A day of two halves

24 05 2010

It was the penultimate Saturday of the season and what a feast was before us; Cardiff at Wembley in the afternoon and the European Cup Final in the evening.

The Jet Set has retained a soft spot for Cardiff ever since encountering ardent Bluebirds in and around Wales matches. With fans like Eric the Red and Mirko Bolesan (plus some Super Furry connections) how can you not like Cardiff?. Needless to say we  hoped for a Cardiffian victory. This desire was reinforced by the tone of Radio 5’s coverage; “Let’s hope Blackpool go up”, “They deserve it on account of their glorious history”, blah, blah, blah, a fairytale brought to you by the media’s favourite manager, blah, blah, blah.

For the first half an hour the presenters banged on about a particular family of Blackpool fans. They were of interest for two reasons; (i) none of the brothers lived in Blackpool any more, and (ii) they’d travelled thousand of miles (from Australia and America) to be there. The presenter gave it the full treatment, all that “pride, passion, beauty of football” bollocks. Forget  the people who hadn’t missed a game all season, forget the ordinary season ticket holders, it was all about the ex-pats who love their club so much they decide to live in another country. You couldn’t fail to be touched by their pride for their home town;

– “So why don’t you live in Blackpool any more?”

“Have you ever been there!! guffaw, guffaw, guffaw”.

At least they’ll have a tale to tell for the rest of their lives; “I’M MAD ME!!!!……”. The dye had been cast, down with glory hunters!!!!

Hold the presses!!! I have just realised that I have neglected to mention something, this particular Play-Off Final was the “Biggest Match in the World”. It’s strange that I forgot to mention this undeniable fact because the presenting team metaphorically bludgeoned us with this idea.

During the build up the presenting team was transfixed by size; it was the “biggest” match ever; it was the “richest” match ever; the winners’ potential was “huge”;  a “massive” pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, the “gargantuan” sum of  90 Million pounds. History was about to be made; the club that won would be set up for ages, they’d start a new chapter, etc etc etc. 

No-one seemed able to remember the clubs that had spent a season (or two) in the Premier League and ended up in financial trouble. Was that a cloud on the horizon? Luckily some Cardiff fans had a different view from the presenters. But that’s enough of the irritating build-up, on with the action.

The Pub may have been a third full but they were offering 3-D TV. As I was keen to finally enter this new world of entertainment I gladly parted with a pound to hire the special glasses. I sat down and put the glasses on but I was confronted by a decidedly odd sight,  two Michael Chopras. A few seconds later there were two Blackpool goalkeepers. Then we had special effects, the top half of a player’s body left  the screen on one side only to re-appear on the other side of the screen from his legs. Whilst I figured out how to look at the screen I think Blackpool hit the post. Unfortunately the goal was on the right of the screen and the defenders were on the left (it should be vice versa) so it was all rather confusing.

I tried other positions but the picture was still akin to the work of Gilbert and George. I even tried closing one eye. This idea worked but seemed to defeat the purpose of 3-D. Defeated I returned to normal 2-D and claimed my pound back. This was much better, I could see things!!! 3-D, a bit crap really.

When Cardiff scored half the pub seemed to cheer. It was a good goal too. Chopra capped a good move with a good finish. The mood was slightly less jubilant when Blackpool equalised brilliantly. What a great free kick, right into the top corner. Cardiff scored again when they fashioned another incisive passing move, this time Joe Ledley scored with a sweetly angled shot. This was it, Cardiff were in the Premier League!

A couple of minutes later and Blackpool had scored a scruffy goal to equalise. After another couple of minutes a Cardiff defender slipped at an inopportune moment to free up space. Blackpool managed to use the space to score. Up until this point one would have thought that Cardiff should be ahead, they had played the more fluent football. However football’s innate beauty meant that Blackpool were ahead thanks to 2 scruffy goals. I had to leave at half-time. It had been a good game and I was sure that Cardiff would prevail. I found out later that the Blackpool had kept their lead. Curses!!

Later in the evening I tuned in to watch the second of my halves. In fact I managed to see the first goal. It was another great finish. This time by Milito. He scored a second in the second just as it threatened to get interesting. The second goal was a great bit of skill from Milito, he dribbled the ball into the area and then feinted to go one before dragging the ball the other way and calmly slotting it home. It’s the kind of skill you watch the European Cup Final for.

Watching a match like this always leave me a bit cold in  the end. It’s always nicer to be there, in the open air, serenading your heroes.





2 responses

25 05 2010

Apart from the TV not functioning properly it was flawless.

I long to see the greater depth in a Premier League Match but it’s usually about the money, diving, badge-kissing (how ridiculous that looks 6 months later) and JT being a twat. I long to hear a philosophical discussion involving Didier Drogba, John O’Shea and Stephen Ireland but I fear we never will.

25 05 2010

I believe that if a man needs to wear spectacles then the 3D effect will not work if he is too vain to wear them *cough*.

As to my experience I found it quite interesting even if it didn’t add much to my enjoyment.

It was Liverpool v Chelsea that I saw and the effect adds depth to the action rather than balls flying out of the screen; the only exception to this was when the players were exiting the tunnel and I was able to throw a punch at Ashley Cole as he passed me. To be fair to the money-grabbing-prick he didn’t flinch.

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