Ian Plenderleith looks at a site celebrating fooball's strange expressions, and has a trawl around Scotland
Kudos is due to the website Danger Here for its documenting of great moments in football language, including nonsensical and little-known quotes from the back catalogues of Kevin Keegan, Glenn Hoddle and the Irish commentator George Hamilton, who merits his own section. His garbled metaphor comparing the Real Madrid defence to a rabbit is too long to reproduce here, but well worth logging on for alone, although my own favourite was: “The midfield are like a chef... trying to prise open a stubborn oyster to get at the fleshy meat inside.”
You can also take a course in Ronglish, an infectious guide to speaking Atkinsonese that will have you effortlessly annoying your friends and relatives by making constant references to little eyebrows, lollipops, early doors and the Wide Awake Club. The graphic of Big Ron’s head looks disconcertingly (intentionally?) like a naked brain, but following the great summariser’s three-part guide to superlatives I can now say the following: I’ll tell you what, I’ve trawled through a lot of websites in my time, but Danger Here is the funniest I’ve come across this month.
These fabled commentators would doubtless have something memorable to deliver upon the sight reported at the website of Thurso Academicals FC. “Last night’s game against Wick Rovers was postponed due to the referee failing to turn up. The game was called off with both teams stripped and on the pitch.” My bet is that he did a U-turn after spotting 22 bollock-naked Highlanders standing in a field. There’s nothing much else at the website besides a murky picture of the team in gloomily dark attire against the backdrop of a grey wall, perfectly capturing the Highland climate while symbolising the state of Scottish football.
They would take the Sparsest Site of the Month award if it wasnt for the mighty Forres Mechanics, whose match reporter could give a lesson in pointed brevity to some of his professional colleagues. The account of Forres’ 1-1 away draw at Cove states (in full): “Charlie Brown scored a late goal to equalise the match and make next week’s return encounter all the more exciting.” What more do we really need to know? The reporter does even better following the 1-1 finish against Huntly a few weeks later: “Two goals and I missed them both. Late arriving and then watching the National.” Well, if you insist on watching TV in the corporate box you have to take the consequences.
Click on merchandising, and you will be able to buy a Forres Mechanics pen for 30p. To counter the rampant commercialism of the current era, I endeavoured to find the cheapest item of football-related gear on the net. After a long search that took me through Hartlepool United hand-knitted tea-cosies and Stalybridge Celtic alcohol-free baby wipes, I finally found it: the Stenhousemuir FC book of matches (that’s to light your ciggies, not a fixture list) at just 12p. The thought of tab-toting teenagers committing rebellion and supporting their local side at the same time made me feel there is perhaps hope for Scottish football after all.
Finally, as it’s summer, why not forget football and head to crappiemagazine.com, the homepage for the august fishing journal Crappie World. You might at least get a cheap laugh out of it to tide you over until your team sets out to let you down all over again.
Danger Here www.dangerhere.com
From WSC 174 August 2001. What was happening this month