Aston Villa 2 Chelsea 4
I’ve uncovered a snappy way for me to win a FREE drink…..but before we get into that free drink deal, what I’ve been saying all along is turning out to be true. Fernando Torres is Chelsea’s MVP. NO question about that. His presence on the pitch creates more energy and opportunity for Chelsea, and since RDM has taken over from AVB ((Roberto Di Matteo and Andre Villas-Boas for those you who disappeared into the Cave of Mounds hard by Blue Mounds, Wisconsin, USA, several years ago after a late-night karaoke bender at the FIREHOUSE Bar & Grill never to return to see the light of day)), Chelsea has not lost a match when Torres has started and played significant minutes.
Saturday’s tilt was no exception. Torres, who is regaining form and confidence under RDM’s watch, creates energy and opportunity whether he scores or not. And he scored Saturday…put the frosting on the cake at the 93rd minute, at the death, if you will, to cap off a 2-4 Chelsea win at Villa Park. And best part of that goal was not that it was Nando’s first League goal in 5 months, it was fact that Sturridge actually passed the ball!!
Now if you will bear with me for a grim interlude. In the past few weeks, tragedy and near tragedy has struck EPL.
First there was Bolton mid-fielder Fabrice Muamba who collapsed of heart attack, face down on the pitch at the 42 minute mark of their tilt with Tottenham. His heart had stopped beating….efforts to revive him seemed futile, and the world seemed to hold it’s breath as he was hauled away to the London Heart Hospital in Bethnel Green. Like millions of others, I was refreshing the Guardian news feed to see if there was even the slim glimmering of good news. Finally there was a glimmer of hope…he was alive…critical condition…unconcious but alive. The fear of course was that because his heart had stopped and he was clinical dead for a time, that there would be very little cognitive functions remaining. But after a few days, he began to speak…his first words were to ask about his son. His recovery has been progressing nicely…though he will most likely never ever play football again…he is alive and getting better. And last week Tuesday, Tottenham and Bolton met for the replay of their suspended FA Cup quarterfinal match. Tottenham won 3-1, but Bolton played bravely and well and Fabrice is on the road to recovery.
And secondly…there is Stiliyan Petrov, Aston Villa’s captain. Petrov had been feeling ill after their match with Arsenal last week. But before Saturday’s tilt with Chelsea, it was announced that Petrov has been diagnosed with acute leukemia. He begins treatment this Monday, and since it was diagnosed early, the prognosis is better, but never good. Stan was at the match, watching from the stands with his family. At the 19th minute mark the game stopped, since Stan wears #19, and the stadium gave him a rousing standing ovation of support. And as we did with Fabrice Muamba, our thoughts and prayers are with Stiliyan Petrov and his family as they face the trials ahead. His teammates played a brave game against Chelsea. They fought back in the second half to draw level at 2-2 and what better honour could they have given to their fallen captain than that. They could have raised the white flag and taken a beating, but instead, like Stan will have to do, they kept on fighting.
And living. So now let’s do that. Someone mentioned a free drink. Let’s get on to that.
Michael Schumacher says, “Fuck it! I’m leaving F1 for NASCAR.”
Anyway, that FREE DRINK keeps popping up and it’s sounding mighty good about now. I’ve got a way to win one, and you might have guessed by now, it involves driving 300 km/h or faster. That’s 186.411 mph for those of you keeping score at the FIREHOUSE Bar & Grill in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin.
As much as I would like to do so, I don’t have to actually drive 300km/h to get that free drink. I’ve got a little wager going with Scott Petersen, who has close ties to the aforementioned FIREHOUSE Bar & Grill. We were discussing the speeds at the F1 tracks yesterday, and amidst a spirited debate about whether or not F1 should convert the speeds to mph for the upcoming US Gran Prix this coming November, we had a little discussion about which F1 tracks had speeds that hit or topped 300km/h. I said all of the them with maybe the exception of Monte Carlo, being as it is a street course…although I figured that coming out the tunnel they could get pretty close to that. Scott was not that optimistic and bet me a free drink on this one.
So I went to the F1 website, Wikipedia, and F1 Fanatic and got the facts.
As we agreed, Monte Carlo does not quite get to 300km. But…it gets awfully close. The cars hit 289km coming out of the Tunnel. Faster than Scott thought, I would imagine.
Every other track hits 300km or more….except for the other street course.
That would be the Marina Bay Street Circuit in Singapore. Who the fuck figured, right? Freakin’ Singapore?? Well…I suppose a street course there makes sense since they’re almost as small as Monaco. But they come awfully focking close all the same. Official top recorded speed at the speed trap before turn 7 shows 298km/h. ALMOST fast enough…and I’m sure some brave foot hit 300 there in a test or qualifying lap at some point in time, if only for a brief second. I should still get free drink for that, yes?
As I said, ALL the other F1 tracks hit 300km or more. The fastest being Monza which tops out officially at 340km/h at the speed trap going into turn 1.
So here’s all of the tracks with the top speeds. The new Circuit of The America’s in Austin TX is still under construction for the November US Gran Prix. But take a look at the configuration and you’ll agree with my assessment:
- Australia Melbourne 305km
- Malaysia Kuala Lumpur 302km
- China Shanghai 317km
- Bahrain Sakhir 300km
- Spain Santander 311km
- Monaco Monte Carlo 289km
- Canada Montreal 316km
- European Valencia 315km
- British Silverstone 301km
- German Hockenheim 326km ((heading into turn 6 where they drop to 59km/h))
- Hungary Budapest 291-315 ((Mark Webber has hit 315 before the speed trap—race speeds at the Hungaroring are usually a bit lower))
- Belgium Spa 330km
- Italy Monza 340km
- Singapore Marina Bay Street Course 298km
- Japan Suzuka 312km
- Korea Yeonghan 300km
- India New Delhi 324km
- Abu Dhabi Yas Marina 316km
- USA Circuit of Americas, Austin TX FUCK YEH!!!!!
- Brazil São Paolo 323km
So there you have it Mr. Scott Petersen and the rest of you lot, and especially you Scousers who are struggling back to Liverpool today after a 2-0 beat down at the hands of the Mighty Toon Army.
As for me, I will look forward to that free drink. A nice half litre of MaiBock is sounding pretty good at the moment. And that is no April Fools joke, either. And none will be found here.
Well, except for one.
Meanwhile, the NASCAR lads are waiting to tee it up for the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 at everyone’s favourite paperclip-shaped track at Martinsville. Most of the usual suspects, are leading the charge. Kahne of the pole, Harvick 2nd, and Denny Hamlin is third on the grid. Jeff Gordon lines up 9th….but past master of this track, Jimmie Johnson has to come from deep in the field teeing it up 22nd, hard by Matt Kenseth at 21st. What the lads are waiting for, is the final results from the Tottenham/Swansea tilt at White Hart Lane. Once that score goes final, everyone will breath a sigh of relief ((or, they’ll shake their lists fist of fury in the air depending upon the result)) and then the gentlemen will start their engines and the race will begin. I don’t know who will win this, but I’d be willing to bet a fiver on Denny Hamlin. What I DO know, and I’d be willing to bet ALL of my Mother-in-Law’s money on it, is that NO ONE today at Martinsville will come even close to driving 300 kilometres per hour.