Feline fortitude

So, what did we learn from watching more than 124,000 seconds of Championship football home matches at the Cardiff City Stadium across 2016/7? The main message to take into the summer:

Football is… a bunch of fat blokes sitting down, telling a bunch of fit blokes running around, what to do.

Pinterest and 9Gag

And, for those cats who prefer the scintillating excitement of watching on TV from the comfort of their sofa…

Zak Show dot Com

Until we speak again, choose your refreshment to get into shape, and build your ridiculously high expectations for your team, in time for the new season in August!

[For the record the Mighty Bluebirds have risen from 24th in October 2016 to finish 12th at the end of this season. Project that rise forward, and… no, I’d better not go there, at least until too much sun has fried my brain.]

[With acknowledgements to Zak Show.com & 9GAG for the original images used to illustrate this post.]

 

[Football explained, or not!] Z is for…

ZANY…

Watching Cardiff City FC over the last 9 months is nicely summed up in the following quote: “Talent without discipline is like an octopus on roller-skates; you’re guaranteed movement, you just don’t know if it is going to be forwards, backwards or sideways.” [H. Jackson Brown Jr.].

Untitled

But Z is also for ZEITGEIST… and the spirit of the local fans and the team has been repeatedly summed up in a phrase that means little to anyone else not in the know…

Do the Ayatollah [2]

As another season comes to a close it becomes abundantly clear that Z is for ZILCH… on too many recent occasions team members have embodied an oft used cliche as a season draws to a close… their ZONKED demeanour suggests they are already on the beach.

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So, finally Z is for ZUGZWANG… i.e. nothing of any advantage emerges from the last few displays, as the team occupy firstly the uncoverted 7th position, the highest of the meaningless places; but then contrive to slip even further with a final draw in a game they shouldn’t be drawing.

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For the record the final score was Cardiff City 1 Birmingham City 1, with the home team finishing the season in 8th position with 17 wins, 17 draws, and 12 defeats. Until the next season of hope and despair (with Juno and Bella’s successor taking on the role of managing me), why not spend the summer sharpening your ZZ TOP impersonations, listen to your ZOMBIES back catalogue, or simply catch up on some relaxing ZZZ’s.

[Football explained, or not!] X & Y are for…

YESTERYEAR… as your team find themselves 7 points adrift with only 9 more to play for in this season. Fans are invited to indulge more in arse-end-surveillance for any sources of satisfaction…

Arse end surveillance

Y further stands for YOKE… as your team welcomes you to take on a permanent burden of failing expectation; particularly when they go 0-1 down against the bottom of the league team in a must-win match!

Croesio Stadiwn

But X can strangely stand for XANADU… as those who should know better begin to dream again as the continued pressure against a 10-man opposition (after a 30th minute sending off) brings an equalising goal…

Goal GolAs for that XMAS  feeling, the penalty in the last minute brings jubilation to the locals; but this is an X really better put on hold, as reality looks like emerging with a much different type of outcome…

Fireworks on dark sky

 

 

 

OR

Down the pan

 

 

Bella predicted that if you YEARN for your XYLOPHONE it will only YIELD YOWL. If you find YOURSELF YAWNING at this YARN try the score instead, Cardiff City 2 Bolton Wanderers 1; with the locals now having played 44, won 17, drawn 16 and lost 11, they remain in 7th position (top of the also-rans!).

[Football explained, or not!] W is for…

WATERSHED… as the chance of making a play-off place, to keep open a slim chance of promotion to the Promised Land, assumes WAGNERIAN WAVELENGTHS

Hand in sea water asking for help. Failure and rescue concept.

