Saturday, September 14, 2013

Soccer Shocker...

Being English, there are certain things one is supposed to love.
Like talking about the weather, roast beef on Sundays, laughing at ourselves, a nice cup of tea, the Royal Family, electing useless politicians, (well, we don't exactly love doing this, but it doesn't stop us does it?) oh, and football.

Now, I've nothing against a bit of small talk about our notoriously unreliable climate, at least we have weather here (I'm looking at you, California) and I'm at the front of the queue if there's any roast beef going spare.
I'll happily take the piss out of myself and my country until the cows come home, I don't mind the royals but I'm largely ambivalent towards them, and I've helped vote one or two dickheads into office before.

But I can't stand tea.

And I really, really don't like football.
I'd go so far as to say that I loathe it in fact.

There, I've said it.

Obviously this isn't a widely held or popular view, but it's not one that I work to cultivate in any way, I've just always been totally disinterested in the game, and sport in general really, playing or watching.

Now, I expect your thinking that I could just not watch it, thereby solving the problem at a stroke.
And you'd be right, if the only place I ever heard about it was on TV or radio, then I could just switch it off, job done.

But it isn't is it?

Because I'm surrounded by football fans all day at work. Twelve hours a day.
And all some of them seem to talk about is bloody football.

And it never seems to end.
Just as you think the season has ended, there's a European this, and a charity that, and a championship of the other, then it's time for the African thingy and the qualifiers for some world wide whatsit.
And then, when it appears to have reached some sort of saturation point, it all implodes and they play a big game of global financial musical chairs, until all the money anybody made last year has been spent on the latest cocky, barely articulate, model-dating hot property sporting superstar.

So for the blessed few weeks that nobody seems to be actually playing the game, all I hear at work is how so-and-so from x-United is bound to join y-City for the amount they're offering "he'd-be-stupid-not-to-for-that-money-if-you-ask-me-at-the-end-of-the-day-it's-a-game-of-two-halves-he's-good-in-the-air-and-tidy-in-the-box-don't-know-why-they-didn't-pick-him-for-England..."

After a few weeks of that, it's almost a relief when there's only a couple of days of it a week to deal with.

Anyway, the point is (yes, there is a point to all this) that the amount of money spent on footballers has become so obscene that even the most ardent supporters amongst my work colleagues have been commenting on it recently.
Even Mike, who I have had a, shall we say, expressive relationship with ever since we began working together seven years ago (to the point that, despite being good friends, our "discussions" became so infamous that people would wander into our workroom to idly spectate, having been informed that "they're having one of their arguments") has had to agree with me that being paid hundreds of thousands of pounds to run around in a field chasing a bit of blown up cow twice a week is completely out of order.

This lunacy came to a head just the other day, with some bloke called Gareth being sent on holiday to Spain for the completely insane sum of £85,000,000!
I'll say that again, Eighty. Five.  Million. Pounds.

So we started coming up with ways to make them better value for money.

My first thought was to find a way of applying performance related pay to footballers' wages.
But why let some fat-cat agent negotiate an outrageous deal for his client?
Why not let the fans decide?
After all, they are the the ones paying for the privilege of watching a bunch of overpaid boys play reasonably nicely together.

The plan would be to play the match as usual, then at the end, irrespective of who wins, the players all line up in the middle of the pitch.
There on the centre spot will be a large table covered with piles of cash.
The crowd will have keypads on their seats with which they will be able to award whatever financial recompense they assess each player is entitled to, based on their individual contribution to the game.
And according to the principal of the wisdom of crowds which I touched on in a recent post, the average amount awarded should ensure each player gets exactly what they deserve.

And how about something to once and for all sort out the bloody offside rule?  (something else we non-fans have to listen to discussions on)
With the simple addition of a computer system that actually understands the rule, linked to a set of electric collars worn by the players, a short non-lethal shock could be applied to any player that strayed into an offside position thereby preventing any misuunderstanding.

This wouldn't really save any money, but it would make the whole thing a lot more entertaining for the rest of us and could also be used to punish players who try to get away with unsportsmanlike behaviour when the referee isn't looking.

The other idea we had somehow involved players inside zomba balls, being used like human pool balls to knock the target ball into a goal. But it also required that they were moved about by being shot at with a giant gun, much like the 1970's game Crossfire and to be honest I don't think we'd thought that one through.


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This joke was sent to us by Jason Lee of Grand Island, Nebraska.  Thanks Jason.
Two children ordered their mother to stay in bed one Mother's Day morning. As she lay there looking forward to breakfast in bed, the smell of bacon floated up from the kitchen.
But after a good long wait she finally went downstairs to investigate. She found them both sitting at the table eating bacon and eggs.
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Annual Iowa Vs. Iowa St. Post


...I present you with some of the most beautiful fans from each side.  First Iowa State:

 And Now for the Iowa Hawkeyes:

As You could tell, I couldn't find too many University of Iowa Hotties.  

Go Clones!!!!

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