Those Blues fans do have a sense of humour

2010-12-22 00:00

A FRIEND of mine, who shall remain shameless, reckons that this weekend’s turn of events prove that God is indeed a Chelsea fan.

Yes, I had the same bemused look that you have on your face.

Quite how the Creator — with His eye for all things bright and beautiful — would plump for Chelsea as his source of weekend entertainment, I just could not figure.

Said buddy then went on about how the Man Upstairs always tests the faith of his people, much like Chelsea must have surely tried His staying power over the last month.

Fair point, but I guess we could say that about almost every club in the English Premier League, save for poor old West Ham that is.

Ask any Hammer fan, and he will tell you that the Big Guy is on vacation, and His replacement has a sick sense of humour.

Anyway, back to the Chelsea lunatic who cornered me at the luncheon interval during the Test between the Proteas and the Sachin Tendulkar +10 team.

It was either I stay in the corner — with a plateful (side-plate, of course) of spring rolls, or have the nagging numpty on my case for the rest of the day’s play.

Yes, the spring rolls were that good that I decided to stick around to hear the sermon.

“You see, God has to be a Blues fan. Why else would He send a blizzard severe enough to get a match at a heated stadium to be postponed?

“Remember that story about how He never gives you a challenge too steep? Well, there was no chance in hell that we could have played United in our current form, so the Big Guy was just looking after His own interests!”

The bemusement on my face has not completely disappeared just yet, but I guess there is a point in there somewhere.

Chelsea have been given a lifeline because the postponed game will surely find them in better form than they are right now.

There were games snowed off all over the UK, and the weather was just as ridiculous on this side of the world.

It was a minor miracle that there was any play on the first day of the aforementioned Test match in Pretoria.

All the way on my drive up there, I was met by regular sprinkles of rain that suggested my efforts would be as useful as a fork in a bowl of soup.

But to my pleasant surprise, there was enough play on the first day to send the game a long way towards its conclusion.

Now, this being a football column and all, I must tell you of the one game of football I did see this weekend.

This one had legends and upcoming starlets all over the park.

There was a general bossing the midfield and an unsavoury sort wearing an Alice band was tasked with being the enforcer on the other side.

Oh, it was compelling stuff. And if you didn't catch it, you better head to Kingsmead next week to see the second-leg.

I am referring to the Indian team’s warm-up routine, of course.

You have never seen so much pandemonium on a cricket field in all your life.

You think those boys get animated when they get a wicket?

Huh, you should see them when they debate whether the ball is in or whether it has hit “the post”.

The upright in this instance is a pile of warm-up tops deemed unnecessary.

It really is potent stuff, and all manner of tackles fly in.

I have always wondered why sportsmen love to dabble in other codes that they have no business in.

Cricketers even get injured whilst warming up, and just about every sporting code takes up golf as a pastime.

The Ashes are currently on the go, and I seem to remember Glenn McGrath turning his ankle before a crucial Test in England once.

And the offending piece of sporting equipment?

Not a stray ball, or a sneaky stump.

Oh no, ‘Pigeon” as McGrath was known, was felled by a curiously shaped piece of leather.

A rugby ball.

It is all rather bizarre, and in between keeping an eye on the riveting cricket, I did ask myself just what the thinking was behind setting up warm-ups based on other sports.

Perhaps it is to stave off the boredom from the rather repetitive drill that will surely follow.

But that is their job, isn’t it?

I mean, we don’t see Tiger Woods punting a few rugby balls into the bunkers before he tackles the Masters, do we?

Then again, Tiger did find other means to stave off the pangs of boredom, didn’t he?

So, next time you see your favourite sports delayed by the not- so-festive weather, perhaps find a sport at home to kill the time.

Kitchen cricket, lounge tennis or even a sneaky brawl of bedroom rugby.

After all, the weather is becoming as unpredictable as the boys in blue from West London.

So we simply have to find other means of entertainment.

Happy hunting, people.

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