But rather WHIMSICALLY W also appears to be for WILTING WOEFUL WAYWARD @ANKERS… as half-time arrives with barely a shot on goal by either team…

City v QPR [3]

And finally, W is clearly for WHATEVER!… as a marginally revitalised second half produces a WINDBLOWN WINDFALL of WISTFUL WISHES but no more goals than the first. With two points out of nine from their last three matches the ever hopeful are beginning to become WRACKED WITH WRATH as the strain of burdensome expectations and hopes WENDS its WEAVE

Negative mindsetFarewellBella has departed to take up residence with the originator of this blog, Juno; but the WONDROUS WHACKY WAFFLE from the resident WINSOME WASTREL will undoubtedly be a WEARISOME task WELCOMELY WITHDRAWN.

For the record the final score was Cardiff City 0 Queens Park Rangers 0, with the home team now having won 16, drawn 16, and lost 10; so they still remain rooted in 7th position.

 

[Football explained, or not!] N is for…

Bored

 

NARCOLEPSY… as the dull surroundings before the match remind the ‘resident stato’ of the snoozefest that this corresponding fixture produced last season.

 

 

City v Rotherham [1]

 

 

 

But football is a fickle mistress, and N is quickly identified as being for NURTURING of renewed expectations, as the home team take an early lead in the game…

City v Rotherham [3]

City v Rotherham [4]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But either side of half-time it is the away team that gratefully take the opportunities to score, and enjoy the unintentional hospitality of the welcome. N is suddenly for NEUROSES and the home fans reach for the NEUROLEPTICS to calm jittery nerves, as the roller-coaster of NARCISSISM takes its toll. Not surprisingly the stadium staff do not show a screenshot of the 1-2 score!

Untitled But here’s the thing, you never can tell what football will produce. N is clearly for NOURISHING as the home team fashion the equaliser…City v Rotherham [6]

City v Rotherham [7]

 

 

 

 

 

 

But there was still time for N to become NONSENSE in the eyes of home fans as NAPALM appears to descend on them, and a NARRATIVE of NEGLIGENCE is showered on the referee for sending off a City full-back through NEFARIOUS decision-making (or words to that effect!).

Thinking cat

Until we speak again this Bella will largely be ignoring the resident nouveau nihilist. For the record it was Cardiff City 2 Rotherham United 2, with the locals having played 28, won 10, drawn 11, and lost 7, which puts them currently 9th in the league.

[Football explained, or not!] H is for…

HESITANT… as memories of the fallen dead from previous wars mingle with memories of what Cardiff City actually scoring a goal is like. With a run of four goalless matches the home hackles have been handicapped by happenstance.

City v Reading [1]

But H is also for HANDSOME… as the home team’s centre forward hangs hypnotically in the air to head heavenly into the current roll of honour…

City v Reading [2]

Everyone knows that H can be for HYSTERIA… as the hoi polloi pay homage to haughty hombres in their own hedonistic hallucinatory ways, clearly haemorrhaging any sense of harmonic hegemony…

Fireworks on dark skyBut finally H was to be for HYPERBOLE… as any potential hollow hostility gives way to a herculean heist of the headlines as homies haggle over the hierarchy as they hypothesise over hammy heroics…

City v Reading [5]Sofa perch

 

 

As for my heinous heretic of hogwash at home, I’m hoping for hassle-free honesty rather than harassed haranguing from the haggard haemorrhoid! Until we speak again I will continue to be Bella… and for the record it was Cardiff City 0 Reading 0, with the locals having played 16, won 6, drawn 7, and lost 3, which puts them currently 7th in the league.

[Football explained, or not!] A is for…

Armadillo poseJuno was never one to let any form of exertion, even spectating, interrupt a more important priority. This was the usual pose as the ‘resident masochist’ waxed lyrical about nothing of much importance… football.

But, what is this UK version of the widely recognised sporting name really about? For any readers thinking of switching off at this stage, stay with me for a few moments. My promise to you is an A-Z of the game like you wouldn’t imagine, all brought to you courtesy of a life sentence as a Cardiff City fan! So, in this game what does ‘A’ stand for?

