Saturday, 19 May 2007

Bored Of Baloney

Why I'm missing Soccer AM and refuse to believe that West Ham have stayed in the Premiership
By Russell Brand

Frequently in my life there have been occasions where I've had cause to suspect that the very laws of physics have bent themselves to inconvenience me, events so preposterous that I fancy God to be some malevolent trickster perched on a cloud piddlin' ill fortune and rubbing his holy hands with glee at his divine meddling. Like when my foot was run over by a taxi that I was sat in, I thought, "Well, this can't happen every day." Or when I awoke naked atop a double bed in a squat in Kentish Town, occupied by a dozen baffled refugees, when I distinctly recalled dozing off in the arms of a Norwegian woman called Petra. Or consider the evening where I was propositioned in the lavvy of the pub in which I worked by a horny-handed builder with the line, delivered in a heavy Cork accent: "I sensed chemistry between us when you passed me my crisps, how 'bout a kiss?"

The last two happened on the same day. All the aforementioned made me query the logic of the universe and sent me inwardly spiralling, questioning all that I'd previously known to be true - "I bet that don't happen to everyone else," I'd think. My feelings of cosmic persecution are similarly roused by the lingering threat that West Ham's extraordinary season, a tale of triumph snatched from the foaming gnashers of inevitable, incontrovertible defeat, could still yet magically dwindle into failure by means never before encountered. What? We win seven of our last nine, including a final-day victory at Old Trafford, and we might still get relegated by a brand new, retrospective point deduction after a £5.5m fine, when the season has concluded? I don't think the breaches are that bad and people that keep harpin' on about em are right squares. U18? B12? They sound like Nationalist factions that are best ignored. The main thrust of the argument as far as I can see, from behind my blinkers, is that you aren't allowed to have a third party in a position where they can influence club activity as MSI, purportedly, were as they were renting us the players.

West Ham pleaded guilty and were appropriately penalised and that should be the end of it. I don't think it's that bad, how does the breach favour the Hammers anyway? What, is Kia Joorabchian of MSI gonna phone up Curbishley and go: "Here, you might wanna tell Tevez to play football really well, you know, with a sincere, almost spiritual, devotion and scoring an' that." "Brilliant," Curbs would respond. "Until now we'd been playing him out of position with red hot gravel in his boots." Actually, the second bit's not impossible at West Ham; Greavesy mentions similar practices as a regular part of training during his time at Upton Park. It's probably a good rule that outside entities cannot exert force over clubs. In these days of oligarchs, consortia and agents it's likely to occur but ought to be kept to a minimum, and the largest fine in history is probably sufficient incentive to comply.

If Jose Mourinho is found to have brought his dog into the country without observing the correct procedure, perhaps John Terry should be made to play all Chelsea's away games wearing women's knickers and whenever Frank Lampard takes a corner he should have to breast-feed the opposition's fans. I imagine the issue will be discussed rationally on the consistently excellent Soccer AM this morning, in my humble view the best football programming available, which I deeply miss while in Hawaii. That looks stupid written down but it's true - you can only marvel at turtles for so long. It never patronises its viewers and it's honest, bright and in tune with the people it caters for. I was on it once and embarrassed myself a bit by falling over during a headstand, which was another occasion on which I insisted the universe was conspiring against me. This will doubtless be eclipsed on today's show as I understand Noel Gallagher, who has recently come out to me as bisexual, is guesting and will probably spend the entire show evading questions on the FA Cup final, preferring instead to lunge across the delightful Helen Chamberlain and fondle the thighs of dear Tim Lovejoy, which will make for fine viewing and be further evidence that worldly affairs are being maliciously directed by loonies on Olympus

All that's going on and I'm stuck here like Robinson Crusoe wondering if next season the Almighty, through his emissary on earth, Sepp Blatter, will ordain that some of West Ham's hard-won points must be hoovered up into the heavens condemning them to purgatory.
Guardian column

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