Wednesday, 11 December 2019

PATGOD - Politically neutral to a fault....


...but we couldn't let this blatant and monstrous
bias pass unchallenged!











Sunday, 8 December 2019

Poppies continue to inch their way to safety

Another game, another point.  This time impressively against title-chasing York City.  Had the Minstermen left having been on the wrong end of a sturdy defeat they could not have complained.  And if Aaron had taken his shooting boots out of his kit-bag there's every chance City would have left with their tails between their legs and the destination of the League title would have taken a big step towards the angry, webbed-toed denizens of North Norfolk.  So, perhaps it's best we didn't win....

If nothing else, Paul Cox has installed an enormous amount of belief into the same players who seemed perpetually like rabbits caught in the headlights during Eaden's depressing reign.  We still have a long way to go this season, and we may or may not escape relegation.  But we are at least making a decent fist of trying to stay up, and the bigger beasts of National League North know they've been in a game when they welcome the Poppies.

The only downside from yesterday was the paltry attendance of just 859.  Some may point to Christmas shopping, or the perennial issues of the location and condition of Latimer Park for the lack of home support.   But, come on, even with the away team supplying a couple of hundred supporters, we still couldn't get within sniffing distance of a 4-figure gate.

This must be worrying for the club.  York at home must have been seen as a banker for a big payday, and the Poppies supporting Kettering public stayed away in their droves.  I've long suspected that far too many people who would describe themselves as Kettering Town fans are more than happy to do so from the comfort of their armchairs, and perhaps deign to show up when we play the Direones, or get League trophies handed to us.

If we want to progress as a Club, or start moving forward with stadium plans we really need the lapsed or lazy supporters to start putting in the same sort of effort the players have been showing.

Friday, 6 December 2019

I don't know which is older.....

.....Lindon's photograph on the front of the York City programme,
or my photo editing software.....!

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Come On You Preds

Personal circumstances have currently taken me, already an Exile, a jump further to the other side of the Atlantic, specifically Nashville Tennessee. Say Nashville and the first thing you probably think of is country music and cowboy hats. A stereotypical image that Nashville is keen to shed, judging by the cowboy hat store you pass on arrival at the airport, and the revolving guitars (sorry, GIT-arrs) in the baggage hall.

Nashville is less well known for sport, at least in the UK. However come the spring it gains a new MLS franchise and already has an NFL outfit (of which more maybe anon) and an NHL club that dates back even further. To 1998, which in AFC Diamonds terms makes it worthy of a preservation order.

So being at present I’m even less qualified than usual to comment on matters relating to our beloved Poppies, I need to get my sporting kicks where I can and that began with my first experiences of ice hockey via the Nashville Predators.

The Predators (Preds to everyone but a tourist like me) play at the Bridgestone Arena in downtown Nashville. This seats 17,000 and is usually mostly full, despite the 41 game home season. Ticket prices range from the astronomical to around $25 if bought from returns on the day before. Needless to say it took me at least one game to figure that one out. Inside, after being scanned and body searched you are met with a continuous ring of catering concessions and Preds merch on three levels, so by the time you reach the upper tier (by escalator, obviously) the unwary punter could be a couple of hundred bucks lighter and about 20lb heavier. The whole thing is geared to milking cash.

Once inside the bowl the first thing that hits you is the giant four sided video screen suspended above the rink. This acts as a virtual cheerleader as the minutes count down to the start. Eventually after a huge amount of build up the teams emerge. You vaguely know from a pub quiz answer that in ice hockey it’s 6 a side. So how come there are at least 15 out there?  Soon all will be revealed. The game starts. It’s 5 a side football on fast forward. Exhausting to watch. Presumably to play too, because every few minutes there’s a rotation of outfield players – five come off, five go on. Only the goalie remains in place. The subbing seems to be unconnected to the state of the game. Also apparently by numbers, the big screens pump up the crowd. GET LOUD. The noise goes up. NOISE METER. A comedy decibel counter heads north. CAN YOU HEAR US ON THE BOX?  Sorry that was just me.
When Nashville score it’s fun but also a bit choreographed. The big screens cut to a guy in a T shirt wearing a cowboy hat swinging an inflatable catfish (I think he’s a modern country star but my knowledge ends with Kenny Rogers). The crowd yell YOU SUCK at the opposition goalie, and to really rub it in IT'S ALL YOUR FAULT.  Family friendly goalkeeper baiting. Somehow, to British ears being slapped with comments that carry less sting than a school report doesn’t quite cut it. MUST TRY HARDER?

