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8 July 2011 ~
We're as outraged as anyone by the phone hacking revelations. Today the Metropolitan Police said that they will contact 4,000 potential victims of the hackers. The big list has been published and we're not on it. Do these people think we don't know anything? We've got Pelé's home number. (At least he told us he was Pelé.)
Badge of the week ~ NK Zadar, Croatia
Some towns are very proud of their shopping malls. There was a giddy era for British architecture when Tesco adopted the neo-Roman style for its new stores – cascading tiled roofs of scorched umber, classical arches, sun-bleached white façades in some cases. It was a time ripe with possibilities, when many of us hoped this trend might escalate into something extraordinary on the outskirts of our towns: Morrisons with moats and keeps, Waitroses built in the style of the Babylonian Temple of Ishtar, Asdas carved entirely from ice.
Regrettably this golden age never materialised in the UK but clearly Croatia's modern commercial districts are something to behold. The one in Zadar appears to have gained iconic status and the club revel in their gilded halls of Mammon. It's nice they have a new shopping centre and all but it's a little bit embarrassing that they've chosen it as their club crest. It's really the equivalent of someone framing their Media Studies degree certificate or topping up their Facebook friends with local pubs. Cameron Carter
from Billy Watson
"The other day I was musing on Gael Clichy's remarks on signing for Man City. You know the sort of thing, about how people from Manchester are only City fans, not United, and all that nonsense designed to ingratiate himself. All very tedious – City have become a charmless club since being taken over by Middle East oil billionaires so let's not pretend otherwise. But hats off to Garry Cook and his commercial team – in Sainsbury's yesterday I turned in to the bakery aisle to be confronted by a Man City cake. And this is in SOUTH LONDON! Global domination is surely just around the corner.")
from Carl Hawkins
"Noticing that this Non-Corinthian figure of Alex Ferguson is an unholy fusion of Dominique Strauss-Kahn and my old technical drawing teacher Mr Moffat set me thinking: which football figure had been least well captured in a tiny likeness? Strangely the same company's Arsène Wenger is quite good."
Louis Briscoe of Mansfield Town has never appeared on a Panini sticker so the editors of his Wikipedia page had to make do with what they could find for his profile pic.
from Adam Booth
"No surprise that Fernando Torres has struggled at Chelsea – he's been too busy modelling on UCAS, the student admissions portal."
Who might you cast to play a London gangster in a film about "restoring fascism in Europe through the medium of modern technology"? Of course, Ian Wright.
Getting shirty Notable kits of yesteryear
Sunderland goalkeeper home, 1994-96
Goalkeepers' tops from the 1990s were renowned for their hyperactive and tasteless designs, but this Sunderland kit took things to a whole new level. And I still own one. Having replaced Hummel as kit supplier in 1994, north-east company Avec announced their arrival at Roker Park with a goalkeeper shirt featuring a design that could be best described as "busy". Perhaps strikers bearing down on goal were distracted by a 3D image of a horse emerging from the keeper's shirt?
The stand-out feature of this jersey is the "glove" design, giving the appearance that the wearer, perhaps out celebrating a Sunderland win, is being caressed from behind by two unidentified admirers. Of course, the hands could also be viewed as two mates holding back the drunk wearer who is trying to start a fight in a pub following a disappointing home defeat.
This strip, also available in a yellow away version, was worn for two seasons. The second, 1995-96, saw Peter Reid's team claim the Division One championship, largely thanks to solid defending (the top scorer was Craig Russell with 13). Alec Chamberlain started the season as the first-choice stopper, but lost his place to the unknown Seamus John James Given, on loan from Blackburn. Given kept 12 clean sheets during his short stay and moved to Newcastle the following summer after Sunderland reportedly had a bid turned down.
Sadly this strip never got to experience top-flight football, and was replaced by a rather dull affair for Sunderland's single campaign in the Premier League before being relegated back to Division One. Chris Tynemouth