Sunday, July 04, 2004

June 20 (Sunday): Where's Jason? Last night was a drag and when I awaken around six it occurs to me that I have just had barely four hours sleep as prep for today's tournament. Bugger.

Iran picks me up around 9.20 honking the company bubble car horn; I guess no Sunday lay ins this week for my neighbours then. Jimmy scoffs as I arrive in my Millwall away shirt ("jealous?"). I ride up with Jev and Jeremy, getting the News Of The World only to discover that Emma has been chucked out of the Big Brother house and that Victor is a proper drug dealer. Bejesus.

By the time we arrive in Tottenham it is occurring to me that I am feeling car sick from reading the newspaper in the car. As Jev works for a Citroen garage, today's car is a loaner, brand new and with child locks meaning dickhead here can't open the window for fresh air ("I'm fucking dying back here"). Still, the ride is invaluable for the dirt I hear from them about the teenage Iran.

Tottenham is pretty much as expected, as per last year except this year there appears to be more players, as in more ringers, non-accountants. Immediately it looks like it is going to be hard work.

Iran pulls out fresh new strips (on loan from his team/club, the Colts) and they are fantastic, sponsored by Xbox with the nice black and green theme ala Xbox. The tournament is sponsored by Xbox and suddenly things look suspicious. We get changed and I remember once more how fucking manly/sexual it feels to wear shin pads (fetish?).

We are drawn in a group with one team called "Last Years Winners". That doesn't sound too encouraging. We begin to warm up and have a kick about on a spare/empty pitch. At this point, the clouds dull over and slowly it begins to rain but fortunately only sporadically. Everyone seems up for it, having fun and taking the piss. Additionally though, everyone is looking terrible in the kick about, hung over or just shit, I can't decide. I get a text from Phoebe though and I'm good although I just look up in time to see yet another shot spooned out of the court and two team-mates having to climb onto each other's shoulders to retrieve our ball.

Eventually we all wind up back in the clubhouse (full of Tottenham memorabilia) and I wind up with beer in hand, held safely in place with goalie glove. Everyone takes the piss out of me after I earlier stated "I'm trying to give up".

Our group is six teams strong and we play in the third game, giving us opportunity to scope/scout our opponents. The first two teams (including "Last Years Winners" I believe) look shit hot. The next two teams are less so impressive. Compared to the walk in the park that was our group last year, this year it appears we are in the "Group Of Death". Our assigned referee for the group is this big black guy wearing a Rasta hat and a denim jacket on the outside of his referee kit. Comments are soon wheeled out, mainly "he won't be moving around much" and chants like "the referee likes ganger". When he put his pen in his mouth you could swear he was toking it like a fat boy.

First match for us. I don't play, so I don't pay much attention as to who it is against. It's a scrappy game against a team more physical than they look like they should be. They appear to be wearing old Denmark kits from 1992. About halfway through someone ploughs through Pete (one of our ringers) and fucks his knee up but I don't really care as he has already been spending a lot of the day making digs at me. Jeremy jogs on and does a really good job coming on. However the game ends 0-0.

Game two and we go down 3-0 when we really shouldn't do, it is against one of the teams we had watched previously not really fancied doing much. Whoops. No further comment.

Game three and I am getting hungry. The weather is swinging between sunny and drizzly and I am all of a sudden more concerned with when the organisers will be firing up the barbecue rather than with the progress of the tournament. And I am not alone, every time I return from a wander most of my team-mates pat me on the belly and ask me how burgers I have had. Game three and it is against the team that has looked tastiest. Playing for them is some pseudo-superstar without an accountant's haircut, looking like Millwall's Darren Ward on a VERY bad day. He also has the most beautiful girlfriend. We go down 1-0 but actually come back and score our first goal of the day, coming from Jeremy. The game ends with a draw when we really could/should have won.

