Why football is better than soccer

Dear Reader,

Our beloved commentators claim ignorance regarding the Superbowl. Luckily the did not come up with the suberb owl.

Since even BBC aired the match, we could ignore it. But why not settle it?

Let’s start with the misconception, that football has to be played with the foot. It is called football, because the ball is one foot long. Ta da. And it is called a ball, like in rugby, from which it originates.

And why is it better?

First of all, football is similar to speed chess. The quarterback has to position and move the players like on a chess board. And he has to make decisions in split seconds. Throw? Pass? To whom? While constantly being in danger of a tackle.

Secondly, the players are not wimps faking injuries, every time they feel an opponent close by. It is a contact sport. Not an exercise in acting. When is the last time you English saw a soccer game without diving?

The breaks are long and plenty to have a beer, a conversation, or something to eat. Football is social and inclusive.

Isn’t sport about finding the best? Too often soccer games are decided by luck. What is the most common score? With one or – if the spectators get lucky – two goals deciding a game, luck is as important as skill. If I wanted to watch gambling, I’d go to a casino.

There is enough action on the field. The fans do not have to fight each other, which is all too common in soccer.

And last but not least, repeating myself, this:

Thank you very much!

Engine Room

Would You Use The Y Word?

In the UK a great deal has been done in the last few years to stamp out racism by so called supporters at football matches.

The re-emergence of the debate over Tottenham Hotspur supporters’ use of the word “Yid” was not a surprise.

It has popped up periodically over the last few years, a testament to the lack of a satisfactory resolution as to how the Jewish originating word can and cannot be used (if at all). It is a particularly complicated subject for a club that shares such historical links with the Jewish community.

The Football Association’s recent statement on the matter felt that the use of the word was totally unacceptable.

The last couple of weeks have seen an assortment of views offered on whether Tottenham fans chanting the y-word deserve to be judged as being guilty of committing a “criminal offense”—as the FA suggested they could well be.

Most notably, Prime Minister David Cameron told The Jewish Chronicle last week that the chants were OK by him  as they were not “motivated by hate.”

Only Cameron could find the use of this word to be acceptable. Unsurprisingly that has not come anywhere near close to resolving the matter.

A Jewish contributor to a recent article on the Kick It Out website labelled the Prime Minister “an absolute disgrace.” Given the historically negative connotations associated with the word, she found it “hard to believe that some Jewish Spurs supporters call themselves ‘yids’.”

Andy Lines a journalist for the UK’s Daily mirror newspaper, spoke to Tottenham supporters who traveled to support their team at on Sunday and noted that A sizable portion of the fanbase have persisted with the chants, supplementing it with their own protest song: “We’re Tottenham Hotspur, we’ll sing what we want.”

A Jewish Spurs fan, Roger Maltz, said it was a “defense mechanism. We are just reclaiming our identity.” He believed he was well within his right having experienced anti-Semitic behavior following the club over the years.

Evidently, there are a few Jewish supporters who feel this way, and will happily join non-Jewish fans in referring to themselves, fellow fans and the players as “Yids.” Others fans remain uncomfortable with its prominent place in the Spurs songbook, at White Hart Lane and on the road.

In the minds of some fans it might well just be something that, as well as claiming back a part of the club’s heritage, has become a colloquial term among fans. But as “claiming back” suggests, there is obviously a different side to use of the “y-word.”

The dislike between Tottenham and Chelsea fans has—at its worst— manifested itself in the anti-Semitic behavior that is fueling the current discussion around the "y-word."
The dislike between Tottenham and Chelsea fans has—at its worst—
manifested itself in the anti-Semitic behavior that is fueling the current
discussion around the “y-word.”


Spurs fans are not without sin when it comes to distasteful and offensive songs and chants. Few clubs can claim to be as such, with these unfortunate elements just a sad reflection on parts of society.

However, a degree of sympathy can be afforded the club’s fan base within the current situation.

