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24 August 2012 ~
A Doncaster Rovers player has been told that if he scores 20 goals this season he will be presented with the chairman's Bentley. Other club owners have similar incentives ready. Any Wigan players in double figures will get their own sportswear franchises, Andy Carroll is set for a stake in Boston Red Sox and Fernando Torres will receive the mineral extraction rights for the whole of Siberia.
Badge of the week ~ Gombak United, Singapore
In the West, when we wish to scare our children into adopting non-risk-taking behaviour, we threaten them with the Bogeyman or an evening of Smooth FM. Over in Singapore, the figure invoked to dissuade one's child from taking the short cut through the forest after dark is the Blue-Handed Dunce Bull. Many a Singaporean mother has warned her offspring: "Don’t go into the old quarry here in Singapore, especially not at night time, because the Blue-Handed Dunce Bull lives there."
There are many variations as to what the Blue-Handed Dunce Bull does upon encountering lone travellers, but most versions have him asking a question that, if not replied to correctly, results in the unfortunate individual being slapped repeatedly with blue hands before having their head stoved in with a car jack. The Dunce Ball then does a little dance, which is totally unnecessary.
Fortunately for lone travellers, the Blue-Handed Dunce Bull, as his name and headwear suggest, is an idiot. Because of this, he hardly ever knows if the answer to his question is correct or not. And he is well known for giving the benefit of the doubt. Gombak United use this image to scare opposing teams, while also reminding them not to take the short cut through the forest after dark. Cameron Carter
Anyone who saw Liverpool's performance at West Brom will appreciate this marketing slogan.
from Craig Menzies
"I suppose it's useful to know what meningitis feels like but it nonetheless seems rather a tasteless way to begin a match report."
There was quite a kerfuffle over the identity of the mystery footballers who would be promoting FIFA 2013 alongside Lionel Messi. Neither Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain nor Joe Hart seems excited to have been chosen. Looking underwhelmed might be part of their brand identity, though.
from Matthew Hall
"A new site in the US dedicated to 'the global futbol experience' is looking for investors. 'Soccer is massive in the social space', as you may know."
from Michael Hunter
"This excerpt from the entry on Brian Pinas isn't exactly Wikipedia vandalism but still, cutting edge humour from the Sun."
Getting shirty Notable kits of yesteryear
Norwich City, 1984-85"Unfashionable" is by far the most overused description of Norwich City in the national press. But there have been plenty of occasions when it has been hard to disagree. Our perceived lack of style has often been reflected in our choice of shirt, the ghastly flecks worn by the 1992-93 UEFA Cup run team being an obvious example. However, probably our second most recognisable shirt from years gone by – the 1984-85 Milk Cup winning shirt – did its very best to buck the trend.
The game itself, against Sunderland, was fairly forgettable and won by a scruffy own-goal. The shirt, which was a reasonably stylish V-neck number with two shades of thick yellow stripes, gave those of us wearing it on that famous March afternoon a very warm glow.
Made by Hummel, a Danish company that is still in existence, and sponsored by Poll & Withey – a long since departed double-glazing company from Watton, just outside Norwich – it more than earned its place in Canary history. Die-hards will argue its finest hour was not the said Milk Cup final but instead the semi-final when local rivals Ipswich Town were beaten 3-2 over two legs. The sight of Steve Bruce celebrating his winning goal in this shirt is one of the great Norwich City images. Gary Gowers