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Plough For The Lords Who Lay Ye Low

10 men went to mow a meadow

Manchester United 2     Chelsea 1
Manchester United wins 3-1 on aggregate

If 10 Men Want To Mow A Meadow, the meadow must first be properly ploughed and planted. And it seemed, of course, that it was. Then, it must be tended with care but not meddled with….that is if not the first principle of husbandry, it surely one of the more important: Tend With Care But Do Not Meddle. Let nature take it’s course. Only do things that allow the meadow to nurture and grow. And there is where the problems lie.

Roman Abramovich should have paid heed to the principles of agriculture. He may be terrific miner of oil and minerals, a good provider of funds, but as farmer, he’s really got no sense of nurture. His crops this season, his flock, have not and will not yield the results he was looking for. Chelsea’s season is essentially over. Time for the lads to play out the string and play for pride, blossom and bloom as much as they can in the coming final weeks. There will be small victories, and when they return to Old Trafford, a great one….since it’s hard to beat a team 3 times in one season. But the yield has not been good, not up to the potential of the seeds that were planted in to the carefully plowed earth. I’m going to lay this season at the feet of Farmer Abramovich. He’s not a very good farmer….he needs to stay out of the barn and away from the fields and let his shepherds tend his flock and his fields. He needs to stay in the village and count his shillings and rubles, and keep his footsteps out of the barnyard and his hands off the udders of the cows.

Carlo Ancelotti will pay the price for Abramovich’s meddling, just a Ray Wilkins already has. And what frustrates me as much as the less than glorious results is that neither of these gentlemen have seen fit the throw Abramovich under the bus. At this point, what does Ancelotti have to lost by simple stating, when asked about Fernando Torres: “I have my marching orders.” And then leave it at that. Perhaps unfairly, Ancelotti will not be the gaffer at Stamford Bridge next season anyway. A graceful and classy bit of truth right now would help in the clubhouse with the lads and help with us fans who can see quite clearly what is really going on….go out with a blaze of glory instead of a blaze of dogshit.

All the meddling….what was Abramovich thinking? Was he thinking, “Well…it worked in that Magical Girl show I watched once…”?? Assuming that he’s watched magical girl shows. And I’m figuring I’m somewhat safe in that hallucinogenic assumption since he DID sign Fernando Torres for £50 million without giving much thought to whether or not he would fit into the crop rotation. The jury still out on that perhaps, but if the jury had to render a verdict today, it would be hang by the neck until dead. Anyway, Torres is not the Magic Girl he was intended to be….and I can’t honest lay that blame on Torres since he’s really a square peg being jammed into a gaping wound. He’s more like the reluctant Magical Girl, Madoka from Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica. He comes off as, well, just another cute girl in a skirt, tripping over her thigh-high’s and falling down the stairs to answer the door. Hindsight being the bright visionary that it is, Andy Carroll might have been a better get. I’m quite sure that fucktard Mike Ashley would gladly have accepted Abramovich’s £50 mill as easily as John Henry did.

But that little bright light doesn’t alter the nature of the terrible vision of things…10 men this season went to mow a meadow ((11 if you count Peter Cech…but for some reason, in the song, the goalie is not counted, unless the goalie is the goat or the dog,  Spot, depending on the version….and Peter Cech, one of the great ones in goal, in neither a goat of a dog)). They went to mow a meadow, and instead they got mowed down. It was very much like this, you see:

Men of England, wherefore plough
For the lords who lay ye low?
Wherefore weave with toil and care
The rich robes your tyrants wear?

Wherefore feed, and clothe, and save,
From the cradle to the grave,
Those ungrateful drones who would
Drain your sweat—nay, drink your blood?

Meanwhile….back in America….

Meanwhile, back in America, the NFL owners and the NFL players headed into the bosom of the Court-ordered Federal Mediator to discuss their upcoming merger with Major League Soccer. After 9 hours of greetings and salutations, it became evident that none of the parties involved were speaking the same language. Emerging fromthe meeting, NFL Commisioner Roger Goodell assured fans that the teams would be playing next season. But what he did not say is that most likely be playing in either the MLS Premier League, the MLS Liberty League, or the MLS America League.

