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I Cast A Lonesome Shadow

Who Will Be The Captain of England??!!

This nonsense again. Turmoil reigns in England once more. So far, John Terry is only guilty of being John Terry, living and breathing, and playing center-back for Chelsea and for England. He has not been found guilty of racism, or of making racist remarks. Yet it seems that people of all ilks, people who should know better, seem hell-bent of convicting him and punishing him for something he might not have done….despite the accusations. I’ve touched on this conundrum before in my post, Can You Blame The Coloured Man. I thought it all a bit disingenuous and disturbing to think that free speech, not matter how offensive that speech might be, can be turned into potentially criminal act….after all, in America, we value freedom of speech whether you like the particular speech or not. I had thought that, well…it will go to trial, and that will be that, come what may.

Evidently a few knobs think otherwise, and are willing to stir the pot.  After all, someone has to make the atmosphere toxic surrounding the English squad ahead of Euro 2012, and it might as we be…..might as well be…Jason Roberts…who gets the lynch mob rolling with a Twitter post alledging that: “Believe me, the dressing room at the Euros will be TOXIC unless the correct decision is made.” He also twittered “I do not believe that the England captain should go to the Euros.” Others are chiming in their agreements. Member of Parliament, Sports Pundits, the Executive Director of Football Against Racism In Europe, who said, ” “The seriousness of the allegations mean that he can’t lead the nation.”

And I’m not demeaning or belittling what either Jason Roberts or Piara Powar have to say on this matter, since their intentions are well placed. They both face and deal with real racism everyday. But it’s frustrating to me that the default is to presume guilt rather than innocence with the assumption that John Terry being Captain of England is somehow more toxic to the dressing room than John Terry being Captain of Chelsea FC. The last time I checked, quite a few of John Terry’s teammates are black: Didier Drogba, Danny Sturridge, Ramires, Ashley Cole, Florent Malouda, Michael Essien to name a few. So…why would being the Captain of teammates Bobby Zamora, Darren Bent, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott, Danny Welbeck or Kyle Walker be much different?

But human nature being what it is….not much, it’s the old have you stopped beating your wife yet syndrome at work. Once the accusation is made, it’s the presumption of guilt that becomes the toxin. It’s really a matter of embracing a caricature…you pull out the worst elements of a person or a culture or a behavior and soon it becomes reality, albeit a false and/or misleading one. John Terry is not well-liked for whatever reason one chooses to not like him…and because no one can deny that is his one of the greatest footballers of our day and age, he can become a lighting rod for the personal antipathy that leads to all sorts of caricature….a process which is really akin to character assassination.

Anyway, there are more important things of there than obsessing about who is the Captain of the English team. I never thought I’d ever defend Fabio Capello, but if the gaffer thinks it’s okay for John Terry to lead England, then who are we to say….other than, ofcourse our right to piss and moan, albeit a right more limited in England than here in the United States.

If a message needs to be sent to the world, I can think of better ways.



In the hours after I posted this, the FA of England has decided to strip John Terry of his Captaincy. They decided that due to the high profile of the position and the charges hanging over him that it would be in the best interests of all involved that he not have the added burden of being the Captain of the English team. The same FA that allowed Terry to captain England as recently as, yesterday, now decides that he’s not the man for the job. None of the facts of the matter have changed, but today is another day, as though the groundhog woke up a day late and saw it’s shadow. So it’s guilty as charged, and a mess all the way around.

Like I said, if a message needs to be sent to the world, I can think of better ways to do it….well, I suppose a message is being sent, but I’m not so sure it’s one they think they’re sending.



Sunderland 3     Norwich City 0

I have discovered what happened to the Hippy Bus that Chelsea left behind after it’s hasty departure from Carrow Road almost a fortnight ago. Grant Holt rotated and balanced the tires on it, and the Canaries used it for their trip up to Wearside for Sunday’s tilt with Sunderland. That’s my explanation for my Canaries 3-0 defeat and I’m sticking to it.

My Canaries didn’t play very well, which is unusual for them. I’m not so much drubbed by Norwich losing as I am by how they lost. I honestly thought they’d lose 2-1, even though I wanted them to win. I’m realistic enough to recognize that Sunderland under Martin O’Neill is a different sort of beast to deal with than Sunderland under Bill Clinton Steve Bruce. Sunderland played an excellent game, and we didn’t. So fair play to Sunderland.

And I hope Grant Holt and company left that hippy bus parked outside The Stadium of Light.




Swansea 1      Chelsea 1

I do not know if there was sun or clouds at SW 6 London UK this morning ((as I type…perhaps yesterday as you read due to a ZZ Top, Humble Pie, XTC. Radio Birdman interlude)) but if the Chelsea equivalent of Puxetawny Phil did not see a shadow, well…I will cast that lonesome shadow for them.