But having seen a couple of games the initial whirl is less bewildering. You start to see it less as ping pong, more of a calculated pattern, which of course any game is.  Plus in my second crack at it I may have witnessed the latest ever equaliser (not that they call it that). With Nashville leading 3-2, the Vegas Golden Knights (don’t ask) levelled with 0.3 seconds left on the clock. And of course won on the golden goal in overtime. There was a tiny cheer from the dozen or so away fans whilst the home supporters just got up and left, like a film had ended. To be fair, the big screen wasn’t saying GET BOOING, but it felt like another cultural disconnect. I was amused though by the local version of 606 on the drive home.  On comes a Vegas fan and of course he has to begin, like they all do, by stating his credentials as a long time supporter. "I've been a fan for 15 years". There was a pause back in the studio.  "Buddy, you were only formed 2 years ago..."            

Sunday, 24 November 2019

EASY! EASY! EASY!

Before Peterborough Sports Boss Jimmy Dean reads EASY!  EASY!  EASY! and flies off the handle, I am not referring to our elementary 10-man trimming of his expensively assembled squad, in front of their record attendance (of which we made up 50%).

Even though the game was "EASY!  EASY!  EASY!" this article isn't about the Trophy game, where we won the match in such an EASY!  EASY!  EASY! manner.  Instead it is about the Supporter Trust instigated EASY FUNDRAISING online option, where you can raise small, continuous amounts of money by doing what we Brits do best - shopping online.

Some time ago this facility was set-up by serial do-gooder Richard Atkinson, enabling a lot of online purchases to automatically generate donations to the Supporters Trust.  As the name suggests, it is really EASY!  EASY!  EASY!  And remember, we're talking about THE EASY FUNDRAISING website.  And not the FA Trophy win over our local rivals Peterborough Sports FC.  Just to make that clear.

A link to the Poppies section of Easy Fundraising can be found here: -

Poppies Trust Easy Fundraising Page

Using it is simplicity itself.  If a site you are shopping on is linked to this scheme an icon pops up asking if you would like the supplier to chip in to the Poppies fund.  The amount depends on the supplier and the amount being spent, but, as they say, every little helps.

Admittedly, it does help if, say, you do a lot of online ordering for your workplace, or for numerous people.  And you soon spot which companies believe in the scheme, and which host it merely to boost their "caring" image.  Toadhall Cottage chucked over £20 into the pot when I booked a week's rental through them, while Flybe will usually throw in enough to buy a Klondike for every return flight booked through their website.  But, hey, it's all free money and when more cover appears around Latimer Park, these small donations will have helped.

After 3 years I'm closing in on £100 raised.  It may not sound much, but it has been accrued with me literally doing nothing.  And if 249 others had done similar, we'd now be standing under our new Tin Hat....

Also EASY!  EASY!  EASY!

Looking at the trajectory of the ball
we are going to assume this is Lindon's
SECOND attempt at Peterborough......


photo liberally borrowed from Shorty and the Club website






Thursday, 21 November 2019

Poppies take a practice run at Wembley

We all know the Poppies get to Wembley regularly.  Every 21 years, give or take.  By our reckoning we are due back there at the end of next season!  Woo-hoo!  Can't wait!

This means that this season's Trophy "run" is merely a prelude to a successful campaign next term.  Surely?  We can enjoy this season's Trophy tilt for what it is.  A comfortably calamitous failure in waiting.

Given that this season is all about survival in Nationwide North, a Trophy run might be considered a bit of an inconvenience.  However, I'd suggest we at least turn the upstarts at Peterborough Sports FC over before we gracelessly bow out of this season's competition.  Sometimes you can just take against a football club, and we're starting to take against this club.

They seem a mite uppity for a club that has played under their current name for less than two decades and spends most of their time picking up players that weren't good enough to play for us.  This uppityness no more apparent than in the twaddle spoken by their boss.

The full interview is here -

Jimmy Dean spouts random sh*ie

The upshot from this bigshot is that there is "little love lost for Peterborough in Kettering". 

What?  Really?  I don't think anyone from Kettering has really had a negative thought about the city of Peterborough, or even Peterborough United.  Over the years we've played them a lot.  They've lent us some good players over the years.  And Sam Cartwright.  And we all love Barry Fry.  So, nothing BUT love for Peterborough.

Peterborough Sports website also picked up on the vibe of their Manager, declaring the Poppies to be "local rivals".  Local rivals?  Way to big yourself up chaps!   We've always assumed a local rival is someone from nearby you actually play against from time to time?  Or, failing that, a club from the same town or city.  I'm pretty sure neither of these criteria have yet been met by Peterborough Sports FC.

Obviously once they've thumped us at the weekend they will crow about it, Jimmy Dean will cream his pants, and they'll probably run off a couple of dozen commemorative T-shirts (celebrating the win, rather than Jimmy's soiled underpants.)  But you'll still not be a rival, local or otherwise, and we're sorry if that hurts....