Thursday 2 January 2014

Week 18 - Stewart remembered (and another of his gags)

This being the first gramble of the new year we should be upbeat and optimistic.  But first, please read the thoughts of Tinney (aka The Gramblerzhgi) who posted the following words on Bacefook on Hogmanay…

“We lost a great man in Stewart Smith when he lost his battle with cancer; he was truly one of a kind - a genuinely good man with no faults.  He’ll be sadly missed and we think about him every day and hope to bring a lot of money to the Bobby Moore Fund next year and raise awareness of bowel cancer.  Losing loved ones is devastating and I hope 2014 is in your favour.”

Did that bring a wee tear to your eye?  It did with me.  Stewart suffered for more than two years with bowel cancer.  He underwent so many operations and endured unimaginable pain.  One person should not have to suffer so much.  But throughout the whole ordeal he remained calm and dignified.  When we, his family, wept by his hospital bed, he showed a wise acceptance of his fate. We asked him how he could remain so tranquil.  His response was simply this – ‘Somebody’s got to stay calm.’

Maybe you didn’t expect such a serious start to 2014; but, even though this blog is meant to be a bit silly, please don’t forget the message it tries to put across.  Bowel cancer is hellish.  We have it drummed into us that it affects those aged over 50.  True, a huge percentage of cases are in people aged over 50, but bowel cancer, like any cancer, isn’t prejudiced – it can affect anyone, of any age.  If you want some light reading on the subject go to .


Right, how would you like to see another of Stewart’s awful jokes?  You would?

Chortle, chortle as they used to say in the Beano.

Right, before we begin our first gramble of the year, I have a question for you.  Who has put on weight over the festive period?  Yeah, I have too.  As I write this, I am wearing a shirt which used to be a neat fit; now it is positively tight.  But I have a plan.  And a name for my plan.  I am going to go on the Gramblerplan diet!  Yes indeedy.  And unlike other diets, this one works.  It is better than the Atkins diet, the Five and Two diet, the Five and Dime diet, the Beverley Hills diet, the F-Plan diet, the F-all-Plan diet (that does work, as you eat f-all).  What is the secret of the Gramblerplan diet, you ask?  Come closer.  I’ll whisper it to you.  Are you ready?  You eat less food and exercise more.  There.  Revolutionary or what?

Why should you be interested in this?  Because, for every pound I lose on the Gramblerplan diet, I will donate 1 British quid to the Bobby Moore Fund via .  Now then, why don’t you wunnerful people out there in Gramblerland do the same?  Go on.  Go for it.

I will keep you updated about my progress (or lack of progress) over the coming weeks.

Let’s crack on.  Time to gramble.

Oh no! FA Cup weekend.  You know what that means; the fixtures this weekend are all over the place.  Right, let’s stick with Saturday at 3pm.  That means there are 39 games for The Grambler to randomly choose from.  Here goes…

Right, the predictions are in.  All selections come from the FA Cup 3rd Round games.  The Grambler has given us 4 home wins and 1 away win.  I don’t want to put the mockers on this before we have even started, but the away win is laughable.  Er…and so is one of the home wins.

Game – Result – Odds

Bournemouth vs Burton Albion – Home win – 1/2

For our first prediction of the new year, The Grambler takes us to Dean Court/Goldsands Stadium where the Cherries play host to the Brewers.  Now then, according to The Grambler the mid-table Championship (2nd Division) team can beat the 2nd Division (4th Division) high flyers.  You see, that’s how crazy it is; the 4th division is called the 2nd division and the 2nd division is called the championship.  Bonkers, I call it.  So, is The Grambler right.  Of course he/she/it is.

Ipswich vs Preston North End – Away win – 10/3

For our second game The Grambler takes us to Porrrtman Road ooh aar where the Tractorrrr Boys plays host to the Invincibles.  The Grambler thinks the high-flying Championship side will be beaten by a team from the 1st Division (groan…3rd Division).  Highly unlikely say the bookies who make the ooh aars the clear favourites.  But just a cotton-picking minute there, Deputy Dawg…Preston North End are flying pretty high too.  Granted it’s a division lower, but surely there is a possibility they can do it.  Isn’t there?  I mean, Ipswich aren’t invincible at home are they?  And Preston North End haven’t lost on the road since early October.  Maybe The Grambler is on to something.

Macclesfield Town vs Sheffield Wednesday – Home win – 15/4

For game number 3 The Grambler takes us to the Moss Rose Stadium where the Silkmen play host to some old mates of ours, the Owls.  Hang on.  What’s this one doing here?  Macclesfield aren’t even in the senior leagues!  Grambler!  You know the rules!  No good apologising now.  It’s done.  We’ll just have to go with it.  Cuh!  That’s this week’s bet fmucked.  Let’s analyse things shall we?  Right, they might be several divisions lower but Macclesfield haven’t lost at home since mid September.  How do the Owls fare on the road?  Well, up until mid December they hadn’t won on the road at all this season, but, since then, they haven’t lost an away game.  I don’t think The Grambler will have this one right, but - hey, this is what grambling is all about - you never know what can happen….

Stoke vs Leicester – Home win – 11/10

Game number 4 – We are off to the Britannia Stadium where the Potters play host to the Foxes.  Home win, says The Grambler.  Can’t really argue with that; Premiership Stoke ought to beat Championship Leicester.  But hod a dod…Leicester are in top spot in their league; Stoke are pretty much mid table in theirs.  Having said that, Stoke are pretty good at home, losing only twice this season.  And Leicester have only lost 3 on the road.  Hmm…This one could be very interesting.  A draw I reckon.

West Bromwich Albion vs Crystal Palace – Home win – 8/11

And finally, Cyril?  And finally Esther we are transported to the Hawthorns where the Baggies play host to the Eagles.  A cup match between 2 Premiership sides and The Grambler chooses the higher placed team to take the spoils.  There really isn’t much to choose between the two – Palace are in 18th spot, West Brom are in 14th with only 4 points more – and cup matches often go against form.  They have already met once this season in the league and West Brom took the points.  Maybe Crystal Palace, now managed by the premiership’s most famous baseball cap, will turn the tables on this occasion.

And that’s about it for this… ooh, hang on.  I’ve found a cracking name of the week.  Crystal Palace have Kagisho Dikcagoi.  Yeah?  Like it?  It gets better.  His middle name is Evidence.  Why?  What were his parents thinking?

Well, that about wraps it….ooh, I’ve found another one.  Not a cracking name, but an unfortunate one.  Jack Hunt.  Yep, Crystal Palace have Jack Hunt in their squad.  Can you imagine if he gets stopped by the polis and they ask his name?  I don't think Mr Plod would be too happy with the reply, 'Jack Hunt.'  Now he has the perfectly serviceable middle name of Paul.  If I were him, I think I might use that.


Okay.  All done.  So this big question is – how much are those lovely people at the Bobby Moore Fund going to receive to continue their good work in kicking bowel cancer’s backside?  If all predictions come good the money to be paid in will be a whopping


Let’s hope it happens.  Happy grambling.

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