Saturday, 17 September 2016

Week 7 - The Grambler returns to Rio


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 is 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 https://www.justgiving.com/Geraldine-Smith3 .

If you haven’t already done so, please read the article which 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. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/lifestyle/heartbroken-widow-geraldine-smith-raises-3452997

Similarly, if you haven’t heard it, please listen to Geraldine’s moving radio interview which was on Radio Scotland recently.


Stewart began writing The Grambler when he was between procedures and hoping for some form of recovery. He loved all aspects of football and was a lifelong Motherwell supporter. His 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

 

This week we are heading back to Rio. It really will be for the final time. Honest. Over the past week or two, the Paralympic Games have been taking place over in Brazil. Have you been watching them? No, nor have I. I have seen the Beeb Beeb Ceeb’s news reports on how wonderfully well Team GB have been doing. Please, don’t get me started on that again.

I have a problem with much of the games. Wheelchair racing? Great. It’s the perfect sport for people with good upper body strength but poor use of legs. So, no problem there. Weightlifting too. The participants lie on their backs and lift the weights. Again, perfect for those with good upper body strength but poor use of their legs.

Now, I am not forgetting those athletes who have good strong legs. The running races for blind people where they are guided by a partner are fine by me.

So what is my problem, you are probably wondering. Oh, you weren’t. Well, I’m going to tell you, anyway. The reason I am happy with the sports mentioned, is that everyone is ‘handicapped’ equally. The first two were all about power in the upper body; the third, was about a disability which does not affect the outcome. What I am not in agreement with, is the system of pitting people with different disabilities against each other.

There was a lady cyclist who just kept on winning medals for Team GB. What was her disability? She had no left hand. And? Well, how does that count as a disability when she is riding a bike? Fair enough, if it was a bog-standard Raleigh with no modifications, but the bike had clearly been built to compensate for her lack of a hand. Thus, the effect her disability was having on her bike riding was precisely nil. Other cyclists she was up against maybe had leg problems; how can she be compared to them? The answer is she can’t. So, if Sir Chris Hoy were to lose a hand in a horrific accident, would he be eligible to ride in these races? [Probably not. They are women’s races. Unless he had a sex change... - Ed.]

A swimming race had the news people waxing lyrical about the winning swimmer (Team GB, naturally), the guy who came second barely got a mention. Although, there seemed to be a little bit of unfairness to this casual observer. I noticed that the winning swimmer had two arms and the second placed guy only had one. How can that be fair?

Surely, the only sports which should be considered are those where the disability does not affect the performance. Sorry pardon excuse me? Obviously, a swimmer with one arm can’t go as quickly as the guy with two. Similarly, somebody with a leg disability is going to fare worse on a bike than somebody with two strong legs.

I have the solution [You bloody would have. - Ed.]. It is impossible to quantify disability. You cannot say a person with a particular disability compares with a person who has a different disability. So I say drop all the sports where a disability has any kind of effect. Do away with those running races where the competitors have varying degrees of leg disability. If they want to race, make them use wheelchairs so that the legs play no part in the outcome.

If running races are to be included, the participants should have no disability to the legs. Similarly, any sports that rely on the arms should only allow people with full use of their arms to compete; weightlifting I have already mentioned, but there are others such as rowing, shooting and archery.

I also mentioned the running races with visually impaired [How very pc. - Ed.] athletes taking part. However, surely even here there could be an unfair advantage to some. Visually impaired can mean anything from poor vision to no vision at all. Correct? To sort out that problem, every competitor should wear a blindfold (not the guides, obviously). Yes. That way, every athlete has the same degree of visual impairment.

Yes, the Paralympics is a very noble gesture, if a little patronising... no, a lot patronising... and it has got a very silly name which is one of those combination words that I abhor, but the problem, for me, is that, in its present form, it isn’t a fair way to select which event competitors may compete in. My system would be far fairer. It is also preferable to any other way of ensuring that competitors have the same disability as each other...

‘Sorry mate, this race is for anyone with no legs.’

‘But I’ve only got half a leg.’

‘As Erasmus of Rotterdam might have said, in the race of the legless the half-legged man is king.’

