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Seasonal Offering

06 May

Love it or loathe it, Football of the English variety is an epic journey, a nine month jaunt that promises so much and delivers good fortune to the lucky few.  I know a lot of you probably don’t follow the football and I don’t blame you as most seasons the flagship of our game the Premier League isn’t half as entertaining as it should be, especially compared to the divisions below.

Bristol_City_0-1_Hull_City

What captured my thought processes in this instance was the way it was summed up on The Football League Show on Sunday morning.  Picture the scene, it’s the last match of the season for 72 teams across three divisions, it’s been long, arduous, thrilling and challenging all at the same time.  and on that Sunday last each division had set up some fascinating duels between teams looking to avoid the drop or make it to the play off matches for the right to join the automatically promoted teams.

The football fan is not to be envied, following a team through thick and then, travelling for hundreds of miles to miserable places like Bolton only to stand in the cold and rain of a Tuesday winter’s night, when their team typically loses and they have to then travel back  through the night for work the next morning.  It is a tortuous life, one of hopes and dreams for a season constantly adjusted as it runs its course.

It’s the last game though that I love the most, fans listening to radios or checking the internet for the scores, passing the word around, the rollercoaster of emotion as goals fly in everywhere, places change hands rapidly, it’s a heady atmosphere for thousands of fans on the cusp staying on the division or heading to the next.  Melancholy and joy emanating out of stadiums some over 100 years old, just another layer of historical weight.

You have to salute this type of person, each one adding to the seething mass of hope and despair…feeling the tension as the season goes down to the wire, every point mattering, every pass even.  And then it’s over, passions spent and euphoria or devastation etched into the faces all across the stand.  Thoughts going immediately to the chances for next season and the rebuilding of a team.

Even as a neutral, watching with interest to see who would come out victorious, it was hard not to root for certain sides,  taking into account the histories of the teams or underdog status.  Fervently hoping a team would stay up and then the highlights flipped to another game showing goals and missed opportunities,  the whole thing really was compelling viewing.

With such emotions rolling around the thousands of grounds that host football every weekend, from the millionaire players to the pub teams that resemble a collective hangover on legs, it really is something to be shared and seen.  Last weekend was football at its best and with the world cup coming up, I can only hope it is as exciting as this years regular season has been in England, roll on next year.

 

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45 Comments

Posted by on 06/05/2014 in Life, Sport, TV

 

Tags: , , , ,

45 responses to “Seasonal Offering

  1. Morgan

    06/05/2014 at 19:07

    Personally I like Rubgy 🙂 But I so rarely see any of your posts, I read anyway and am glad I did. You’re so entertaining 🙂

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    • Ste J

      06/05/2014 at 19:10

      Why thank you, there is so much in my head that never makes it to the blog…there was a post on breeds of dogs that most annoy me but that one has disappeared somewhere…I watch the odd Rugby match if there is no good book in my hand but I think the sheer variety of world football is what does it to me, the masses of stats and history, the statistical combinations has depth whichis just too massive to comprehend…and therein is the challenge.

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      • Morgan

        07/05/2014 at 00:41

        you are talking numbers. my brain does not do numbers. Its actually rather funny. the minute figures and math enter the conversation, my brain goes into neutral. LOL maybe that is why I like rugby 🙂

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        • Ste J

          13/05/2014 at 19:24

          I tend to avoid numbers if they are statistically anal in some way lol…we word people know where our eyes work best methinks. Rugby is one sport (of many) that I have never had much time to watch but if it’s on and I am bored…now the curling….that’s a sport, ha!

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          • Morgan

            14/05/2014 at 00:41

            I really became interested in curling during the Olympics. Its like Bocci on Ice! Me likes 🙂 do they do much curling in Britain?

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            • Ste J

              14/05/2014 at 15:29

              Scotland is the country that most embraces curling I believe, here in England we only mobilise ourselves for when we get into some sort of finals. Curling was the only sport of the last Olympics I watched with any regularity, although I am partial to watching the Luge.

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              • Morgan

                15/05/2014 at 02:41

                I enjoy the figure skating too, but didnt really watch much of anything this time around. I think I was too busy on the blog lol 😉

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                • Ste J

                  15/05/2014 at 19:12

                  Ha blogging does take up a lot of time these days, I remember when i spent three hours a week on the blog and now it’s all consuming.

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                  • Morgan

                    16/05/2014 at 16:14

                    I read a post shortly after I started blogging and it spoke about how time consuming it can be and how it can gobble up your life…and now I do understand why…since Im on holiday and still am blogging LOL 🙂

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                    • Ste J

                      19/05/2014 at 17:02

                      It’s addictive and better than Facebook which is now just a glorified blog advert and the odd ‘humorous’ picture of me. I have learnt to listen to bloggers when they tell me things…unless it is about Dan Brown writing good books.

