Monday, 19 September 2011


Fox balloons

The Fox was absolutely packed.

Not with football fans particularly, but rather hordes of Irish watching Dublin and Kerry hurl at each other. Grannies and kiddies, pale white skin and red hair, pints of the black stuff, vodkas & lemonade, a plate from the carvery and a black & white knotted thing tucked into the back pocket, cheering the incomprehensible rubbish on the many screens.

If ever a publican bucked the trend, here's one, let me tell you. Obviously doing something right, with beer close to £4 the pint (although not everyone was drinking - especially those who watched the proper game, squeezed economy class into the fiddly corners of the pub, where it's not easy to get a view of the game without blocking someone else) and yet not enough room, even with the huge beer garden and the separate function rooms, to get all the punters in. And to be fair (aside from the £4 price tag) I do like the place myself. Two lovely dogs (one a Pyrenean mountain dog named Hudson, like a great bear rug and the other a lab called Max) and a mostly friendly clientele; the boss very chatty. What's not to like?

But it wasn't for me yesterday. Those stupid Sunday 3 o'clock kick-offs always put me in a foul mood. I understand that it accommodates the midweek European travellers and all that bunkum, but it drives me mad. So, radio on (1-0 when I left the house) and then a quick scoot up the road to - ostensibly - watch the first half of the Rags/Chelsea match. This was when I was confronted with the Irish diaspora hooting and hollering at the screen where nothing of any import or interest seemed to be happening. With a few random thoughts about the global recession, and the shithole the Emerald Isle has found it in not seeming to effect those chucking the booze down them, I finally managed to get served. No seats were available naturally, so I edged myself in behind a table where a man (without a pint in front of him!) was sitting and started watching the muted action at the Sty to the background of RTE commentary. Goal from Ag├╝ero! Great news. Rags score. Shit news. Still, 2-0 up and looking good. My beer finished and without the heart or cash to buy another, I headed home towards 5 Live, learning when I got there that it was now 2-1 with 15 minutes to go.

'Dangerous...' I thought and waited for the inevitable equaliser, fucking lucky shit deflected Danny Murphy bollocks it was. Meanwhile, Nani scores for them, Rooney misses a penalty and scores and Torres continues to swing his banjo loosely in the direction of cows' arses. All so bloody inevitable, really. It puts the Monday routine all out of kilter, having to read articles about how we threw it away, how we still have some way to go before we match the ruthless, winning attitude of the fucking Rags, and blah blah blah...

I was going to say that some progress is shown by this away draw feeling more like a defeat, but Fulham were bottom of the table yesterday morning, and are absolutely shit, so we should be beating them from the comfort of a 2 goal cushion. Shouldn't we?

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