‘What do you suggest?’

‘Hmm... Got a saw?’

 

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I had to feel sorry for Celtic on Tuesday evening. They maybe weren’t humiliated but they were certainly humbled. Sadly, the best team in Scottish football is no match for a top Spanish team at its best. Seven nil. It occurred to me that in the days when Henrik Larsson played for Celtic, he wore the number seven jersey and whenever he scored, which was frequently, the theme to the Magnificent Seven was played on the Celtic Park sound system. I do wish somebody at the Nou Camp had played that through the sound system when goal number seven went in. Or am I just being a little bit cruel?

 

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Any birthdays of note to celebrate? Did any famous or notorious folk come into this world on the 17th of September? You bet your sweet bippy. Wenceslaus II 1271 (A king, but not the good king, although he may well have been an all right bloke for all I know.), Ben Turpin 1874 (Star of silent films. He was famous for his crossed eyes. He insured his eyes for $25,000, payable if his eyes should ever uncross.), Fay Compton 1894 (Ectress and sister of author Compton Mackenzie.), Francis Chichester 1901 (Hello sailor. Famously sailed round the world single-handedly. Tw*t! At the age of 65. Old Tw*t!), Frederick Ashton 1904 (Bally good chep. Gettit? Bally... ballet. Oh, please yourselves.), Dinah Sheridan 1920 (Jenny Agutter’s mum [Surely shum mishtake. - Ed.], Hiram King Williams 1923 (Who? You know him better as Hank. He was also known as Luke the Drifter, the Hillbilly Shakespeare and the Singing Kid.), Reginald Marsh 1926 (Favourite sitcom actor often playing the leading character’s boss.), Brian Matthew 1928 (Still deejaying on Radio 2.), Roddy McDowall 1928 (Cornelius.), Stirling Moss 1929 (The best driver never to have won the formula one title. It says here.), Anne Bancroft 1931 (Are you trying to sedooce me, Mrs Robinson?), Maureen Connelly 1934 (Known as the big yin.), Ken Kesey 1935 (He Who Marches Out Of Step Hears Another Drum.), Des Lynam 1942 (‘Poborsky's had one or two moments - two, actually.’), Billy Bonds 1946 (Footie bloke and not a way of saving up to buy a goat.), Tessa Jowell 1947 (Checking double-chins.), Fee Waybill 1950 (A tube.), Rita Rudner 1953 (Kenneth Branagh’s future ex-wife. One for film buffs, there.), Ty Tabor 1961 (Only the guitarist for the band featured here just two weeks ago, King’s X. I think another link is called for. This time Ty does his best Beatle-type impression. Enjoy It's Love . Great song; dreadful video.  I’ll turn you into fans, yet.), Baz Luhrmann 1962 (Wear sunscreen.), Keith Flint 1969 (Got a light, mate?), Ken Doherty 1969 (Snookery bloke.) and Taylor Ware 1994 (Who? Time for another link .)

 

 

 

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Let’s move on to grambling matters. What happened last week? We won. Yay! No, still not yay. We won a grand total of one pound and 75 pees so we actually lost 45 pees. Oh dear. What happened? Read on...

 

QPR vs Blackburn - Prediction Home win

Result - QPR 1 Blackburn 1

Ooh! ’It the bar!

Tjaronn Chery's sublime 25-yard free-kick had given the hosts the lead just past the hour mark at Loftus Road.

Sam Gallagher met Corry Evans' cross and sent the ball over goalkeeper Alex Smithies reach to bring Rovers level.

QPR striker Idrissa Sylla was denied late on by Jason Steele as the visitors held on for a share of the points.

Curse you Jason Steele!!!

 

Millwall vs Coventry - Prediction Home win

Result - Millwall 1 Coventry 1

Ooh! ’It the bar! Again!

Coventry led after 22 minutes through Marvin Sordell's first goal for the club. The forward showed strength under pressure to swivel and fire home from 25 yards.

Coventry keeper Reice Charles-Cook's attempted clearance played in Aiden O'Brien before half-time, but he dragged his shot wide. You barmy pillock!

