Wednesday, 2 April 2008

The Hammy End Chronicle and my breakdown

Today some football tickets turned up on my desk at work. Not the long-awaited tickets that will gain me access to Wembley on Sunday. These have still not arrived and I'm starting to get a little anxious. The tickets that landed on my desk are for a Fulham home game in April, opponents Liverpool.

I mention this as the arrival of the Fulham tickets set me off on a train of thought which, rather worryingly, shows you how my mind works. Or, as it turned out this evening, doesn't work.

First off, I must say I do enjoy trips to Craven Cottage. My son displays a soft spot for Fulham, no doubt fuelled by attendance on Fulham run football courses. Easily bribed and swayed with goodies and cheap tickets to games he is more than willing to fall into Fulham’s welcoming embrace. And the club do this well; they play a big role in the community and children are especially welcomed at matches. In fact, they are actively encouraged through the turnstiles as long as they drag an adult with them.

Secondly, it was my friend Chopper who got the tickets for me. He writes an excellent blog to do with all things Fulham which is entitled The Hammy End Chronicle, named after the part of Craven Cottage we will be sat in for the Liverpool game – The Hammersmith Stand. Do take a look at his blog, it is well worth a browse.

Thirdly, Chopper, not content with writing his Fulham blog, also does a blog of lists. "Top 5" lists to be precise. It is nothing more than a collection of his top five favourites but marvellous in its simplicity. He admits that he is a "list-aholic" and the blog is a truly excellent labour of love and is highly amusing. I like a good list myself; I have already done a few list-based posts on this blog. Favourite goal celebrations. Best football quotes. Most memorable FA Cup semi finals. That sort of thing. Thinking about Chopper's lists in turn got me thinking about the next list I could do on here.

So within a matter of moments I had seen the Fulham v Liverpool tickets, thought about Chopper's Hammy End blog, moved swiftly on to thinking about his blog of lists and then onto giving some thought about a top five list that I could post tonight.

What seemed like a good idea at the time developed into a painful two hours of self-inflicted mind torture. Could I think of a suitable list? Something that was relevant? Witty? Topical? My five favourite...favourite, what? What exactly could I do a list of? My favourite music? My favourite wine? My top five films? Not totally relevant. Or interesting for that matter. My favourite crisps? My least favourite fruit? My chart of cheese? But nothing worked. Nothing that I could tie into Fulham either. My favourite football kits? (Fulham's home kit this season is rather cool). My top grounds? (I do like Craven Cottage). Five reasons to go and watch Fulham? (I could only think of three).

The harder I thought the more stupid the idea. The crazier the idea the harder I had to think. I was caught in a downward spiral. I was getting desperate. I started to pace the room. I shunned any form of conversation with my wife or son, resorting to the odd grunt. This was starting to drive me mad. How difficult is it to come up with a subject for a list? After two hours of total rubbish bouncing around my head, I had come up with nothing. Zero. Zilch. Not a sausage. Not even a list of my favourite sausages. I was stumped.

So there you have it. I have failed. I haven't done a list. Maybe one has to be in the right mood to do a list. Maybe I'm just too tired. Maybe I have writer's block. Maybe I'll never be able to write again. Maybe that's it, I'll no longer be able to function. Good grief, maybe I'm having a breakdown.

So whilst I have my breakdown please, in the meantime, go and have a look at the lists produced by the list-meister himself. Chopper's blog is called Chop's Top Fives.

One thing is for sure though, having spent so much time trying to think of a suitable list to publish tonight, I had completely forgotten about the fact that my Wembley tickets have not yet arrived.

Up until now that is.


Chopper said...

Thanks for the nod Andy. How about Top 5 F.A. Cup Semi-Finals?

1. Birmingham 0 Fulham 1 (1975) - Obvious reasons for this, our only semi-final win and the game that led to my first contact with Football and Fulham.

2. Palace 4 Liverpool 3 (1990) - One of those games that I can still remember vividly even though it didn't involve my own team. A game that just gripped you the longer it went on and led to one of the most remarkable results in cup history.

3. Middlesbrough 3 Chesterfield 3 (1999) - Chesterfield had an incredible run that year and were amazingly close to reaching the final. In the end this game ended all square and 'Boro went on to win the replay 3-0.

4. Liverpool 0 Arsenal 1 (1980) - Not so much this particular game, the third replay, as the whole series. In the pre-penalties era they had to keep replaying the game until they got a result. Arsenal took four attempts to get past Liverpool and having finally done so were beaten in the final by West Ham.

5. Man United 2 Arsenal 1 (1999) - I think this was also a replay, and most remembered for that mazy dribble and goal from Giggs at the end. I'm not that big a fan of the goal but this was a cracking game.

Sniffer 72 said...

Thanks Chop, already done that (see my post dated 28 March called "Six of the best") which included all of the above except the Liverpool / Arsenal 1980 game...


Chopper said...

Good to see we agree! Well done for including the Fulham game too. Clearly I've not been keeping up with your blog as much as I should do. Sorry, won't happen again. :o)