A is for AQUATIC, something that any self-respecting cat would be scampering away from. But in irrational footballing terms, a little water at the start of the season can only help grow those completely unrealistic expectations that every fan harbours for their team just as the new dawn emerges…

Watering pitch

A is also for ALCHEMY, as the home team line up with flattering intentions of transforming the ordinary into something extraordinary by the kind of chemistry never previously seen in these parts… so the intelligent cat would surely be asking why would it suddenly work now?

City v Fulham

A is for ANATHEMA, as the away side take the lead through a wicked curse of a deflection that outwits the home team goalkeeper. Amazing how it takes all of 47 minutes for the expectations of home fans to drain at the prospect of defeat at the start of the season.

Negative mindset

But A is also for APOCRYPHAL, as less than 30 minutes later the home team equalise to send their fans into the unlikely claim of being the greatest team in football the world has ever seen!

Until we speak again Juno would surely wish that you maintain a sense of emotional balance… unlike most football fans. Cardiff City 1 Fulham 1.

That sinking feeling

You talking to me?It was August 2014, and Juno gave me that look that clearly said “who do you think you are kidding?” as I told her of my team’s position as early season favourites to win the 2014/5 Championship trophy.

I am sure she was only being protective of the ‘tenant of her home’… who was clearly caught up in that summertime football disease, shared by all who become attached to their home town team at a young age, only to suffer a lifetime of pain and exasperation! But not this time; we have just had our first taste of a season in the big-time, and we were definitely going straight back to where we now believed we belonged.

purpledragonbirdCombat quickly resumed between fans of ‘the Bluebirds’ and the owner of the ‘Red Dragons’, leaving a proud but confused sense of supporting ‘the Purple Dragonbirds’.

 

Chillout catJuno made it quite clear that any talk of the football stuff should not reach the 10 word limit. Her readership deserved better than to be subjected to the notorious nonsense spoken in the name of the beautiful game. I was determined to keep to the challenge, and with this in mind the season began.

Come on CardiffAugust was still breathing a warm breeze across the home crowd as early signs of what was to come flicker into unwelcome life.

“JOYOUS ENTERTAINMENT WAS RESTRICTED TO PLAYERS BANK MANAGERS ONLY.”

Welcome to CCS

September sees something less than welcome down at the CCS, as the manager is shown the door following a run of poor performances.

“OVER-PAID UNDER-ACHIEVERS OUT ON A SATURDAY STROLL.”

Welshmen will not yield

Autumn brings a brief respite with a few home wins. But the regular hail that ‘Welshmen will not yield’ falls on deaf ears, as the team struggle to field many.

“PLAYING THE BEAUTIFUL GAME SEEMED BEYOND THEIR PAY GRADE.”

We are Cardiff CityAt times across a long winter the ever-quieter home support needed reminding who they were.

“WATCHING GRASS GROW WAS BOTH UNINTERRUPTED AND TIME-CONSUMING.”

 

Water pleaseThe lowlight came in the penultimate home game, where both teams needed something to bring them to life.

“NINETY MINUTES OF NOTHING PUNCTUATED BY SOUNDS OF SNORING.”

Until we speak again, may your football be uplifting and life-affirming; and Juno’s final punditry to reflect the whole season could just as easily have been a prediction way back in August…

“SERENDIPITY CREPT OUT THROUGH THE BACK DOOR COMPLETELY UNNOTICED!”

 

 

The end is nigh

Cardiff City 3 Blackpool 2

Countdown

 

“IDEAL SHOWCASE FOR A SHALLOW UNDERSTANDING OF LIFE’S SUPERFICIALITIES.”

We are Cardiff City

 

As the final home game of the seasonChillout cat draws to a close Juno would undoubtedly have felt justified in her preference for sleep over spectating. She always felt that everything interesting in football could be said in less than 10 words… Bill Shankly would surely be spinning in his grave at such sacrilege. Until we speak again may your sporting associations be less of a millstone than the unconditional support for your childhood team can often feel!