Archive for the ‘sport’ Category

HUBRIS – Logophile entry #14

Posted: May 14, 2014 in sport, Words

My introduction to this word came a long long time ago in a distant galaxy far away. Actually when I was studying Classical Civilisation for A level and it popped up more times than the stereotypical camp carry-on sidekick that appeared in EVERY greek comedy play that I had to endure…….I’m fairly confident that its now not a particularly well used word or infact well known and in due course it disappeared from my vocabulary.

Then this year Crystal Palace were promoted to the Premier League.  What’s that got to do with this word? My re-introduction after a few years hiatus (last time before the advent of social media) to the so called fans of the so called big clubs, that’s what. Demonstrating more hubris than a Greek Tragedy your average premier league “big 5” fan shows such disrespect to the fans of the other 15 clubs that in their opinion they just have to turn up to take the points as no one is interested in the opposition and besides, how dare they actually try to win. When things don’t go according to plan they throw their teddies out of the pram and begin blaming everyone from the media, to the ref, to foreign involvement but never their own tarnished team. I saw this first hand this season as Palace managed to totally ruin 2 of the 3 top teams title ambitions.

So there you have it – HUBRIS – noun – Excessive pride or arrogance. In Greek tragedy an excess of ambition, pride, etc, ultimately causing the transgressor’s ruin. Hubris often indicates a loss of contact with reality and an overestimation of one’s own competence, accomplishments or capabilities, especially when the person exhibiting it is in a position of power. In ancient Greek, hubris referred to actions that shamed and humiliated the victim for the pleasure or gratification of the abuser – See supporters of Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal & Manchester United and a minority of Manchester City fans. 




Ultra’s show what it means to be a Palace fan









Crystal Palace 3 (Delaney, Gayle 2)

Liverpool 3 (Allen, some other bloke and Goofy)

Just when you think it can’t get any better this happens. Liverpool turn up expecting little old Palace to lie down and after 79 minutes despite the fans urging the home team on it looks just that at 0-3 down.  Liverpool showing an incredible lack of respect and more hubris than a Greek Tragedy press for a 4th, 5th and more crowing about a 9-0 previous encounter 24 years ago.  Then the game changing moment, Delaney gets the ball and goes for a long range effort. Just at that exact moment Palace’s mascot Kayla the Eagle flies at light speed across the path of his shot, the beat of her wings enough to deflect the course of the ball past the hapless Liverpool keeper.  Sensing their chance, the Palace faithful erupt into song “Steve’s got a ticket to Slide, steve’s got a ticket to slide, slide, slide”  True to form the scousers hit the panic button and completely fall apart. But then another twist, Palace are on parity having scored 3 goals in 10 minutes, at 3-3 in the dying seconds Liverpool seeing their title hopes about to be shattered attack a final time. Up pops Palace old boy Victor Moses to try to break Palace’s hearts and score the easiest of winners for the scousers. BUT………….NO………………WAIT. Displaying that rare thing in modern sport “Loyalty” as he goes to shoot he contrives to mishit the ball and scuff his kick allowing Palace to clear their lines and take a well earned draw.

Liverpools players and fans are inconsolable, in tears they are led out of Selhurst Park to their coaches bound for Bear Gryll’s Island and a month’s training how to behave like men of old.  Palace celebrate shattering another title contenders aspirations and Kayla is given seconds of another liver bird for supper.

And now, time for some some gratuitous orangeness…….


Kayla landing at Selhurst Park









West Ham 0

Crystal Palace 1 (Mile Jedinak – penalty 59 minutes)

Well well well. I’ve been holding off on this until we were mathematically safe (such is the cruel hand of fate being a Palace fan) but after a fifth successive win (equalling our best ever record in the modern premier era) we have finally confirmed our Premier League status for the first time in our history.  Well done Eagles and especially well done to the manager Tony Pulis.  Now we can have a say in who actually wins the league.



Crystal Palace 1 (John Terry own goal! 52 minutes)

Chelsea 0

Attendance – Sell out 25,166

There’s very little else to add here without turning it into a essay of Tolkien proportions, suffice to say another “big teams” fans put firmly in their place OFF the pitch as usual and for the first time since 1990, on it as well.