The Winter of Discontent will continue for Chelsea. And if Vladimir Putin gets elected the President of Russia again, which seems like a horrible possibility, well….Putin might just buy Chelsea from Roman and move it to fackin’ Siberia. The Chelski Communist Football Club ((Челси Коммунистической футбольного Клуба)). Of course, the fact that Putin is running for President AGAINST the Communist Party is merely frosting on an increasingly dreary cake.  Two paltry 1-1 losses to new promoted Norwich and Swansea with an insipid 0-1 defeat of newly promoted QPR (and the less said about that quisling tilt, the better) sandwiched in between. I hate to say it, but none of us True Blue Chelsea fans are very hopeful for the season. Gary Cahill sitting on the bench = Another 7 million bloody quid down the drain. That and Kevin de Bruyne was it for this silly saison. AVB and Roman had a shot at off-loading the programatic non-fits, as a certain ex-Minnesota Vike-Queens head coach would say. They could have, should have, sold Malouda, Kalou, and Bosingwa and taken that filthy lucre and brought in someone like Eden Hazard or Mario Götze….anyone like that with a shred of pace and a spark of creativity. Fuck…they might as well have gone after Landon Donavan and paid whatever was on the tab.

But nope. Now they’re stuck with the same old set of donkeys when they could have had a couple of thoroughbreds. And now it’s a matter of whether or not AVB can get to play some real actual football instead of the NFL Pro Bowlesque simulacrum of football that they been playing recently. If he can’t, then has to go because the speculation is increasing that he’s in over his head….over his skis like Eddie the Eagle if for those keeping score in Folkstone, Kent, UK. Something is horribly amiss and I’m dismayed that we haven’t seen a glimpse of the promised genius of AVB by now…even if he tries something genius and fails, we know he’s trying and just might now have the personnel and talent to accomplish it. But we have not seen that glimpse of genius, and it’s 23 matches in to a 38 game season. So…on the Chelsea blogs, it’s pretty much dismay, alacrity, and wtf?? Like Aaron Rodgers said about some of his NFL team-mates at the Pro Bowl, same can be said about Chelsea. Some of the Chelsea players are embarrassing themselves out of the pitch…and no, Fernando Torres is not one of them.

If Chelsea continues to play football with all the verve and elan of a Start & Park NASCAR team, well the Roman Abramovich had better HOPE that Putin bails him out of this mess. Even in Chelsea’s darkest days, when they seemed to failed utterly, they at least did it with flair, style, and culture. The current squad has none of that, or very little at best.



“…Smash the World’s shell… For the Revolution of the World…!!”

Football was a big part of the Arab Spring® in Egypt. Football ultras were on the frontline of the resistance against the Mubarak regime. The revolution in Egypt could not have happened without the Egyptian soccer hooligans. So it was sadder to see the violence that erupted after a match in Port Said between local club Al Masry and visiting Cairo club Al Ahli who lost 3-1. The match between these clubs has always been a fierce rivalry, and both are in the top 4 in the Egyptian Premier League with Ahli in 2nd place 10 points ahead of Masry. Both sides ultras were out in force…but evidently, the security needed for such a match wasn’t. When the match went final, local ultras stormed the pitch, chased the visiting Al Ahli team to their dressing room, and started a war that left 74 fans stabbed, beaten or crushed to death. But it seems odd, having seen the footage of the ultras storming the pitch, there was very little in the way of security to stop them. What security was there could hardly be bother to even try to so anything about it. It seems likely that the authorities looked the other way. In the past, matches between these two rivals has tons of cops to keep a semblance of order. The new government of Egypt is very likely as culpable as the ultras are for this tragedy.

This was not the revolution they were looking for. None of them. There better things to live and die for than a football match. The ultras proved that when helped overthrow Mubuarak. And they should have known better, and remembered all that. And unfortunately for the 74 people when out to watch a football match and never came home, and the 1000 other who suffered injuries at the hands of these fucktards,  it seems that revolution doesn’t change things as much as we’d like it to or hope it would. Revolution doesn’t stop when the evil overlords are toppled and the new ones take their place. Revolution is an on-going and continuous process of vigilance, defiance and hope….when the bullets stop flying, that’s when the REAL battles begin.

Normally, I’d say we should have a moment of silence for the dead. But in this case, think a moment of revolutionary noise is more in order. I was being jocular about Vladimir Putin a bit ago, but the threat of his becoming President of Russia again is deadly serious. The youth in Russia, like the youth of Egypt, are fed up with the corrupt and brutal politics of their regimes. In Egypt, institutional indifference to old rivalries, along with seeming deliberate police incompetence led to needless death. In Russia, Putin will be elected President again by whatever crooked means possible. And the  onrushing outrage of all that must be noted with more than just alacrity. If want to truly honour the dead, and do them justice, then cast a deep and fearsome shadow over the hearts of the oppressors and make a noise so loud that the world can’t help but listen.



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