Thursday, 17 June 2010

'The Wee Cup'.

You may noted that there is a bit of a sporting tournament going on in South Africa.  The 'World Cup' is a celebration of what has been called 'the beautiful game'.  I might call it 'football' and you might call it 'soccer'.
Folks who are not that much into football or soccer, find themselves watching this spectacle with a mildly curious fascination.  I suppose it's somewhat like people who don't really follow baseball will watch the 'World Series'.
Living in Britain has given me full appreciation of just how much this sport means to them.  Football could be considered bordering on a tribal obsession.  It even seems to be the point of irrational hatred for a certain team.  For instance, if you were to meet a Liverpool fan and told them you supported Manchester United, this can cause a heated debate as to which team is better.  I am very careful in my discussions about football.
Football has all sorts of strange terms to describe the game.  Here are a few things I have noted from listening to football commentary.  'The goalie is commanding in the box and the opposition are having trouble penetrating his box due to the fact that the sweeper is dribbling the ball off the line.  From there, the sweeper dummies his opponent and back heels the ball to the goalie who lobs it out to the attacking  midfielder who nutmegs the other team's right back and makes a slide rule pass to the striker who thinks of taking a chip shot but decides to dink the goalie who ends up letting in a howler.  The referee disallows the goal because the winger was in an offside position.'
Yes indeed, I have heard the commentators talk about man-to man marking and zonal marking.  They talk about yellow cards and red cards.  Heck, they even mention free kicks, bicycle kicks and scissor kicks.  So I sit there very confused listening to all this weird and puzzling football terminology.  Here are some often used observations made by the commentators. 'They played them off the park!'  Oh really?  So they played them off the park and proceeded to go down the back streets outside the stadium with the eventual outcome, a rip-roaring time and a sing-along with a group of wandering minstrels at 'The White Lion' pub.  'They're scoring goals for fun!'  What!?  Like they would be scoring goals for sadness.  Yes, I know, I've gone a little bit quirky.

It seems like just about everybody is caught up in World Cup 'fever'.  The 'wee folks' even wanted to have their own football event, 'The Wee Cup'.  One of the wee folks had heard that there was someone called a 'sweeper' on the football field and took the meaning quite literally.  You may note that in the top photograph.  'Penny', our beautiful Jack Russell, fancied a go at football, the beautiful game.  Of course, she would call it 'pawsball'. Maybe she can get one of her doggie friends to play in goal and let in a howler.


  1. Lovely pictures Gary, the 'Wee folks' look like they are doing a spot of curling and as for Penny, well she is adorable. It's a shame that football can cause such heated feelings. This should be a wonderful time when the whole world is coming together for sport, yet I have experienced some horrid comments against other countries compeating. Crazy isn't it?
    Hope the wedding preparations are coming along nicely!
    Love Di

  2. I would rather watch Penny and the wee folk play soccer or football or tic-tac-toe than watch a game with the pro playing a game. Could you televise that, instead?

    Should I wear my pants up or down for the upcoming wee folks wedding? I can't decide.

    Take care, friend

  3. I would sit through a rousing game of wee ball much more exciting and unpredictable than the whole world cup television coverage.

  4. Aw The Wee Cup sounds cute, haha. Nice title you have there Gary and oh my, the soccer/football terminology does leave one like me lost and confused. I was never a fan of the sport, but seeing cute men running around chasing the one elusive ball and driving it into a net of some sort, is kind of entertaining, for a tiny moment I guess.

    I like that the world is coming together for the game of ball-kicking but I can never take the whole thing as a serious topic for debate. That's just crazy,hehe!

    Send my regards to the Wee folks and the cute doggie!