The NFL Players are hoping to get the lockout rescinded. This would force the NFL owners to come to an agreement on more level terms….at least that’s the hope. But…unlike the Men of England in Shelly’s poem, quoted above, The Men of America are standing up to the ungrateful drones who drain their sweat and drink their blood.

The seed ye sow, another reaps;
The wealth ye find, another keeps;
The robes ye weave, another wears;
The arms ye forge, another bears.

Sow seed,—but let no tyrant reap;
Find wealth,—let no impostor heap;
Weave robes,—let not the idle wear;
Forge arms,—in your defence to bear.

We’ll see how that turns out.

But truth to tell, if push came to shove, I think it’s really the Fans who are the ones who drain their sweat and drink their blood. Along with the owners of-course.

The NFL is brutal blood sport. Yes, the players all well-paid…for the most part…and it’s hard to relate to the trauma of someone making in week what y’all make in a year, but the longevity of an NFL is short. The contracts are NOT guaranteed, and the price paid at the end of short career is long and hard for many veteran players, the overwhelming majority of whom are NOT well-paid ESPN pundits and are left with a lifetime of injury and other crosses to bear. The sporting life is oftimes seen as glamorous because of the money, the greatness of a few on any given Sunday.

Have ye leisure, comfort, calm,
Shelter, food, love’s gentle balm?
Or what is it ye buy so dear
With your pain and with your fear?


Milwaukee 4    Pittsburgh 1

Unlike the aliens among us who’ve taken human form, baseball can drive humans more crazy than any other sport. It has been doing so for over 100 years and will continue to do so for the next 100 years, and beyond. No sport lends itself better to insanity than baseball. It has far more statistics than perhaps ALL of the other sports on Earth combined. Fantasy sports started with baseball…and fantasy baseball got it’s start after WW2, albeit in a rather unorganized fashion back then. So now the glorious madness of baseball has begun, and from time to time this summer and into fall, I will find a few nuggets of truth to convey here than can actually be backed up by facts like ERA or OBP or the ratio of First Pitch Strikes to Batters Faced. In tonight’s Brewers/Pirates tilt at PNC Park in Pittsburgh the 10,217 fans in attendance got to see their starter Paul Maholm rack up FPS/BF ratio of .714  Brewer’s starter Randy Wolf had a FPS/BF ratio of .708  Randy Wolf got the win, of course. Maholm took the loss. Wolf had 10 strikeouts to Maholm’s 6.

A high or higher FPS/BF ratio is not a guarantee of success….in tonight’s Astros 1-0 win over the Padres at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Padres’s starting pitcher Dustin Moseley had a nice FPS/BF ratio of .703, but took the loss. Houston’s starting pitcher Bud Norris had a mediocre .478 FPS/BF ratio…but got the win. Norris had a tough time getting the first pitch over the plate for a strike, but he was better able to close the deal…winding up with 7 strikeout’s to Moseley’s 1.

Then again, a crappy vs. great FPS/BF ratio can tell us all we need to know. For example. At Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City tonight, a mere 8,811 fans were on hand to witness a pitcher’s duel of sorts as their Royals gained a 5-1 win….albeit a rain-shortened one as the game was called after the top of the 8th inning. Both starting pitchers went the distance. Mariner’s starter Doug Fister had a .478 FPS/BF and took the loss, giving up 5 runs, all of them earned, and striking out 5. Royal’s starter Bruce Chen set the tone with the first pitch, scoring a .703 FPS/BF ratio. He  gave up 1 run, un-earned….but only he struck out 1 batter, Mariner’s centerfielder Michael Saunders.

So there you have it. I take back what I said before. The reason we don’t go crazy on Earth is because we have baseball.


Mario Balotelli replaces Carlos Tevez in the Manchester City starting 11

That little headline says it all, and if I were a City fan, I would run and hide, run as faraway as I could and hide like a criminal. Or I’d become an LA Galaxy fan, LOL.  Or, fuck it…I’d starting rooting for Aston Villa or something. The horror of it all is that Roberto Mancini has no choice but to rely on Mario Freakin’ Balotelli to drag City through the rest of the season and into the promised land of the Champions League next season. Him and Edin Džeko ((yes THAT Edin Džeko)). It is not going to happen, of course, but Mancini has no choice. Mancini is more doomed than Avram Grant, Mick McCarthy, Roberto Martinez, Alex McLeish, Gerard Houillier, and, yes, Carlo Ancelotti all rolled into one. I think, right now, Mancini would gladly switch places with any of those aforementioned gaffers.

