After the final pre-season friendly ended, appropriately in cricket season, with Celtic declaring on five for none, a sports journalism graduate called Paul Nicholson caused amusement at Twitter with his plea for the result to be put into context.
Celtic were ahead of us in preparations, he argued with extraordinary generosity towards players who collected lots of twos, threes and fours in the ratings awarded by North-eastern sportswriters. Why, they had even “played competitive games”.
So what I took to be Paul’s charity provided the inspiration for a little competition. And you, the readers, provided the inspiring responses. Paul himself has now responded, too, saying that contrary to my assumption, he is not a Sunderland fan and that his comments would appear more charitable still if we were aware of his actual allegiance (clue? based in N***ast*e).
Shakespeare and WB Yeats were among the references in a most erudite set of comments. And deputy editor Malcolm Dawson ignored all literary allusions, his own included, and said the prize should go to Eric Bowers for his succinct “I just thought it was crap”.
It was a tough one to decide with so many excellent entries. Then I thought of going with the readers’ vote. But Malcolm and associate editor John McCormick vied on seven and there’s only one prize.
So in a purely arbitrary fashion, I’ve opted – without waiting, as I said I would, until kickoff time tomorrow becuse the competition has probably now run its course – for JEL, who combined the Bard and some sharp comparisons:
Context? compare and contrast?
Jason Steele’s debut – Jan Kirchoff’s debut
James Vaughan to date – Danny Graham
Lamine Kone’s attitude – Duncan Watmore’s attitude
Lamine Kone’s attitude – Darren Bent’s career
Simon Grayson so far – pick from any of; David Moyes, Sam Allardyce, Dick Advocaat, Gus Poyet, Martin O’Neill, Steve Bruce, to date (the obvious omission was too much of an aberration to count).
Following the Shakespearean theme:
SAFC delivering the Prologue in A Midsummer’s Night Dream –
“All for your delight
We are not here”
JEL can choose a print from the Sunderland range offered by our kind sponsors, Art of Football, as shown above. Check out their products at this link.
If someone comes up with a better entry between now at when the Derby game kicks off, I shall honour the previous closing date.
Our buildup to the new season includes …
*** Prize Guess the Score open to Derby as well as Sunderland supporters: https://safc.blog/2017/08/beauty-or-beast-as-graysons-different-animal-faces-derby-county-prize-guess-the-score/
*** a great ‘Who are You?’ with Derby County matchday programme columnist Nick Britten: https://safc.blog/2017/08/sunderland-vs-derby-county-who-are-you-a-man-in-the-know/