Football Association announces tough new penalties for handball

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Or maybe players will merely be fined fifty grand (ie, two days’ wages πŸ™‚ )

Welcome to the misfit Subbuteo squad who arrived in time for my birthday in late June (I rather think Shana may have had something to do with this.) Β in a small box labelled ‘Peter Rabbit and Friends’. Was this the then England manager’s secret identity, I wonder?

Anyway, water under the bridge etc and things happen fast in footie. So now we have a new England supremo (‘Big Sam’) and possible new and innovative winning ways to come. Beginning with…

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…a change from that boring old 4-4-2 formation…

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…to a merciless 10-0-0 virtually impenetrable wall of players. That should take some beating, eh?

Up the Brewers!

Burton-upon-Trent is best known as the home of pale ale and Marmite. (Yes, a complete nutritious evening meal after a hard day’s blogging πŸ™‚ )

My fellow Waffler, Shana, is well acquainted with the town, having been there a couple of times (as with just about every other place listed in my handy gazetteer of the British Isles).

Burton is one of several teams that we therefore follow on Saturday’s football results. And amazingly, Burton, known as the ‘brewers’, because of the town’s industrial brewing past, have just been promoted from League One to the dizzy heights of the Championship, after clinching second place following a thrilling no-score draw with Doncaster.

Like many other part-time sports fans, we can name not a single one of the players and are similarly clueless about the colour of the team’s kit. We do know they play at the Pirelli stadium (Shana’s mother used to work for Pirelli as a tyre fitter πŸ™‚ ) and their manager is Nigel Clough. That’s Burton Albion’s manager. Not Pirelli’s. (‘Scuse my inclarity on that last point.)

Anyway, notes to selves: must now mug up on all things Burton, in case they become the next Leicester City and end up in the Champions League. Can you imagine: Burton Albion 2, Barcelona 0. (Yeah, in your dreams πŸ™‚ )

How to make bowls more exciting

As if life were not exciting enough here at Waffle Towers, we have been watching the Bowls World Championships on telly this week. For sheer adrenalin-fuelled action and, it’s unbeatable (although the Watching Paint Dry Championships does come close πŸ™‚ )

Bowls though, can still be improved.

Bowls’ winter relative, curling, inspired me. Often known (dreided?) as ‘bowls on ice’, curling (a sport popular in the Republic of Scotland) involves sliding a half-ton boulder along an ice rink towards a target. Curling players move in advance of the boulder or ‘stone’ using specaial long-handled brushes to smooth the path of the stone and help it to reach its goal.

I suggest that bowls should adopt similar tactics. As bowls is played on a long carpet, brushes would not work so well. Instead, bowlers could walk in advance of their bowls, using a small vacuum cleaner such as a little smiling Henry, to clear up any dust or debris that might otherwise slow down their bowl. Rules would be needed to limit the suction of the chosen vacuum cleaners so that nobody could gain an unfair advantage by somehow sucking the bowl along towards the jack.

Maybe I should write to the governing body or whoever makes up the rules for bowls. I’ll get my crayons out right away…

In other news, the World Bowls Championships for next year was going to be held in Las Vegas. However, this has since been changed, as players were unhappy with the carpet the Yanks were planning to use. I can see their point, although I quite like it myself πŸ™‚

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Imps match off due to sauna blaze

We’re not big fans of football, but we do like to keep up to speed with how our local (non-league) team are doing. Last weekend their Saturday afternoon match against Eastleigh was postponed. ‘You’ll never guess why?’ said Shana, who had found the story online and was reading and re-reading it with glee bordering on mirth.

‘Oh, I dunno,’ I said, trying to think back to what last weekend’s weather had been like (windy, perhaps?) and remembering that I hadn’t actually heard a forecast for about ten days. ‘How about a waterlogged pitch?’ I suggested.

‘Nope!’ said Shana. ‘It was cancelled because of a fire?’

‘A fire?’ I said. ‘What fire? Where?’

‘In the sauna!’ said Shana.

Well anybody’s mind would boggle when hearing a story like that. But it’s true. The Imps (the nickname for our local side…although they do have other unofficial ones πŸ™‚ ) were evacuated from their hotel because of a fire in the sauna. And they were unable to go back in to collect their boots in time for the match, which will now be played at a later date. If that little incident doesn’t make it onto the BBC’s A Question of Sport, then frankly, there’s no justice.