At the 70th minute mark of today’s Champions League tilt I decided I’d had enough of this flummery and shut off the computer feed, lowered the Blue Flag to half-mast, and toddled off to the boozer. Yes, I left my 2008 Chelsea away shirt on, and my surgically attached Chelsea hat, but for all intents and purposes I was through with it for the day. I cast all my worldly desires, such little as they were, into the imperious post-communist flames and went straight to The Grumpy Troll and got tight on a large (23oz) mug of GRUMPY TROLL North Star Dark Lager.
Now mind you, my worldly desires today were fairly simple, almost pedestrian. Chelsea wins ((or even draws, as long as they look sharp and champion-like in doing so)). That’s not unreasonable as worldly desires go. Chelsea wins, and I toddle off to the aforementioned boozer afterward with the Blue Flag Flying High and have a celebratory 23oz mug of North Star Dark Lager. I should point out for those of you who cried yourself to sleep tonight in SW6 that I have a custom-made ((I think y’all in SW6 would call it bespoke)) ceramic mug at the Grumpy Troll since I’m a member of their mug club. The mug is personalized with the #17 ((for NASCAR’s Matt Kenseth, not Chelsea’s Eden Hazard)) and one of my nicknames, in this case, Evil Schmitty. So all for evil and all that. Onward.
Instead of being jubilant and insufferable, I’m morose and insufferable. And to make matters only somewhat worse, our local Fox Sports Wisconsin affiliate is showing the Barcelona/Celtic tilt. Celtic is beating Barca 1-1 as I drown my sorrows in dark lager. But at the death, the freekin’ DEATH….Jordi Alba dinks a winner home and Barca comes from behind to drag itself out of the upset slough of despond.
So how did we lose our worldy desires today? Well, from my view it was fairly simple. We graciously handed them over to Shakhtar at the 2 minute mark and let them burn them to ashes and then gave them license to scatter those ashes all over the Donbass Arena. I say 2 minute mark since it was Shakhtar’s throw-in at the 2 minute minute mark that led to Alex Teixeira’s goal at around the 3 minute mark.
Chelsea’s play was listless, sloppy, and wasteful. NO spark, no sharpness, no quickness, no cunning. It seemed like they left the real Chelsea team behind at White Hart Lane and sent over a bunch of clumsily constructed doppelgangers, plucked out of a wax museum and reanimated. I have a thesaurus close at hand, and even with that brave resource I can’t even begin to muster the words to describe how brutal and miserable Chelsea comported themselves today. If not for Petr Cech, Chelsea would have been doomed to a defeat that would have made San Marino point their fingers and laugh.
I know that no one from Chelsea got a red card today. But it certain looked for most of the match that they were down to 9 men. That, and I was waiting for the ref to throw the flag on Shakhtar and penalize them 5 yards for having too many men on the field. Fair play to Shakhtar, I guess….but my word did we make it look easy for them.
Another of my worldly desires today was to see ManU(re) join Chelsea in the sacrificial bonfire of upsets. And for a good bit of the day it looked they would. Braga jumped out to a solid 2-0 lead by 20 minutes on goals by Alan. Even when Chicharito clawed one back 5 minutes later, it still looked good for a lovely upset.
But Sir Alex, I’m sure, fired up the flaming hairdrier at halftime. And though it took ’til the 62nd minute for Jonny Evans to equalize, the red Devils pulled a victory from the jaws of defeat when Chicharito headed his second home with 15 minutes to play. No need for Fergie Time on this day. So much for the last of my worldly desires.
And yes. Oh, bartender….
Barcelona 2 Celtic 1
I honestly had no worldly desire one way or the other regarding Barca or Celtic. Obviously, as a neutral I’d be rooting for the underdog here because, just as in the case of Jimmie Johnson and his damned ability, I’m tired of ungodly excellence always winning. Barca has won enough goddamned shit so when and if a decent, but unremarkable team like Celtic can get one over on them, well…I’m all for it.
Celtic held the lead for most of the match on a powerful header from Georgios Samaras at 18 minutes that made all of Scotland lift up their kilts and roar. Even when Andres Iniesta leveled just before half time, it seemed destined to be a match where Celtic beat Barca 1-1.
But at the DEATH, Jordi Alba tapped the winner into the net and well, I don’t want to know what all of Scotland did THEN and neither do you.
Now if I was in a more celebratory mood, I would bust out another 855 words on Matt Kenseth’s thrilling win at Kansas last Sunday, and give you my in-depth take on one thing he can do to repeat that feat at Martinsville this coming Sunday ((besides crossing the finish line first, of course)), but I’m not in that sort of mood.
So instead, I’ll raise a restrained little toast to Matt Kenseth on his win, and then down the hatch. As I said, my #17 mug is an homage to Matt Kenseth and the #17 Zest Ford and not to Eden Hazard and the #17 Chelsea shirt, especially not today.
Yeh…I’ll raise the Chelsea flag to full-staff tomorrow and get ready for the weekend. After all, Fergie and the gang are coming to town. But for now….