A small portion of despair and enlightenment delivered to your inbox every Friday
18 September 2015 ~
For many years the Premier League has tried to make football attractive to families. Six siblings from the US can testify that this is working as they will each now be receiving £2.5 million a year in dividends from Manchester United. No doubt this is the sort of tradition that will be passed on to the next generation too.
Badge of the week ~ Senegal FA
The Angry Woman is, in Senegalese folklore, a monstrous figure with whom parents would threaten poorly behaved children. “The Angry Woman will get you and scream at you ‘til your bones rattle” was a phrase heard by many a child in Senegal, although nowadays this is mostly replaced by something more acceptable such as “Try to remember why you felt the need to set fire to my briefcase, is it anything I have done?”
But only a generation ago, Senegalese children would fear The Angry Woman and, if there were an elderly female in their community of a harsh and grudgeful disposition, she would likely be referred to by this sobriquet (not to her face of course) and the children would hasten their step as they passed her house (just as you or I hurriedly press forward to another channel when alighting accidentally for a moment on Embarrassing Bodies or Birds of a Feather).
Even if no one crossed her path for days, it is said that The Angry Woman could be heard by passers-by berating people who weren’t there. According to legend, the most frequent objects of her bile were The Angry Woman in the next village, laughing children, postal chess players who didn’t specify which of their knights was moving and rosy-cheeked young farmers’ daughters.
Senegal use this Children’s Fiction illustration of The Angry Woman as their FA’s icon because it sometimes puts the wind up opposition players on the international circuit, reminding them of a significant female from their childhood who always told them off. Cameron Carter
from Joe Parton
“Remember Stevenage's infamous portion of ‘cheesy chips’ last season? It looks like the catering team at Concord Rangers are keen to go one better (or worse). Yours for the price of £1.20.”
A decisive penalty clinches the Subbuteo world title. Oddly not covered by BT Sport.
A new low in half-and-half scarves.
Getting shirty Notable kits of yesteryear
Hammarby home, 2001
Aptly, Hammarby’s single League title would come with adverts for Falcon lager emblazoned on their shirts. In the Hammarby-following bars of Stockholm's working-class southside it is the default beer for matchgoers.
The club have had a range of styles over the years, wearing black and yellow from the 1920s onwards before returning to green and white in different minimal forms. The shirt that saw the team to championship glory was dated even by 2000s standards; the offset faded stripes and chunky elasticated arms are 1996 vintage, a five-minute rework of a Puma catalogue kit for an unfancied team. Many tipped Hammarby for yet another foray into Sweden’s second tier.
The margins by which top teams dominate Sweden are steadily increasing. In 2014 Malmo stormed the league with 62 points, compared to Hammarby’s meagre 49 that won the 2001 title by a single point. Not only was 2001 a highpoint in the club’s history, it was an example of the competitiveness that characterised the barely professionalised Swedish game in days gone by. League success masked deeper problems though; among other mistakes the club had made a financially catastrophic and farcical error in signing two expensive, unknown and underwhelming Yugoslavians based only on video clips.
What saved them were the goals of the giant Andreas “The Herminator” Hermansson, who had the season of his life, and the young talent of Championship Manager favourite Kennedy Bakircioglu. Kennedy would return to help the club out of their next crisis a decade on, but Hammarby are a long way from repeating the feat of that magical year. Dominic Hinde