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Row Z February 21, 2010

Posted by Alex Tomchak Scott in Uncategorized.
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Even if it were for nothing other than that improbable helmet of hair, Chelsea’s nondescript, nontalented utility defender Paulo Ferreira would deserve ridicule. This struck me as I watched a loveless Chelsea squish an earnest but limited Wolverhampton Wanderers today. My response to most of it was sleep, but there is one moment I remember, aside from the part where a hobbling Yuri Zhirkov shrugged his shoulders and decided it was time to eviscerate Wolves so he could get off the field.

Ferreira takes up the ball on the right wing, 40 yards from goal. He looks up and wellies up a cross. Conservatively, the cross ends up 30 yards behind the Wolves goalmouth. Didn’t even reach the stands though. Molineux is a funny old ground like that, I guess.

But my mind immediately raced to all of the fractionally high shots I’ve seen described as “ending up in Row Z.” First, let me say that I find it charming the level of micromanaging bureaucracy it must take to mandate that all English grounds contain no more than 26 rows of seats. Looking at some of the stadiums I’ve seen games played in, I feel this is an especial accomplishment.

For instance, I have to laud the builders of Forest Green Rovers’ New Lawn ground for their economy. I recall watching Derby County’s Miles Addison (note: I may have the wrong man) fire a high shot over the goal at an FA cup tie between Rovers and County, only to be informed by the commentator that it had “troubled Row Z.” What a heroic effort by the builders to build a 26th row in a stadium with a capacity of just more than 5,000. Although I have to feel sorry for fans in said row because, judging by the visual evidence proffered, Row Z is somehow located yards behind the stadium. I guess the most parsimoniuos punters in Nailsworth have some pretty obstructed views.

No, obviously it is just a turn of phrase, a cliche if you will, but an inapt one. Ferreira’s cross was far more wayward than several so-called Row-Z efforts I’ve seen, but it didn’t even reach the fans. I have this theory that eventually all aspects of culture will fall into one-upsmanship for commercial purposes: one channel creates “Mandatory Monday” to compete with another’s “Must-see Monday,” triggering an arms race that can only end with “You-Will-Trigger-the-Apocalypse-if-You-Don’t-Tune-in-Because-We-Have-a-Nuclear-Warhead-Pointed-Directly-at-Your-House-and-Don’t-Think-We-Won’t-Use-It Monday.”

This must, of course, include hyperbole about wayward shots, at least if people who can’t make it home to watch Monday night sitcoms haven’t caused a nuclear holocaust by then. Meanwhile, “Row Z” will become overused, eventually being employed to describe even shots that have clipped the post and fallen into the goalkeeper’s arms. Something stronger will be needed. So here are some suggestions for when that day comes and a white-haired Mauricio Baldivieso‘s effort sails inches above the bar, some of which are already being explored:

  • “That shot ended up across the street”
  • “That shot made it all the way to City Hall.”
  • “That shot must have made a big splash in (nearby river)!” (Double the effect if said river is in the opposite direction from the one in which the shot has traveled)
  • “That shot’s got to be in (neighboring town)”
  • “That shot probably did bulge the back of the net…At (away team’s ground).”
  • “If that shot were a citizen of this country, it would have broken immigration laws in (nearby country).”
  • “By golly, that shot’s probably starting a new life in Brazil” (Do not use if game is being played in Brazil)
  • “He better watch out! That shot could circumnavigate the world and hit him in the backside!”
  • “I bet that ball disintegrated in reentry.”
  • “Astronomers get your telescopes: I bet he’s just made a new Great Red Spot on Jupiter.”
  • “If only NASA had thought to engrave into that ball information about the human race intended for alien life forms!”
  • “I guess if they ask him why he didn’t score there, he can always say the ball reached light speed and broke through the space-time continuum!”
  • “Ladies and gentlemen, now we know what caused the Big Bang!”
  • “So errant was that shot that we should fear the wrath of God! It probably hit him. All I’m saying is, take your first-born and get him some vaccinations.”
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Fabianski forgot how to play soccer February 18, 2010

Posted by michaeltomlinson in Uncategorized.
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Lukasz Fabianski used his hands poorly on two occasions Wednesday, watching a cross dribble through his hands into the net and eventually receiving a back pass in his HANDS. Which of course we learned when playing on the Wild Cheetahs in 3rd grade, you NEVER do. But the best part came when Porto elected to not ask for 10 yards of space and send a cheeky though pass to notch their second and deciding goal as Sol Campbell and Fabianski stood watching. Being the slight Arsenal fan that I am, at first I was along side Wenger yelling at the ref for the unjust deed he had done to my team, king and country. On second though, congrats to Porto, not often do things pan out quite that well. There is no rule that gives a defense time to set up, nor do the likes of goals which they scored show up in bunches. The latter leagues of the world deserve wins such as this on occasion.

On that note

Makoun would like to personally  thank Real for their kind visit to Lyon and wishes them a safe trip back to Madrid.
Makoun!