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  2. Seyi sandra

    06/05/2014 at 19:18

    As entertaining as always old friend.

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    • Ste J

      06/05/2014 at 19:21

      I always hope I can bring a different view to something that I know a lot of readers wouldn’t usually bother about. I am a little of obsessed with looking at things a little differently…it’s like a game that never ends.

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      • Seyi sandra

        06/05/2014 at 19:22

        That makes you different and like an enigma. Keep it up! 🙂

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        • Ste J

          06/05/2014 at 19:26

          Ooo I like that, an enigma…I may get a badge with that on, or a T shirt and when people asked me who said it, I will turn around and show them the picture of you on the back!

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  3. Al

    06/05/2014 at 21:53

    Although I don’t support the team in the way most people do, I keep am eye on how Gillingham are doing. When they were in the Championship, they were relegated to Division 1, and my response was “that doesn’t surprise me”. The following year, they still couldn’t get a grip and ended up in Division 2, to which my comment was again “that doesn’t surprise me”. For several years they were middle to bottom of that until a couple of years ago when I heard “Gillingham won’t be in the play offs, they have automatic promotion to Division 1”. At that point, I did stop and say “What? Now I AM surprised.” I have no idea if they are still there or if they have fallen back down to 2. I will have to check. It is fun to see people’s reactions though with the teams they ardently support.

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    • Ste J

      13/05/2014 at 19:27

      Gillingham are safe in League 1 which I am sure you already know by now…Mansfield tailed off with a few bad results, we could have had a late run for the play offs…still 11th in our first season back in ‘the big time’ with a winger played out of position getting us most of our goals is a decent thing. The chairman wants us in the championship in about 3 years lol. You never know if you keep Peter Taylor he could mastermind anothr promotion..he used to do that lots.

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      • Al

        13/05/2014 at 21:48

        Maybe. Although something else stunned me this weekend. Dover Athletic made it to the Conference Premiership – one below League Two. IF our local team does well, we can get into the big time 🙂 And have a shot at the FA Cup as well

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        • Ste J

          14/05/2014 at 15:32

          The conference is a tough one these days, all the teams that come down to it get a shock with the standard of play…watching teams come up into league 2 they nearly always finish halfway at least but seem to challenge for the play offs a lot. Good luck to them though…I am already excitedly hoovering up all the transfer rumours I can get my hands on until the world cup. Brazil, Norway and Sweden have just kicked off their seasons too so I’m happy.

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          • Al

            14/05/2014 at 17:38

            I’m not that into football although I do have FIFA 14 for my XBOX One. It’s different when it’s a game. I really must give that another go soon. It’s having the time.

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            • Ste J

              14/05/2014 at 19:12

              I miss the old school football games, FIFA seems to have been made to realistic which is to its detriment I find. I tend to obsess over management games quite a lot but yes a blast on a good sports game would be awesome again.

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              • Al

                14/05/2014 at 22:51

                Kick Off and Kick Off 2 were classics

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                • Ste J

                  15/05/2014 at 19:07

                  I was always a Sensible world of Soccer man, although I learned my typing through editing the Sensible Soccer teams, I remember I slaved over the Anderlecht team of 1994-1995 and also Feyenoord I believe…I didn’t get out much back then.

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                  • Al

                    15/05/2014 at 20:54

                    I learned typing and editing through a game called Moonstone. That was my first foray into programming language.

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                    • Ste J

                      19/05/2014 at 17:08

                      I hadn’t heard of that but checking it out online it looks exactly like my cup of tea…new fangled games just don’t grab me as much…except for Animal Crossing of course.

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                    • Al

                      19/05/2014 at 17:17

                      Haha my daughter plays that on her Wii. ALthough when I play games like that I try to kill them off. In the Sims, I get them to go swimming and then take out the ladders, or I will block them in a room with no light and only a toilet.

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                    • Ste J

                      20/05/2014 at 18:46

                      That is grim…just like watching Saw lol. I do like to get lots of money then lord it over the animals with my big mansion and 10 golden harps in a room just because I am a big fat capitalist pig lol.

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                    • Al

                      20/05/2014 at 21:12

                      HAHA

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  4. Alastair Savage

    07/05/2014 at 07:15

    It’s been a great season this year with loads of twists and turns, both in the Premier League and here in Spain in La Liga. Personally, I wanted Liverpool to win but now all seems lost, or does it?

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    • Ste J

      13/05/2014 at 19:22

      I was gutted Liverpool didn’t win it but next year if Man U invest and Liverpool put some serious money in, well it could be anyone’s. Great to see La Liga going down to the wire as well, Love to see Atletico win it again…I remember that being the Antic and Pantic show.