WARNING this 42 second clip contains a tune so catchy you’ll still be humming it hours after hearing it, not a problem if like me you love it, but if you’re like the wife be warned …………


cpfc-primary-badge-642-px61-813693_478x359[1]Its been a while, but as the season in the Premier League continues I find myself looking back more and more nostalgically about the rivalry with arch villains Brighton and Turd Albion.  It might be that our next chance to meet is coming sooner rather than later for most Palace fans as we hover precariously above the relegation zone but if the dreaded R word does happen at least we’ll be able to once more cross swords with this execrable rabble from the South Coast.  It still gets me every time as I start writing about this topic how much pent up hatred I have for the Weed. Yet at the same time life without them would be quite dull. So here’s a 5 minute clip told by someone I think is supposed to be Palace’s Mascot, Pete the Eagle, recounting to his son the almost biblical fairy tale about that special feeling Palace have in their hearts for Brighton.



*Translation “Goal, goal, goal, goal, goal, goal, I am going bonkers”


So another bad night, lying in bed wide awake my mind racing, I suddenly out of the blue started thinking about those days of yore when football was good to watch and the players were proper heroes.  Deciding there and then to start a new if only occasional series for my blog surprisingly the first name to spring to mind was not a Palace player (that will come later never fear) but a player that wasn’t even English and who never played in English football.

So cast your mind back to 1978.  This was the time when I started getting into football. A World Cup Top Trumps set and an introduction to Subbuteo by my next door neighbour sealed my interest so when the World Cup began I was well and truly hooked.  The high-tech tele-trak action replays were a vision to behold but there was one big problem. England hadn’t qualified and there was of course no way I’d be supporting the Sweaty’s.  So who to support? Peru, Iran or Holland being in Scotland’s group? No it came down to unfancied Austria.  I had one of those newspaper cut-out and fill in charts and the Captain of this team had such an interesting sounding name it stuck in my mind.  I remembered him as well as I had from a few months before been bought a World Cup book that had a photo of a very unlikely looking footballer from the time. i.e instead of a curly perm and Souness style thick moustache he had a very square looking short back and sides and at times a narrow Dick Dastardly/Terry Thomas and occasionally Charlie Chaplin/Sparks number!


ARTISTIC IMPRESSION – 10.0. Krankl narrowly misses scoring against the East Germans in a 1978 World Cup qualifier. He was subsequently sent off and missed the return match.

He was photographed in action in a World up qualifier attempting a header against East Germany and  doing a mad sort of star jump in mid-flight.  Now the player in question is of course Hans Krankl. Subconsciously I think I also picked Austria as a way to wind up the next door neighbour who despite being English was a rabid German-o-phile and wouldn’t have a bad word said against Germany (West). He just waxed lyrical over and over about how brilliant everything in Germany (West) was. Being older than me by a few years he would always seem to have an answer to prove his statements about why everything German was the best (we’re talking sport and tanks and war stuff here folks).

Krankl had scored 7 goals in 5 games in the qualifying campaign although 6 came in one match a 9-0 demolition of minnows Malta but still there was a pedigree that some countries by not respecting would rue. The World Cup began and shock horror little Austria first beat Spain 2-1 (Krankl scoring), then turned over Sweden 1-0 (Krankl pen) and thus having qualified for the 2nd stage just lost out to a desperate terrified Brasil 1-0 but finished top of their group.  Going into the 2nd stage group they were drawn with Italy, Holland and West Germany.  A 5-1 thumping at the hands of Johan Cruyffs superstars was an ominous start. Then defeat to Italy in the form of a solitary Paulo Rossi goal left them with no chance to progress to the semi’s despite a game to play against neighbours and world champions WEST GERMANY. So a stroll for the Germans or so everyone thought……… if you want to hear the commentators mad moment try the link, if it doesn’t work pop over to you tube and search for “Hans Krankl forever”.

