Green Bay, Wisconsin and Norwich, England have a lot in common, if you overlook the fact that Norwich was burned to the ground by Sweyn Forkbeard the Viking in 1004 and was the only city in England to be ex-communicated by the Pope ((happened in the year 1274)). Other than that, Norwich and Green Bay are pretty similar cities. They are provincial towns; the administrative centers for their local regions; they are similar in population; Green Bay clocking in at 104,868 and change and Norwich at 132,200. Both cities have professional football clubs that wear the green and gold. And both cities have a passionate and fanatical fanbase, though if push came to shove, I think Green Bay’s would top Norwich’s on any given Sunday, Saturday, Thursday, or Monday.
As I’ve mentioned before in one post or another, I began rooting for Norwich when the NFL lockout was looming just to have someone to follow and root for in League 1, and then the Championship, and since they wear the green and gold, like the Green Bay Packers, Norwich was an obvious choice. I needed to have my green and gold fix. And it was great to see them boat-race everyone in League One and get promoted to the Championship ((even though they did lose their final game of the season 0-2 at home to Carlisle United ((who is still in League One in 13th place btw as I type this on my Adler J5)). With Norwich promoted back up to the Championship, I was looking forward to following the Championship League and getting as familiar with it as I was with the Prem. I figured Norwich would be a decent mid-table team. Win some, lose some. They lost their opening match that season at Carrow Road to Watford 2-3. And with that inauspicious start I never in a million years or a month of Saturdays figured on how that magical season ended with Norwich City finishing 2nd to QPR and being automatically promoted up to the Premier League.
So this Saturday was quite a day for me as it has been for past two going on three seasons now. I’d thought I’d resolved the dilemma by rooting for Norwich at Carrow Road, and Chelsea at the Bridge. Instead, I found myself cheering for both teams ((which I know makes absolutely no sense to anyone born and raised in England—absolute insanity, daftness, muppetry, and so on.)) and analyzing the strategy and performance of both teams.
I was surprised that Hughton made no changes at halftime. I would have hauled off Snodgrass or Tettey and set Redmond loose. Instead Hughton must have fired up Delia Smith’s hairdryer or something, since the Canaries were on the ball and played much better as Chelsea must have figured that with a 0-1 lead with 45 minutes to play, all they had to was make sure nothing happened. But the Ollson-Wolfswinkel-Pilkington combo at the 68th minute took care of THAT delusion. When Hughton finally brought Redmond on, I felt it was only a matter of time before the Canaries grabbed the win.
But Pilkington, the hero who’d equalized, became Pilkington the Goat in my view. His corner kick was SO far off and out….I mean what the FOCK was he doing, anyway….that it set up Chelsea’s counter and breakaway. And that was all she wrote. I will be honest, I did NOT cheer Hazard’s goal ((but mainly because the goof I was going up against this weekend on my EPL fantasy football one-on-one league had Hazard on his team and made him captain)).
But it’s all over and I can get back to normal again. Raise the Blue Flag up the flagpole. Go back to referring to Chelsea as us and we.
I’m glad Chelsea won. But our performance was not as impressive as the scoreboard would indicate. We have work to do if we seriously was to finish first and hoist some trophies.
Norwich, after the break, will have a go at Arsenal. And based on Arse’s performance Sunday at West Brom, the Canaries could take them if they play the way they did in the second half. You guys WILL be rooting for the Canaries to beat Arsenal in a fortnight, and so? You’d better be rooting for Norwich, or I will not only be On The Ball, but I will be bashing your door down with a styrofoam wedge of cheese with the Aviva logo and the Norwich crest affixed to it and I will smear Colman’s Mustard all over your 52″ HDTV.
Despite Norwich’s loss, I DID get my green and gold fix on Sunday as our Green Bay Packers ran out winners at Lambeau Field 22-9 over the Detroit Lions. Like Chelsea, not the most remarkable performance, but it got the job done.
Anyway, if you slice me up, I’ll bleed Green & Gold, AND Chelsea Blue. What a bloody and glorious mess. On the Ball, City!! Go Pack Go!! Keep The Blue Flag Flying High!!
Ah!! I just remembered something.
Like Norwich, Green Bay WAS burned to the ground by a Viking. Brett Favre the Viking burned Green Bay to the ground on November 1st, 2009 at 3:15 in the afternoon. And having remembered that, I need another beer. And so do you.
And now, some music from a bunch of guys who make a living selling mouse kebabs by the side the road: