I’m quickly starting to realise that I love the slate sporting-wise straight after the NFL Season, a good coping mechanism anyway. For this 2012 season in particular though I flew out to Nigeria and missed the Packers lose to the 49ers – I feel somewhat responsible.
The Super Bowl was Sunday 3rd February, that weekend was the beginning of the Six Nations (Saturday 2nd February – the 2013 instalment) which served up some amazing results as Ireland downed Wales in the opener (two of my favourite rugby anthems in the wooooorld – Wales & Ireland), then England topped Scotland to win the Calcutta Cup. Then there was the upset special that was Italy beating France for only the 3rd time, the 2nd time in the Six Nations so such a win presented them with the Giuseppe Garibaldi Trophy (Fourth paragraph, fifth line). The following week at Murrayfield against a freshly beaten Scotland – Italy ended up losing themselves so what did that mean for the prestigious win against France? I think sports sometimes gets ahead of itself as yes the win was a great result but lets call a spade a spade, Italy’s two wins against France in the Six Nations have been home wins. Their first was the 2011 result at the Stadio Flaminio, then this 2013 result at the Stadio Olimpico, as commonly mentioned home-field advantage is a real event (I know Italy had to start somewhere but still), Scotland used it against Italy and so it makes a somewhat deadlock to avoid the Wooden Spoon, though Italy and Scotland aren’t last as France after against both Italy and Wales. At the top the table after two matches are England leading the way as the last remained unbeaten team in the tournament, with win’s against Scotland and now Ireland – the next two matches are France and Italy at Twickenham. The last match will be a questionable trip to the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff and if England win that, that would mean The Triple Crown.
Then there was the African Cup of Nations that presented a final between Nigeria & Burkina Faso as though people will have noticed this matchup before, this was a final so maybe the story would be different. I remember when one of my cousin’s said that the standard of African Football may not be at the level of European football so hamper my expectations of the high-scoring affairs, for big parts of the African Cup of Nations – He wasn’t wrong , but that one semi-final. Though my viewing was not exactly uninterrupted, all of the matches may have been seen as of a low standard but I really see myself as a football connoisseur so it didn’t bother me as any football was better than no football – The pitches and attendance was something of a concern if people let it though. I get sick of people complaining about a number of issues as I try to look past them as it’s easy to say why isn’t it like this? but sometimes in life people have to simply make-do with what they have and if people can’t make-do they need to do something about changing things and if they can’t I don’t understand the usefulness of the comment in the first place. My personal beliefs aside I think the world was robbed of the final everyone wanted, Nigeria booking their place with that win, the 2nd Semi-Final was Burkina Faso vs. Ghana. I have to be honest, after watching the match this was the re-jig of the popular saying (style over substance) as Burkina Faso’s substance really did beat Ghana’s style, a disallowed goal then a penalty shout then a red card, Burkina Faso looked like the worthy winners. Though this was the case, Nigeria vs. Ghana had to be the ratings-favourite, the final vs. Burkina Faso though a low-scoring one, ended in the result I wanted (a Nigeria win) so I was happy, but still – What could have been.
Then came Manchester United vs. Everton on Sunday at 5pm on as all of the Matchday 26 were the reverse fixtures of Matchday 1 – A match that didn’t end well for United. Could the team exact revenge on The Toffee’s as it could have been seen as a job interview for Everton manager David Moyes – The man that has been the mainstay of Goodison Park since March 2002 has to be in contention for the job after Sir Alex Ferguson finally “leaves a vacancy”. I’ve somewhat given up caring when “Fergie” … “leaves a vacancy”. I’ve noticed that it has to be seen as enjoy the present as the future may not be a good one, Arsenal must be wanting those golden years over the turn of the millennium. All the same Manchester United won and revenge was theirs, and coupled with the shocking Manchester City loss to Southampton, United currently find themselves 12 points clear with 12 matches remaining. 3 points x 12 matches = 36 points remaining. All the sporting hyperbole has it as the title being done and dusted, but I can’t help but be sceptical until it becomes a mathematical possibility, until then I just forbid myself to signup to that way of thinking.
I remember the 1995 FA Cup Final… GIVE ‘EM HELL!
I mentioned that without American Football my sporting calendar is somewhat bare, but then I’ve been somewhat late to realise that I have an amazing family and friends. Though I will never take them for granted, I realise that I have no excuses to seriously enjoying my time with them, I have a life outside of sports-writing. My first act after finally realising this is that I’m off to Stamford Bridge to watch Chelsea vs. Brentford with my best friend – Maybe small steps?