A small portion of despair and enlightenment delivered to your inbox every Friday
28 March 2014 ~
The Premier League's Richard Scudamore says that Manchester United's sudden decline is harming the competition: "When your most popular club isn't doing as well, that costs you interest and audiences in some places." So, come on opposing teams – lie down and think of England.
Badge of the week ~ Hapoel Marmorek, Israel
Some characters in folk tales are there to scare children into staying within their boundaries. The witch in Hansel and Gretel warns us not to stray into the forest (here, the forest stands for pretty much anywhere outside the garden gate, including the kindly woodcutter's). Rumpelstiltskin warns children to avoid getting into a zero-hour contract with a sadistic king who has been advised by your father that you can spin straw into gold.
In the Israeli story The Infantry Duck and the Frog Tree, Israeli children are warned to avoid military-minded seabirds with a penchant for the avant garde. A Jewish duck travels to Belgium with a verbal contract to provide the catering for the Napoleonic Wars. When he arrives at the front line he is immediately mistaken for Napoleon with humorous consequences. When, however, he orders infantry directly into enemy cannon he is demoted to second hornpipe in a Swiss regiment and is not heard of again until he pops up as an experimental frog farmer in the Boulogne district. The message in this badge to visitors is "Be careful now you're here, we tell our children stories like this". Cameron Carter
from Costa Zafiropoulos
"Some bonus audio during an MLS broadcast. Move over Premier League, we are now the greatest league ever."
from Gary Chadwick
"What to buy Andre Marriner for his next birthday? How about a signed photo of Kieran Gibbs and an Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain figure? They'll be fun conversation pieces and will help him avoid any embarrassing slip-ups in the future."
from Rob Barker
"For a while before Billy Davies left Nottingham Forest, fans were getting creative with ways to call for his dismissal."
from Mike Bayly
"Fans of Wingate & Finchley, in the Isthmian Premier, now have some matchday flags that are a direct response to songs/jibes aimed at us throughout the last couple of seasons."
Also in the news this week
The PA announcer at Radcliffe Borough berates fighting spectators (with an unusual pronunciation of "spectacle").
Cesc Fabregas blocks out crowd noise with a dull song on overpriced headphones.
Gylfi Sigurdsson gives Kevin Phillips a problem.
The David Moyes Random Excuse Generator.