Let’s see…..Mancini has to pin his hopes on a fucktard that can’t even get a practice bib on properly before a match with Dynamo Kiev. The very same fucktard who halfway into the same match has to be pulled for a sub because he’s allergic to grass. The very same fucktard who wears a rooster hat. Even the equally woeful but nowhere near as much of a fucktard, Edin Džeko makes fun of Balotelli. AND, speaking of Edin Džeko, Mancini also has to pin his hopes on that sad sack as well. Mancini better be prepared to hang out on the beach with Big Sam pretty damn soon.


Maybe I was just dreaming it about the facking goat….I can’t seem to find the lyric for Ten Men Went To Mow with goat in the lyric standing in for the dog, Spot. I know damn well I wasn’t making it up, but it’s lost for now. In any case, there is mowing to be done, so I hope the lads are mindful of that on Saturday against West Brom….The Hawthorns can a be tough place to visit under any circumstances. And speaking of facking goats….I really do hope Torres can get off the schneid and pop a few big ones home against his former gaffer Roy Hodgson. But Torres is not the only goat in the herd. The whole lot of ’em in the midfield and the frontline…Drogba, Anelka, Lamps, Kalou, Malouda and so on have all been playing pretty much like a bunch of little goats all season long….even and especially before Torres showed up.They all seem to stand around like a bunch of hungry goats waiting to fed. Not much in the way of chemistry.

In keeping with barnyard theme, what Ancelloti should have done, perhaps, to build up team chemistry and esprit de corps a bit was have all the lads play some donkey basketball. Torres could do a back-door cut galloping into the paint off a Luiz screen. Kalou and his donkey will fall over at the point and while everyone is laughing Zhirkov will stop his donkey on a dime and fire nice feed to Torres for the score. Yes. Nothing like a little donkey basketball to make things right.


Picture Not Related

We’ll all know what NASCAR race is coming up this weekend. And on the heels of this little middling paean to England and English Football ((and somehow in the context of all that I didn’t even mention Fabio Capello once….not did I mention Wayne Rooney and his money0grubbing whores…and I must confess dismay that Joey Barton and his Hitler Moustache did naught get any run this time either)) there will be the usual Talladega post. Well, maybe NOT the usual this time…as you will shortly see.

Meanwhile I will applaud Matt Kenseth’s great victory in the Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas Motor Speedway this past Saturday night. Actually, it was true team victory. A lot of the credit can go to Matt’s crew and his crew chief Jimmy Fennig. Fennig is the crew chief Kenseth has been searching for and needed ever since Robbie Reiser was promoted. Kenseth and Fennig are a winning combination and I’m confident that the #17 Crown Royal Ford will make it’s way back to Victory Lane several more times this season.

If the crew got Kenseth the win at Texas, then the crew cost Lewis Hamilton a shot at the win in Sunday’s Malaysian Gran Prix. Slow and sloppy pit stops, and the wrong tires, all cost Hamilton a shot at Vettel and the won. Hamilton teed it off in 2nd…but all the pit stop gaffes cost him over 69 seconds of time, and when the checkered flag was unfurled, Hamilton crossed the line 8th and was right bloody pissed. Vettel, of course went wire to wire for the win, Hamilton’s team-mate Jenson Button joined Vettel on the podium along with Nick Heidfeld who hasn’t seen the podium since 2008.

And with that, I’m right out of beer. So I think it only fair that I also should be right out of words. I can’t think of too much more commentary to add to what I’ve already written about Percy Bysshe Shelley’s poem To The Men Of England. Or rather, yes I can…but we don’t have all fackin’ day and as I said I’m right out of beer. I’m quite sure Shelley wasn’t thinking about the English Premier League or the NFL or NASCAR when he wrote his great poem, but his words are very apropos and resonate brightly to this very day.

The good news today, of course, is that my Norwich City Canaries beat Nottingham Forest 2-1 at Carrow Road on goals by Grant Holt and Andrew Surman.

The bad news is, well….I’ll let Bob Dylan handle that:



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