The visitors repeatedly went close after the break, Sordell's header trickling inches wide before Tony Craig deflected his shot behind minutes later.

Superb play from Steve Morison on 71 minutes, skinning Jordan Turnbull before setting up O'Brien from close range, levelled the game. You’re still a barmy pillock for missing that first chance.

 

Scunthorpe vs Southend - Prediction Home win

Result - Scunthorpe 4 Southend 0

An emphatic Yay!

You know, I often worry that I might be accused of plagiarism (that’s a good word; must look it up) because I sift through various match reports for these write-ups. Sometimes I check the Beeb, sometimes I base my text on a different source. For this game I am going to give you two reports, to let you see how different these match reviews can be. First up, the Beeb Beeb Ceeb...

Two goals in five minutes late in the first half from strikers Paddy Madden and Kevin van Veen put second-placed Scunthorpe on course for a convincing victory over Southend.

The first, in the 36th minute, was a personal triumph for last season's leading marksman Madden who made an instant impact on his first league appearance of this campaign following a calf injury.

As Duane Holmes delivered a low cross into the box from the right, Madden popped up to fire a first-time right-footed shot past goalkeeper Ted Smith.

Scunthorpe quickly struck again in the 41st minute when, from a short corner on the right, Josh Morris guided a cross to the near post where Van Veen steered a shot into the far corner for his sixth goal of the season.

Southend boss Phil Brown reacted at half-time with a triple substitution, taking off defenders Harry Kyprianou and Jakub Sokolik and midfielder Adam King and replacing them with Ben Coker, Stephen McLaughlin and Jermaine McGlashan.

Briefly, it gave the visitors more impetus, but it was Scunthorpe who retained their attacking quality.

They made it 3-0 in the 57th minute when winger Morris, the League One player of the month for August, lashed a delightful 20-yard left-footed shot beyond the reach of Smith for his seventh goal of the season.

Madden had the ball in the net again only to be ruled offside and winger Holmes might twice have done better with chances from close range as Southend struggled to stem the flow of a confident Scunthorpe side.

Substitute Richie Smallwood, a deadline-day signing on loan from Rotherham, then sealed the victory with a cracking right-footed volley from inside the box on his debut.

 

And now, Sky Sports News...

Two goals in five minutes late in the first half from strikers Paddy Madden and Kevin van Veen put second-placed Scunthorpe on course for a convincing 4-0 victory over Southend.

The first, in the 36th minute, was a personal triumph for last season's leading marksman Madden who made an instant impact on his first league appearance of this campaign following a calf injury.

As Duane Holmes delivered a low cross into the box from the right, Madden popped up to fire a first-time right-footed shot past goalkeeper Ted Smith.

Scunthorpe quickly struck again in the 41st minute when, from a short corner on the right, Josh Morris guided a cross to the near post where Van Veen steered a shot into the far corner past Smith for his sixth goal of the season.

Southend boss Phil Brown reacted at half-time with a triple substitution, dragging off defenders Harry Kyprianou and Jakub Sokolik and midfielder Adam King and replacing them with Ben Coker, Stephen McLaughlin and Jermaine McGlashan.

Briefly, it gave the visitors more impetus but it was Scunthorpe who retained their attacking quality.

They made it 3-0 in the 57th minute when winger Morris, the Sky Bet League One player of the month for August, lashed a delightful 20-yard left-footed shot beyond the reach of Smith for his seventh goal of the season.

Madden had the ball in the net again only to be ruled offside and winger Holmes might twice have done better with chances from close range as Southend struggled to stem the flow of a confident Scunthorpe side.

Substitute Richie Smallwood, a deadline-day signing on loan from Rotherham, then sealed the victory with a cracking right-footed volley from inside the box on his debut.

Hmm... Only the Beeb came clean and attributed the write-up to the Press Association.

 

Plymouth vs Cambridge - Prediction Home win

Result - Plymouth 2 Cambridge 1

Yay!

Graham ‘Archbishop’ Carey put Derek Adams' (He used to play for Motherwell, you know.) men on the road to victory, firing into the roof of the net from 12 yards after nine minutes following Ben Purrington's incisive run and perfect cutback from the by-line.

