Thursday 6 November 2014

Week 14 - Grambling at the House of Bruar

Stewart was an amazing person -  A wonderful husband, a fantastic brother, a loving son and an adored uncle.  He was also a brilliant friend and colleague and will be missed by so many people. His family are determined that his death will never be in vain and are doing their part to beat bowel cancer for good.  We are fundraising for the Bobby Moore Fund which is part of Cancer Research UK and specialises in research into bowel cancer.  If you wish to donate to the fund, you can via .


If you haven’t already done so, please read the article which recently appeared in the Daily Record and learn from Stewart’s story that you must never be complacent.  It makes grim reading for us, his family, even though we were beside him throughout his ordeal, or battle; call it what you will.


Stewart’s wish was that The Grambler should continue after his death and I have been happy to oblige.  Welcome to The Grambler, the most ill-informed blog you are ever likely to see. Read on and enjoy…


May I begin by giving you some very sad news.  Stuart McCall has resigned as Motherwell manager.  He came to the club four years ago and presided over, possibly, the most successful spell in the team’s history – Scottish Cup finalists in 2011 and top three league finishes three years running.  This season…Aye, well, mm.  The less said about this season, the better.  The rumour is that he is heading to Crystal Palace to assist Neil Warnock [By pinning eyebrows on him, perchance? – Ed.].  As I write this, assistant manager Kenny Black is in charge, but the bookies reckon Derek Adams (who was a player at the club for six years) is the man who will take over.  Derek Adams.  You know.  The one who got sacked from Ross County because they were struggling even worse than Motherwell.  Hmm.

Apparently, there have been over fifty applications for the vacant manager’s job.  Mine’s in.  Wish me luck.

I see the postbag has been inundated with a letter…

Dear Grambler,

I recall seeing a football film years ago which was rather good.  I think it was called ‘Fever Pitch’.  It was about a football fan whose team won the league title in the very last game of the season.  I just cannot remember the team he supported.  Can you help?

Yours sincerely,

R. Snell.


I have just seen a rather silly advert.  It makes no sense and whichever ad agency came up with it should have their contract terminated.  No, better still, they should give up trying to make ads as they are clearly useless.  It is an advert for something called the House of Bruar.  No I don’t know what a bruar is either.  Apparently it lives in a house.  Oh, it’s a place is it?  Actually it is just a fancy shop selling (expensive) country clothing, (expensive) food and all manner of (expensive) things.  A reviewer put on line that… ‘This is the most amazing place for Scottish tat’.  I’d agree with that but would add the word ‘expensive’ before the word ‘Scottish’.

Any road up…The advert.  It begins with a husband and wife getting into a rather posh car; a Range Rover, no less.  It turns out this is Mr and Mrs Gareth Edwards.  Yes, the Gareth Edwards; Wales’ most famous-ever rugby player.  Gareth drives and his wife is in the passenger seat.  As they are motoring along she is nagging him about his obsession with rugby and reminding him to stop at the House of Bruar.  I am assuming it is his wife, it might just be an actress playing the part. Although the acting is so wooden, it probably is his wife.  Poor Gareth.  Not for being married to this lady, just for being in this dreadful advert.  First problem about the whole ad is that even though this is Gareth Edwards driving the car and his name gets a mention, you are not really made aware that this is the case.  It could be just some rugby-daft Welsh man with an annoying wife.  It is a long time since Gareth was on our screens and his hair was a different colour then; you would be hard-pushed to recognise him.  Anyway, the picture cuts to an outside shot of the car, then back to the interior which shows the wife now sleeping.  We then have an outside shot and see the said (expensive) shop as the car speeds by it.  Cut back to car interior with the wife waking suddenly.  We then have an outside shot of the car screeching to a halt.  Cut to another scene of the car driving into the car park with this voiceover…

‘As Gareth Edwards is to Wales, the House of Bruar is to Scotland.’

What does that fn mean?  How can you possibly compare a famous Welsh rugby player to a shop?  I don’t recall any Scots rugby player called House of Bruar.  The whole advert is just utterly, utterly senseless.  You could use that line for any ad… As Gareth Edwards is to Wales, black pudding is to England.  As Gareth Edwards is to Wales,  the Palace of Versailles is to France.  They don’t make any more or less sense than this awful advert.