I go on another one of my wanders and pick up the Xbox in the bar and start playing EA Euro 2004. This ain't Playstation. I have a good game, don't win, but then realise "this game is taking ages". Some cheeky bastard has set the game to last a full 90 minutes, no wonder I had got Ashley Cole sent off. I drop it losing 2-1 to Holland and return to our pitch where our game has already started. Fortunately the game is still young and it is scoreless. Not for long however and soon our opponents begin scoring (something we appear unable to do today) and all gradually we go down 3-0. Our team has little shape but plenty of aggression. Jimmy sends Pete back in but it doesn't work. Fucked off, Iran proceeds to slice through one of their players and gets sent off ("sin binned" for two minutes). Strangely though, with four against five, we actually score, Dan comes up from the back and slots one in. Despite being a man down, our team pulls together and builds a kind of "against all odds" spirit. Iran's two minutes in the "sin bin" actually seems to be more like five but as soon as he gets back on the pitch our team royally gets back into the game and actually pull back with two goals in the last minute to make the deal 3-3. Unfortunately though time runs out and it doesn't look like now we have done enough to progress.

The final game was mine. Against a team of Asians I thought looked tasty I felt a bit nervous. It turns out however though that they haven't actually scored a goal all tournament. The game begins and we have the run. Soon we score and take the lead. I look over at our referee and he's talking on his fucking mobile phone hands free. My moment comes when one of their shots rebounds off the boards straight back to one of their strikers and he has an open goal. Superman here, I recover and get back in time to make the save of the century, Gordon Banks and David Seaman can both suck my cock. And then all that good work gets ballsed up when I give away the stupidest penalty for apparently leaving my area and kicking the ball when there was absolutely no risk/danger from the other team. For the record, when I kicked the ball I was in the area but my fucking weight carried me out of the area. From his haze of weed and talking on his mobile phone, I have no idea how Rasta Ref would be able to see my foul. I want him reported to UEFA, FIFA, ACCA, HMC&E and anyone else that will listen. I face the penalty like Peter Shilton in 1990 and don't even see it as it flies in. Minutes later the game ends at 1-1 and I guess it's my fault that we didn't win this one. We can't qualify by group position but there will be five wildcard places so we don't leave immediately.

By now the barbecue has finally been fired up, I could eat enough for two. We hang around to see if we blag a wildcard spot just as the darkest clouds in history arrive above us. We don't get a wildcard spot so we fuck off home but satisfyingly the heaviest of down pours begins and we leave the venue telling other teams "you've got to play in that mate".

Again I ride home with Jeremy and Jev and soon get dropped off on Butt Road. I walk home from there, tired and sour. Late Sunday afternoon and I actually find a shop open! I manage to get an Observer with Music Monthly and the lady in the shop actually begins to talk to me about Big Brother. I just want to get in. I get in and watch The Peter Kay Thing I just got on VCD and soon fall asleep.

In the evening Spain v Portugal is shown on TV instead of Greece v Russia (rightfully so). Finally Portugal has started Ronaldo. The game by rights should be killer but actually it's a bit of a yawn and score flashes from the other game make Greece Russia sound infinitely better as Russia surprisingly go 2-0 up fairly early. I have to admit I pretty stop watching the game, probably choosing to look at porn on the internet or something. Just before halftime Greece pull a goal back and again it seems the wrong game is being shown. The second half does not improve, Portugal look old and Ronaldo does not come over as a 90 minute man for his national team. Eventually they score when Gomes scores in the 57. All hopes of this opening the floodgates get dashed, the game ends with Spain looking pretty pathetic and Portugal winning 1-0. The other game ends at 2-1 but Greece still goes through, poor show.

To be honest, Big Brother is actually interesting me more at the moment and I watch eager for any news of Emma's dismissal. No real dice. Davina does a short/brief interview with her and she just comes over as stupid and fucked over by Big Brother. Her own fault.

Kiss my arse.

np: Morrissey - The Last Of The Famous International Playboys


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