Plymouth surged further ahead on the hour when on-loan Reading winger Craig Tanner's cross from the right was tapped in at the far post by Jordan Slew - one of five changes to Adams' starting line-up.

Medy Elito cut into the box on the right and smashed a low shot past Luke McCormick to make it 2-1 after 79 minutes, but the hosts held on.

 

Portsmouth vs Wycombe - Prediction Home win

Result - Portsmouth 4 Wycombe 2

Yay!

Wycombe went ahead when Paul Hayes found the back of the net from close range after 10 minutes.

The home side hit back when defender Christian Burgess bundled the ball over the line before Gary Roberts put Pompey ahead from the penalty spot after Sido Jombati blocked Gareth Evans' header with his hand.

Hayes fired in his second goal with an impressive finish to equalise in first-half stoppage time.

But Conor Chaplin immediately restored Portsmouth's lead, lifting the ball over Anthony Stewart in the area and heading past the onrushing Jamal Blackman.

Carl Baker got on the end of an Enda Stevens [Edna? - Ed.] cross to volley in Pompey's fourth to seal victory.

If it hadn’t been for Jason Steele and Aiden O’Brien... No, I won’t let it get to me. Three out of five and the other two were near misses... Does that mean The Grambler is getting closer to a full house? [Doubt it. - Ed.] Let’s see what he/she/it has randomly selected for us this week. Well, The Grambler seems to have selected only from the English lower divisions today...

Game - Result - Odds

Bradford vs Bristol Rovers - Prediction Home win - 17/20

Accrington vs Portsmouth - Prediction Away win - 19/20

Exeter vs Plymouth - Prediction Away win - 17/20

Crawley vs Luton - Prediction Away win - 17/20

Leyton Orient vs Yeovil - Prediction Home win - 17/20

 

The bets have been placed (10 x 20 pee doubles plus 1 x 20 pee accumulator) and if they all go according to The Grambler’s Prediction, the Bobby Moore Fund stands to receive a whopping...

£14.92

1492, one of those dates in history that we all remember. It is the year when Christopher Columbus got lost and had to stop in the New World to ask directions.

 

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Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you who was the first player to be transferred for a six-figure sum. The man in question was Denis Law who was transferred from Manchester City to Torino for £110,000. His transfer fees set records on three different occasions. When he was signed from Huddersfield by Man City in 1960 a fee of £55,000 was paid; a British record at the time. The Torino transfer took place in 1961 and in 1962 Manchester United shelled out £155,000 to sign him; another British record.

Righty ho. How about one for this week? A rather different one for you. What do these players have in common? Giorgio Chiellini, Otman Bakkal and Branislav Ivanovic. Apart from their names being unpronounceable, that is. Try that one down the pub.

 

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As usual, let’s finish with a mention of the main reason for continuing to publish this blog – to raise awareness about bowel cancer. If you have any bowel problems, don’t be fobbed off with the line that you are too young for bowel cancer to be a consideration. Just point your doctor in the direction of http://www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/campaigns-policy/latest-campaigns/never-too-young-campaign

 
 
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And finally, Cyril? And finally Esther, I am indebted to a Mzzzz J. Nicholls who provides our finishing link. Remember birthday boy Brian Matthew? Well, in the 1960s he fronted ‘Thank Your Lucky Stars’, ITV’s answer to the Beeb’s ‘Jukebox Jury’. Basically, a band or artist would mime to their latest record and members of the audience were formed into a jury and tasked with scoring it out of five. A score of one meant the record would be unlikely to be heard of again. The show came up with a catchphrase - I’ll give it five - often spoken by regular ‘juror’ Janice Nicholls from Birmingham. She became something of a celebrity simply because of her accent when saying these four (or is it five?) words as ‘Oi’ll give it foive’. Typically, somebody somewhere thought they could cash in her celebrity and this song  was penned in an attempt to propel her to stardom. Not surprisingly, given that it was a terrible song and she had a poor voice, the record failed to trouble the chart compilers of the day and her 15 minutes of fame came to an end when Thank Your Lucky Stars was canned in 1966.
 
 

 

Happy grambling.

 

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