Even more senseless is the fact that the ad shows the car screeching to a halt followed by it entering the House of Bruar car park.  Why?  Because the House of Bruar is on the notorious A9 road.  One of the busiest roads in the country, it is known as ‘Scotland’s deadliest road’ - over a thousand accidents in five years resulting in 67 fatalities.  A driver who performs a maneouvre like the one shown in the advert would put lives at risk.  That emergency stop, for a start… Do you see what I did there?…would probably trigger a multiple car pile-up and, as the road is single carriageway at this point, cars travelling in both directions would be involved in the collision.  And the only way the car could have changed direction as it did was for Gareth to have performed a very dangerous three-point turn.  This is on a stretch of road where vehicles are bombing along at 60 miles per hour (96 kph in new money), It would be madness to even attempt such a maneouvre.  What were the ad agency thinking when they came up with this one?

The advert is, at best, irresponsible, but far worse than that, it is dangerous in that it encourages reckless driving.  I just cannot imagine how any commissioning editor accepted such a piece of shi… work from the advertising agency involved.  But the worst thing of all?  That Gareth Edwards has allowed himself to be utterly humiliated by being involved in what I would rate as the worst advert in a long time…even worse than Bertha’s caramel shop one.  If you don't believe me, take a look at old Gareth for yourself. 

Right, rant over.  Any birthdays today, the 8th of November?  Loads.  Vlad the Impaler 1431 (prince with a very warped sense of humour), Edmund Halley 1656 (inventor of rock and roll), Bram Stoker (garlic salesman), Herbert Austin 1866 (car manufacturer whose car, the 7, was built by fledgeling companies such as BMW, Nissan and Jaguar.  Whatever became of them, eh?), Margaret Mitchell 1900 (authoress who ate nothing but beans), Christiaan Barnard 1922 (played the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz), Ken Dodd 1927 (inventor of Scottish measurement), Roy Wood 1946 (bet he wouldn’t), Minnie Riperton 1947 (Minnie Mouse clone), Richard Curtis 1956 (man who gave Hugh Grant a career), Leif Garrett 1961 (man who was made for dancing), Gordon Ramsay 1966 (man who is a bully), Joe Cole 1981 (footy bloke) and Jack Osbourne 1985 (Ozzy’s lad).

Anything good for gramblerising there?  What about Leif’s I was made for grambling.  No, I think we will go with Miss Riperton’s Grambling you…

Grambling you is easy 'cause you're beautiful,
And grambling with you is all I wanna do.
Grambling you is more then just a dream come true,
And everything that I do, is out of grambling you.

All together now…

La la la la la, la la la la la, la la la la la etc. etc.

Let’s move on, shall we?  How did The Grambler’s predictions fare last week.  Very well.  Four out of five went as predicted which resulted in our best return for a long time.  For our £2.20 stake we got a return of £5.36 which means we actually won…


It means that our deficit for the season isn’t as bad as it was and, if we repeat this result a couple of times, we might be in profit again soon.  So which match let us down?  Read on…

Hull vs Southampton – Prediction Away win

Result – Hull 0 Southampton 1


Victor Wanyama's superb chip was enough to extend Southampton's stunning start to the Premier League season and keep the pressure on leaders Chelsea.

The Kenyan midfielder capitalised on a poor clearance from third-choice Hull keeper Eldin Jakupovic after only three minutes.

Victory was Saints' seventh in eight league games and kept Chelsea's lead at the top to four points.

Hull, meanwhile, slipped to 13th, three points above the relegation zone.

Southampton’s Dutch (Dutch.  Got that?) manager Ronald Koeman [Wasn’t he in that film, A Tale of Two Cities? – Ed.] said, "It wash a fanteshtic goal, incredible. He played an amashing game today.

"The team hesh incredible shpirit and very good embition. Thet makes it an eashy job.

"We hed a lot of changesh [in the summer] but we brought good playersh in and they are adepting very fesht. I em proud of thet becaushe thet meansh a lot for the coach."  Suffolk last week, Dutch this week… Is there no accent I can’t do? [Yes, Suffolk and Dutch. – Ed.]

Cardiff vs Leeds – Prediction Home win

Result – Cardiff 3 Leeds 1

Yay!  Again

Cardiff City earned a fourth successive Championship home victory and their third under manager Russell Slade with a convincing win over troubled Leeds United

Bruno Manga made the big breakthrough for Cardiff, guiding a header into the corner from 15 yards after 61 minutes before Federico Macheda and substitute Kenwyne Jones sealed the win either side of a goal from Alex Mowatt.

The opener came after Leeds had cleared a corner, but Craig Noone lifted the ball back in and Sean Morrison was strong as he beat two Leeds players in the air and headed across goal. Manga was in position to steer the ball home.

Macheda made it 2-0 just six minutes later when he went for goal from 20 yards. The ball struck a defender, bounced down into the ground and up over the keeper into goal.

