I used to know a girl by name of Elsie; no, I’m sorry, wrong song. I meant to say “and throughout it all I ate it up and spat it out”, contradictory lines from the signature tune of the 20th Century’s greatest vocalist, Francis Albert Sinatra. And leaving aside a few million dollars or so I think old Frank is quite a good metaphor for our bold lads. We certainly do it our way. Usually second best for most of the game, and usually run out winners. Frank couldn’t act much, but he won an Oscar. Although last week by all accounts, and by the result, was a bit different from usual for us. Second best and got beat, sounds like old times. Many old times. Let's hope they are not coming back. I don’t think so, there is a resilience about these boys that I like a lot. Probably wasn’t a bad time to end this unbeaten run of heavily disputed length anyway, lots of games against good sides to come, a tough Vase game amongst them, so let's get another run started I say. I may be optimistic.
View from the cemetery
People may know that I have pronounced views on the value of Radio Newcastle, its stupid name for a start, and that they are rarely very complimentary. But it can be inadvertently entertaining some days, especially the football coverage. It can happen to anyone, but they had a real afternoon for bloopers on Saturday. Del Boy, he of “The world is our lobster, Rodney”, would have been proud. Listening in for a report on our defeat at West, little chance obviously after they have covered the various Tyneside games, but we live in hope, I caught the end of the Newcastle/Sunderland phone in with a very cheerful Gary Bennett enjoying the woes of the disconsolate assorted radio Mags. John Anderson was trying to be positive but rather spoilt his assessment of the way forward for the good lads of the toon with the advice to Steve McLaren that he needed to “rattle a few feathers” in the Newcastle dressing room. Be worth watching, that. Later he was trumped by someone who claimed he had seen "the net rattled”. Cheered me up anyway.
The football away day, what a great British institution. Brings back memories I can tell you. From the rougher end of football in my case, the DFA Sunday Cup being my favourite. A trip to Spennymoor or such like to play the local heroes from the Dog and Ferret was an adventure indeed when you usually got no further than pork chop hill. And even then struggled to get a side out. And had to make liberal use of the old wrong un. We had a bloke still signed on for ten years after he died. First name on the sheet, old Ralphy. But not for the County Cup, oh no. Hamstrings cleared up, the lads took it seriously and went home on Saturday night with no more than a few liveners inside them, and all were there bright and early Sunday morn in the car park of the Blue Bell waiting for the bus. Happy days. Admittedly with a good few cans in carrier bags as well, but you can’t expect saints on a Sunday morning, can you…
All pukka down in our little part of the woods, what? Makes a change, long time since we were looking down on the rest of the league, or most of them, from the lofty heights. Be playing hell with some of these prediction competitions, mine included. Keep it up, keep it up, as the actress said to the bishop....
Obviously the world is a bit short of news this week, what with not much in the way of wars and murders and political shenanigans to worry about, so the old story about the price of football, or what they really mean, the price of Premier League football, rears its head again. Nothing much new to report, usual stuff, price of tickets, tea and hot dogs a disgrace, driving the genuine fans away, etc, etc, etc. But one bit did catch my attention; the price of a full adult replica kit from Man Utd for this season is now a touch over £100. The most expensive in the league, which is no surprise, being there are few to match the red devils when it comes to fleecing the punters, allegedly. So, what sort of dipstick pays £100 for an adult replica kit? In fact what kind of dipstick buys an adult replica kit anyway? Including, and a nice touch this, the socks? Well, as any TV match will show you, a cast of thousands, that's who. But many have old strips from years gone by, and presumably very few have the shorts on under their jeans. Or so you would think. But clearly some are a bit more hard line than the common fan. Is there a club for really dedicated replica shirt wearers? Do they have meetings? Is it a complete no no to turn up without the socks? Maybe. Anyway, if you want an RCA replica shirt, just call in the clubhouse, bound to be something lying about...
Exciting games in the qualifying for the Euro's this last week. Superb effort by the Northern Irish, equally good qualification from the Welsh, on the back of a solid defeat, and a superb performance by the Republic to beat the Germans, always a popular result.
Strictly football this week. I think I have demonstrated my ignorance of other sports quite enough in the last couple of weeks. But, before that, what was that England rugby captain thinking of last Saturday night? Even as a member of the Bede School under 13s, (a mighty fine outfit in 1967, since you ask) we would have taken the kick for the penalty. Mind we did have a damn good goal kicker, despite the fact he wore specs, not something you see very often on a rugby field. I'm struggling to recall his name, even though he is on the team picture hanging in the ablutions. Oh yes, we have facilities in this cemetery.
Anyway, as I say, strictly football from me. And all going swimmingly here at Meadow Park, what? Despite constant changes of team, as players fall by the wayside or pop off to Benidorm for the weekend. Or was that the manager, I forget...