in Pretoria this evening – learnt most of those fancy footballing tricks he shows off in that ad from me. Not many people know that I have taken many of the world’s top footballers under my wing at some point in their careers in order to let them learn from the best. Those who regularly play football with me will appreciate that I (very modestly) take great care to hide my silky skills so as not to outshine those around me.

And now, with the Sri Lankan innings coming to a close (although some would argue it was pretty much closed in the first two overs), I will return to my seat in front of the fire with my pipe and slippers and fulfill that traditional father stereotype.

One final thing – it is the summer solstice in the Northern hemisphere today, which means that today is the shortest day for us down below the equator. Summer is on its way*!

* ever so gradually.

Lead balloon

Well, that was suitably depressing.

Same time, same place next year, I guess.

Think I’m still in shock, so more may follow, probably involving swear words and general anger.


My god, that Mike Dean is a complete twat.

Ooh look! It’s started already!


One part joy, two parts relief.
Well done, boys!

More tomorrow…

It’s tomorrow, and here’s the match report, featuring some sporting words from Preston manager Alan Irvine:

I can’t speak for previous play-offs and it wasn’t down to luck this time in any case.
Sheffield United were better than us in both games and deserved to go through overall.

Compare and contrast that with Didier Drogba…

Written on my Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1 after one of the most nerve-wracking 45 minutes of my football-watching life.

Not sour grapes…

…but when your team goes out of the FA Cup because of this:

GOAL Hull City 1-0 Sheffield United
It’s an unbelievably controversial goal and the Blades will be furious about that one. A cross from the Hull right is for some reason headed against the underside of his own crossbar by Kyle Naughton and the ball bounces down on to the line and away. The whole ball isn’t over, though, so it shouldn’t count. Poor decision from the assistant referee to award it.

and then this:

Sheffield United’s Billy Sharp is booked for diving in the Hull box – but replays show his right foot was kicked away from him by Kamil Zayatte. Should have been a penalty. More poor officiating.

All of which leads to this:

Referee Peter Walton has apologised for his performance in the Blades’ 2-1 FA Cup defeat at Hull on Thursday.
“The officials have to live with their mistakes but, to be fair to Peter, he rang and admitted he made major errors and that’s big of him,” said [United Manager] Kevin Blackwell.

…it makes me wonder why football can’t institute the kind of technology which has worked so well in cricket and rugby, both of which I’ve been watching over the past couple of days and neither of which has been ruined by a 30 second delay while a decision is referred “upstairs”.

And it makes me bloody annoyed as well, obviously.
The fact that someone then chose to replay the “goal” on the big screen at the stadium was amusing though:

Naughton’s 24th-minute goal was controversially shown on the big screen inside the stadium, meaning the crowd were aware that the goal should not have stood, but referee Walton was unable to act. Controversial incidents cannot be shown on big screens under Premier League and Football League rules, but in FA competitions it is usually left to agreement between the clubs.

Hull boss Phil Brown admitted that controversially showing a replay of the incident inside the ground “could have started a riot”.

Yeah, but deep down, I reckon Hull boss Phil Brown isn’t all that bothered, really.

It’s here!

Tonight sees the start of the 2009 7-a-side Corporate Soccer League (Cape Town, Wednesdays, Season 1) and I’m itching (not literally) to get back on the field so that I can be all screwed up in a ball of agony by this time tomorrow.

Your host taking on some rotund Italians last year

Things have changed a bit since that photo was taken. I’m probably very slightly slower, the Italians never returned after we beat them 2-0 and I had major surgery in October to remove the Let’s Play banner from between my shoulder blades.
Yes, this year will be a challenge: I’m older than I have ever been before and I haven’t kicked a football in anger since November. But you never forget how – it’s like riding a bike, albeit nowhere near as dangerous.
Doesn’t mean I won’t give it my all as usual, though.
Just means it’ll hurt more tomorrow.

(Check twitter [in sidebar] later this evening for a score update)
(Assuming we win)
(Otherwise I probably won’t bother)

MiniEdit: Tools of the trade via TwitPic