As noted, most who join in the use of the “y-word” are harmless in their intent. Those who are more aware of its significance can be partially commended for attempting to claim it as a badge of honour rather than just stand back and let it be used derogatorily against them.

However, it is hard to get away from the following conclusion.

Anything that is capable of causing any number of supporters, players or general staff to (validly) feel genuinely uncomfortable at a football ground is difficult to defend in its long term use. Be that in matters of faiths, race or sexuality.

The  process of the word  ceasing to be used can only really originate from the fans discussing it among their own (that has partly started at Spurs with a survey on the subject being issued to season ticket holders).

Until that time, it is up to anyone who follows Spurs home or away to decide how much the “y-word” really means to them.

Watching Sports

Dear Reader,

On plenty of occasions I have made fun of our gents at diablog being somewhat obsessed with watching sports, soccer in particular.

How bad is English soccer?
In the recent championship of something England was allowed to host the final. Not because any of its lousy teams made it there. Just because.
To make matters worse, two German teams played each other in the final. The Germans invaded England, took over Wembley – or where ever it was, and the whole UK had to sit by and watch. Churchill must have been rotating in his grave.

Enough of that boring, slow sport.
In the late eighties and early nineties I watched quite a bit of basketball. Then the NY Knicks had a couple of shots at the NBA championship. (Don’t check now, it is a disaster.)

Sadly, the Knicks never made it. In case you wonder why, let me play a song, that will remind you:

Sirius by The Alan Parsons Project, also known as the intro of the Chicago Bulls.

And it was one Bulls player, who ruined the championship dreams for the Knicks more than anyone else.

Continue reading “Watching Sports”

white is at the hart of it…

Dear diablog,

Pete appears to have all but disappeared off the face of the planet.
To those that care I offer my sincerest condolences but for the rest of us happy folk it is like breaking wind, a revolution, a rebirth, from monochrome to technicolour.

The colour simile really fits as this may be the reason for the mental decline of that once fertile and, sometimes, amusing wordsmith. Be it that he was only at his best when berating me I, Glynsky the Magnanimous always forgave – but Pete finds it difficult to bend (arthritis?) from his self imposed ‘Reasons to be Cheerful’.

To return to colour and Pete. This whole discourse surrounds three colours, blue, red and white – two of which are prime and one, we are told by some, does not exist.
Whew, that link was a whole lot more interesting than the subject of this post!!!

So, when faced with ‘what are your favourite colours’ poor ol’ Pete made the wrong choice – ONLY…

Continue reading “white is at the hart of it…”

man u – a stuffed turkey…

Dear diablog,

Despite lack of sleep, no hot water till Saturday, cold and everything else I am replete, happy, singing and in the best of humour!!

Oh what a night

(I didn’t choose the obvious song just to show how good I feel!).

The REAL scum have been stuffed, gone, finito, terminado, le fin!

I love Turkey (pity the film appears to just stop – who cares)

and in particular, their referees.

Bye bye


and good riddance.

Yours, diablog, with the sage and onion


all clips thanks to youtube

Surprises in Sport

Dear Reader,

Probably you have heard the line:

I went to see a fight, and all of a sudden a hockey game broke out.

Last Sunday I felt like that. In nice company I wanted to watch some TV ads, and it was interrupted by a football game.

Obviously, I was not the only one to feel irritated. Someone decided to switch off the lights for half an hour, giving the advertising people more time and attention.

Across the Atlantic the other football, aka soccer, had its own highlight. The European police investigated match rigging and found some 300+ matches, which have been fixed. The fellow authors of diablog have been suspiciously silent about that.

Consider me shocked. SHOCKED.

But seriously, what’s the surprise? Wikipedia has information about Match Fixing, including a list of famous ones.

In my humble opinion, the most honest sport is pro wrestling.
Everybody knows, the matches are set up. It is pure entertainment and physical stunts. Wrestling is also honest about doping. Everybody does it, everybody knows.

There is a brilliant movie about professional sport, and it brings us back to hockey.

Continue reading “Surprises in Sport”