    Peace and a cup of honey for the bread,

  5. Dear Gary,
    Ah, the beautiful game. And it is football, by the way, not, as our American friends would have it, soccer.
    The thing about football, Gary, is that it is not just a game, but an object lesson in how to compete with one another FAIRLY. Indeed, the existentialist writer, Albert Camus (who, icidentally, once played in goal for Algeria) once said, "all I have learned about morality, I have learned from the football field".
    So, our British obsession with the "game" has even an intellectual element to it, and you can't say that about many sports! How could anyone find it boring?
    Love the pictures of Penny and "the wee folks".
    Hope to hear from you soon.
    Yours with Very Best Wishes,

  6. I got to spend some time in Turkey when the World Cup was there in 2002. Those people were INSANE. Every time Turkey's team would score a goal, Istanbul would erupt into honking, people screaming out of their windows, cheering, yelling, fireworks. It was really exciting. Being American, I have never experienced anything like it. We tried to take a cab to go 10 miles once and couldn't get anywhere because there was so much celebrating in the streets that traffic had shut down. Groups of 30 or 40 Turkish men would stand in giant circles and do Turkish Dancing, singing the Turkish National Anthem.

  7. Hi Diane,
    Yeah it does kind of look like curling. Now there's a sport for you. Penny thanks you for thinking she is adorable. I can just visualise her posing on the pitch. Just like the big folks, minus the spitting, of course.
    I am also dismayed at the intense anger and yes hatred, that football can cause. That part of the game is really a shame.
    The wedding preparations are coming along nicely, thank you. I'm getting very excited about Monday:)
    Thanks, Di.
    Magical wishes, your way, Gary x

  8. Hi Kelly,
    I'm with you on that. I think it would be a whole load more interesting than watching those over paid football or soccer dudes. I think they should have their own TV network. Wee TV.
    I'm surprised your even thinking about wearing any clothes. I thought you might be buck naked with the exception of a bow tie and a fancy top hat lol
    Cheers, Kelly.
    Magic and a pair of clean pants, your way, Gary :-)

  9. Hi lifeshighway,
    The 'wee folks' are most pleased you would rather watch them play 'wee ball'. They were hoping that maybe some North American wee folks might like to play them in a friendly international game:-)
    Take care and have a magical weekend.
    Kind wishes, Gary

  10. Hi Shanaz,
    'The Wee Cup' does sound cute. Some folks might have given it a different definition other than relating to a sport.
    The terminology can be quite confusing. I mean when I first heard that one of the players was attempting to 'dink' the goalie...well..I'll leave it at that lol.
    In an ideal world the language of sport should be a bonding event for the people of the world. The ethos of the World Cup is a noble one. Most embrace this. It is the few trouble making 'fans' that have the ability to spoil such notable occasions.
    Penny thanks you for your regards and wonders how your kitty is? 'Arf, arf'. The 'wee folks' send magical wishes to you in Malaysia.
    Peace and truck load of kitty litter, your way, Gary :-)

  11. Dear David,
    Yes indeed, football, the beautiful game. Of course, if you mention the word 'football' to our North American friends, they will start talking about touchdowns and Super Bowls, or in Canada, the equivalent league championship game, The Grey Cup.
    I whole heartily agree with all the points you have noted about football. I shall, however, try to explain, more so, I believe from the American's perspective, than the Canadian's, as to why they generally think soccer, whoops football, is considered boring. They want scoring and lots of it. A nil nil scoreline just doesn't excite them.
    This might surprise you. Football, at one time was the number one sporting event in Vancouver. The Vancouver Whitecaps, back in the glory days of the NASL, were playing in front of capacity crowds. In fact, they were actually getting better crowds than the other 'football' team in town. The BC Lions of the Canadian Football League. BC Lions as in the 'gridiron' type game.
    Now then. Geez, this is a long comment. Speaking of boring, I watched the England versus Algeria game last night. Hmmm...and yikes!
    Glad you liked the photos. Let me know when you would like a visitation.
    With very kind wishes, Gary

  12. Hi Sandra,
    I'm very aware of the fans in Turkey. It must have been quite the spectacle you witnessed in Istanbul. I have been to some sporting celebrations in Canada that were pretty wild. Nothing as boisterous as what you no doubt experienced in Istanbul. They are equally fanatical in regards to their Turkish football league teams.
    You had some experience in Turkey. I must assume you finally got to your destination 10 miles away.
    Thanks for sharing this.
    Kind wishes, Gary.

  13. hi mr gary! i like football lots. my brothers play and me too and we been watching the world cup matches. for me its not bout scorin unless its me or my team. ha ha. what i like in watching is the team work and cool passes and how the players got such neat skills with their feet. its a real hard game to play and you gotta be in really good shape to keep running all the time. i like lots of other sports too and im playing baseball on a team this summer

  14. Hi Gary. When the World Cup took place in England in 1966, the actual cup was stolen from a display and was 'found' by a little dog called Pickles, remarkably like your Penny!