This game was forever known as the Miracle of Cordoba or the Disgrace of Cordoba (if you were German chortle chortle).  My next door neighbour actually cried as his all-conquering Germany got the shock of their lives, crashed 3-2 and were dumped out of the World cup. I had my first football hero! For those of us who don’t speak German or the Austrian dialect the score went like this

19 mins Rummenigge scores –  Austria 0 – West Germany 1

59 mins Vogts own goal  – Austria 1 – West Germany 1

66 mins KRANKL scores – Austria 2 – West Germany- 1

72 mins Holsenbein scores – Austria 2 – West Germany – 2

87 mins KRANKL scores – Austria 3 – West Germany – 2

Krankl moved to Barcelona from Rapid Vienna so clearly a world class talent. This game was that good it sealed my love of football, and I even bought an Austria Subbuteo team and painted a Chaplin tache on the no.9!

Rheims, (ed – masquerading as the Monterrey board for lack of suitable alternative) the champagne region of France, and host for the 2nd year running to the French Grand Prix.  Following the Spa injuries to Chiron & Taruffi, Frenchman Gus Mairesse & Belgian Jacques Swaters are given berths entering as privateers in Talbot-Lago‘s.  The Qualifying is uneventful and dry but come race day the heavens open setting the scene more reminiscent of Spa.

IMG_1867LAP 1 – This time Claes (Talbot) got the jump on the leaders and led into the first corner, Villoresi (Ferrari) & Fangio (Alfa-Romeo) in hot pursuit.  Further back Pierre Levegh stalled for the 2nd consecutive time but fortunately got away next round. Etancelin, de Graffenreid and Giraud-Cabantous also had poor getaways.  This led to a very congested first corner (ed – a 2 stopper in formula de speak) and inevitably there was a coming together. Andre Simon and Levegh took each other off followed shortly after by Rudi Fischer and Mairesse.  The damage didn’t stop there as debris was littered in piles all over the corner accounting for Sanesi, Etancelin, Manzon, Trintignant and Swaters. 9 drivers out all in the first corner of the lap!  Claes then made one mistake too many and spun allowing Fangio and the drivers that had avoided the pile up to catch and pass.
Just before the pile up Claes, Villoresi and Fangio lead the others away blissfully unaware of the carnage about to follow

Just before the pile up Claes, Villoresi and Fangio lead the others away blissfully unaware of the carnage about to follow

Top 5 at end of lap. 1st – Fangio (Alfa-Romeo), 2nd – Farina (Alfa-Romeo), 3rd – Ascari (Ferrari), 4th – Parnell (Ferrari) 5th – Claes  (Talbot)

LAP 2 – Fangio pulled further ahead foregoing a pit-stop for tyre change. Farina was obliged to follow suit but most of the other drivers came in for a precautionary stop for fuel and tyres.  Again the 1st corner did for more drivers, this time Claes & Parnell who were in 4th and 5th respectively and further back Villoresi & Cabantous. Just 7 cars completed the 2nd lap making this the most attritional race of the season so far.

Top 5 positions at end of lap. 1st – Fangio (Alfa-Romeo), 2nd – Farina (Alfa-Romeo), 3rd – Ascari (Ferrari), 4th – Bonetto (Alfa-Romeo),  5th – Rosier (Talbot)

LAP 3 – The final lap became for the most part a processional one with the top 3 well ahead but with no chance of catching each other.  Fagioli & de Graffenreid were the final 1st corner victims, de Graffenreids crash being nasty enough to rule him out of the next two races. The order remained the same for the top three taking the chequered flag with just Bonetto and Rosier exchanging places continually up to the final corner where Rosier just pipped Bonetto to 4th.  With only 5 finishers this race has become the one with the least finishers in Formula de history albeit just one and a half seasons old, beating last seasons previous worst…………..also Rheims where in changeable conditions 6 managed to finish that time.


1st – Juan Manuel Fangio ARG (Alfa-Romeo) – 8 points +1 1st Lap Leader

2nd – Giuseppe Farina IT (Alfa-Romeo) – 6 points

3rd – Alberto Ascari (Ferrari) – 4 points

4th – Louis Rosier FRA (Talbot) – 3 points

5th – Felice Bonetto IT (Alfa Romeo) – 2 points

Fangio moves into the lead in the championship with 18 points, Ascari 2nd with 16 and Sanesi not scoring drops to 3rd with 12 points. Last years champion Farina after a slow start moves up to 4th with 8 points.

NEXT – GREAT BRITAIN – Silverstone