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  5. Lyn

    07/05/2014 at 09:06

    Now, I assume you mean what we Aussies call soccer. Let’s face it, when you get down to tin tacks, soccer is the only real football. The rest are run, tackle, punch, bite and occasionally kick the ball over a horizontal stick 🙂 I love Rugby myself, especially when England and Australia are playing. My best friend is from Cornwall and, of course, goes for England. It’s an absolute hoot when we watch the rugby together. However, it seems it might be “Liverpool for the Cup” 😀

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    • Ste J

      13/05/2014 at 19:36

      A crying shame about Liverpool but yes the only football is soccer or vice versa…I must admit to being a bit flummoxed with Aussie Rules but I am to lazy to learn the rules. I haven’t really had much banter over sports with people in other countries but with the World Cup coming up then it could get brutal over WordPress lol. I fancy your chances less than ours and that is saying something.

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      • Lyn

        13/05/2014 at 23:15

        Aussie “Rules”? What rules!! There are none…at least that appears to be the case when you watch a game. Four or five players tackle an opposing player and try to wrestle the ball off him. You fall over and clutch your leg screaming loudly even though your opposite number is six feet away from you and hope the ref will believe he injured you. It’s all smoke and mirrors 🙂

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        • Ste J

          14/05/2014 at 15:38

          It sounds like anarchy on grass. I remember watching that on Transworld Sport before the Kabaddi came on…which was another sport I singularly failed to grasp just by watching and should take the time to learn about one day.

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  6. Tom Gething

    07/05/2014 at 14:54

    So, who’s your favorite team? How’d they do this year?

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    • Ste J

      13/05/2014 at 19:20

      I tend to be more of the overview guy watching matches and hoovering up results from any league in any country. I live in Mansfield and we came a credible eleventh in our first year being promoted back to the big time…by which I mean the lowest of the professional leagues in England. If only we had a decent forward line we could have had a go at the play offs. I just love watching any time..seeing new players, watching new formations and seeing new bits of culture and learning the history of players and clubs, it’s all a bit magical.

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  7. RoSy

    07/05/2014 at 18:58

    I can’t get into football or futbol. Maybe if one of my kids played either one – I might get into them.
    But – for now – it’s baseball & ice-hockey for me. And – as of recently – lacrosse (both my daughters picked that sport up this spring).
    No matter the sport or the team – I get the rooting for a team & maybe against others too. It can be so stressful though. And- watching any sport live – is always fun!
    Ok- golf – maybe not so much.

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    • Ste J

      13/05/2014 at 19:33

      Golf is good when drinking games are involved…apparently. I hope you will be following a certain World Cup this summer, that could be epic…I loved the curling at the winter Olympics it was epic. I needed a lie down after that. I’m glad it isn’t just me that gets to passionate.

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  8. anna amundsen

    10/05/2014 at 15:40

    Although I’m no fan of football, I must admit I enjoy watching it every once in a while. As it happened, I was attending a game, played by ten-year-olds on school playground yesterday and it was actually fun.

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    • Ste J

      13/05/2014 at 19:31

      Do you get the intense parents over there who absolutely need their children to win so they can have an easy life when their child is getting hundreds of thousands a week…it has had to be curbed over here with to much competitiveness. I rarely check the league over your way but I kept an eye in the last few weeks of the season, I like a bit of drama.

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      • anna amundsen

        18/05/2014 at 18:07

        Fortunately, I had no encounters with such parents!
        World Cup is fast approaching. It always brings a special atmosphere. Screens everywhere, in every possible pub and club, people gathering to watch the games together.. I will not miss some couple of games myself – have to cheer a bit for Bosnian team 🙂

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        • Ste J

          19/05/2014 at 17:11

          It does feel festive, Bosnia have a decent chance of getting through looking at the group. I find that I am keeping an eye on all my beloved and regular followers countries and adopted countries…unless they come up against England then I apologise in advance for the most probably boring game that will ensue.

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          • anna amundsen

            23/05/2014 at 06:05

            Ahahah.. Maybe it’s their tactics – bore them to death and victory’s yours!

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            • Ste J

              23/05/2014 at 18:35

              It usually works until we get found out in the quarter-finals. This year we have a younger team that may use a 4-3-3 formation so anything could happen, but probably won’t.

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  9. Letizia

    13/05/2014 at 19:08

    I haven’t really followed English football since living in London many years ago but I do love the excitement of watching football. I’m eagerly awaiting the World Cup and am trying to figure out how I will watch the matches without work getting in the way (hate when that happens….).

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    • Ste J

      13/05/2014 at 19:13

      At least you only have work, may I recommend strategically placed sick days? I fear I will be battling against sleep and that will just be watching England play and nothing to do with the time difference, ha! It does get intense, I obsess over the smallest nations as well, some people mourn the European season being over, but Scandanavia, and South America will keep me going until the World Cup and then again until the 9th of August.

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