    Incidentally, when I was in Canada, every guy I met wanted to talk about the English Premier league and spoke with deep knowledge about all of the teams.

  15. Hi Lenny,
    Thank you very much for leaving a comment. Just wanted to let you know that you do a most delightful blog:-)
    I'm so pleased that you like football. It sure is a great game to play. It is great to know that you appreciate all the skill that goes into the 'beautiful game'. Have loads of fun playing.
    I think that is very cool that you are playing baseball this summer. I used to play a lot of softball when I lived in Canada. I went to many minor league baseball games in Vancouver and that was a great time.
    Thanks, Lenny. Have a very nice day.
    With kindness, Gary :-)

  16. Hi bazza,
    Great to see you back.
    I remember that story from the World Cup 0f 1966. I shall show Penny the article:-)
    I had the same situation when I was in Vancouver. A lot of folks wanted to talk about the Premier League. You may have noted the excellent coverage of live Saturday and Sunday matches of the EPL when you were over there. I also watched the Champions League Final between Chelsea and Manchester United, when I was last in Vancouver. Very surreal watching the game live at noon, Vancouver time.
    I was very much part of the passion the people of Vancouver had for the Vancouver Whitecaps when they played in the NASL. I went to games where there were crowds of 60,000 at BC Place stadium. Saw Peter Beardsley score the first ever goal for the Whitecaps in the then new stadium, way back in 1983. What wonderful times.
    Thanks, bazza.
    With respect, Gary.

  17. Brilliant post, Gary - and so much more interesting than what's happening on tv. I've managed to avoid every match so far - but would make an exception for The Wee Cup.


  18. Hey, hey, I see that the template has changed. Very cool! I like the color.

    I don't know anything about football or soccer, but my dad bought me a soccer ball when I was in elementary. I played with it almost everyday with my friends and I think I developed a very strong and accurate kick out of that. That was then, when I owned three balls. Right now, I only have two... and I will never allow anybody to kick even one of them.

  19. Hi Suzanne,
    Thanks for leaving a comment. I think it would be a fantastic idea to televise a 'Wee Cup' game. Maybe a 'friendly' match between English 'wee folks' and Scottish 'wee folks'. Now that would be worth watching. At least a heck of a lot better than watching the big English guys playing in the actual World Cup:-)
    Thanks Suzanne.
    In peace and a lottery win, your way, Gary x

  20. Hi Ryhen,
    Glad you like the colour of my template. A bit of brown. Maybe that means something:-)
    I hope you have a sackful of fun playing with your balls. I would agree it is best to keep other folk's feet well away from your balls lol
    In peace and a 'free kick', your way, Gary :-)

  21. Hello Ashley,
    The 'wee folks' are so pleased you like all the gnome stories.
    You just wait until they have a baseball game and some bloody elf hits a bases loaded gnome run...
    I figured someone might think the dog was taking a dump. And to think it was you who noted that. I am surprised lol. No actually she was thinking what the hell was she doing posing in the picture. She wanted to take off and get some cats. You know, cats. Those evil creatures who have this devious plan to rule the world.
    Wishing you well in your new joint blog.
    In peace and a bag of dog crap, your way, Gary :-)

  22. The BBC should sign you up ready for when Motty retires!

    Loving the new look, btw :)

  23. Hi Jaye,
    That's some compliment. I could do the commentary in a North American style. 'He's goin' in on gawl..he shoots...he scores....' Hmmm..that's ice hockey commentary...doh! lol
    Thanks for liking the new look. I assume you mean my template:-)

  24. I've kinda drifted into watching the thing. The run up to it meant nothing.

    I'm not a great football fan. Never watch club games, don't follow a club and nearly fell asleep during the England - Algerai game.

    Don't suppose I was alone there.

  25. Hi John,
    I think a lot of the nation had a bit of a nap the night England watched Algeria kick the ball around the pitch:-)


I do try to comment back to each commenter individually. However, I might have to shorten my replies or give a group thank you. That way, I can spend more time commenting on your blogs. Thank you and peace, my friend.