That was Macheda’s third goal in the last four games and he went off soon after with Jones, fit again after a foot injury, taking over.

Mowatt gave Leeds hope on 78 minutes, but Jones wrapped up the points when he chased through and won possession from goalkeeper Marco Silvestri to slot home into the empty net.


Federico Macheda auditions for the next series of Strictly Come Dancing.

Bournemouth vs Brighton – Prediction Home win

Strictly speaking, this match should not have been selected as it had a 5.15 kick off.  Now, you know the rules Grambler – all games should be selected from those that have a 3 o’clock kick off.  However, on this occasion, I will turn a blind eye because…

Result – Bournemouth 3 Brighton 2

Ya beauty!

Yann Kermorgant’s 76th minute penalty ensured the Cherries made it six consecutive wins in all competitions with another three points at the Goldsands Stadium.
A Gordon Greer own goal gave the home side the lead, only for Adrian Colunga to equaliser three minutes later.
Marc Pugh put the Cherries in front once again with a well-taken half-volley just before half-time, but the Seagulls fought back with Sam Baldock making it 2-2.
Kermorgant [That’s a sea bird, isn’t it? – Ed.] then came off the bench to convert from 12 yards out to conclude an entertaining encounter.

Sheffield United vs Barnsley – Prediction Home win

Result – Sheffield United 0 Barnsley 1


The home side went close to scoring after only eight minutes when Craig Alcock's header was scrambled off the line by Tykes keeper Ross Turnbull.

Sam Winnall sent an effort over and had a shot deflected wide before getting the winner after 56 minutes.

The Barnsley striker met a James Bailey corner and scored with a firm header.

Oxford United vs Wycombe – Prediction Away win

Result – Oxford United 1 Wycombe 2

Woo hoo!!!
Peter Murphy's third goal in as many games sunk local rivals Oxford United as Wycombe went top of League Two.

Danny Hylton, having already come close once, scored a first-half penalty for the U's after Joe Jacobson's foul.

But the introduction of debutant Hogan Ephraim after the break lifted the visitors and his cross fell to Paul Hayes, who struck the equaliser.

Murphy headed in Josh Scowen's cross for Wycombe's second, and they survived a scare as Hylton missed a penalty.

The striker hit his late spot-kick way over the bar and into the car park.  That is some miss, but I know why he did it.  He must have read and thought, ‘I can’t possibly score this, it’d mess up The Grambler’s predictions.  I know, I’ll do my best David Beckham impression.’  Thanks Danny.

Okay that was a no’ bad week for The Grambler; can we equal or even improve on it this week?  [Doubt it. – Ed.]  Let’s have a look what he/she/it has come up with this week…

Game – Result – Odds

Birmingham vs Cardiff – Prediction Away win – 5/4

Brighton vs Blackburn – Prediction Away win – 23/10

Kilmarnock vs Ross County – Prediction Home win – 10/11

Peterhead vs Dunfermline – Prediction Away win – 21/20

Arbroath vs Queen’s Park – Prediction Home win – 4/6

Now, before you ask why there are three Scottish games and only two English, remember The Grambler’s selections are random and it just so happens there are only 14 games in the English senior leagues and 17 in the Scottish leagues.  So only 31 games that The Grambler had at his/her/its disposal.  The main reason for so few games to choose from is that this is the first round of the FA Cup weekend.  Another reason is that there are 10 games on at various times over the weekend rather than the traditional (and correct) time of 3 o’clock on a Saturday afternoon thanks to the telly companies.  Any road up, how much will be winging its way to the Bobby Moore Fund via The Grambler’s Kick Cancer’s Backside Fund if all results go our way?

The rather substantial amount of…


That is pretty substantial, I am sure you will agree.  Will it happen?  Hey, let’s be positive here.  Of course it will…yeahdefinitelymaybe.

What about an answer to last week’s teaser do I hear you ask?  Of course I don’t, I am not with you.  I’ll tell you anyway, just in case I got that right and you do indeed want to know.

Last week I asked you which club had been relegated from the Premiershit the most times.  The answer is Crystal Palace who have dropped out on four occasions – 1992-93, 1994-95, 1997-98 and 2004-05.

This week’s teaser now.  The Scottish Football League was founded in 1890 with 10 teams.  Only five remain in senior leagues.  Can you name them?  Even better, can you name the five who were voted out at various times?  If you know the answer to that without having a quick googlie, well done.


And finally, Cyril.  And finally Esther, if you recall last week’s edition of made reference to tribute acts in which it was suggested that orchestras were just tribute acts because they performed the music of composers who were too dead to perform it themselves.  Well, here is the ultimate orchestral tribute.


Happy grambling.

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