The great competition to mark Salut! Sunderland‘s feat in reaching two million visits by readers ended last night after a late surge that threatened to turn into a literary tsunami with Shakespeare, Chaucer and Wilde finding their work applied in a way they cannot have intended.
Thanks to everyone who entered. Since I allowed all my fellow contributors to have a go, excluding only myself from eligible winners, I decided be the sole judge.
I liked the dip into English Lit just as I enjoyed the earlier Churchillian tone struck by Michael Robinson (“Never have so few owed so much to so many”). Looking back, CSB invoked both the Bard and Sir Winston, the former with his: “Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow………..Sunderland supporters epitaph (inspired from an original idea by W. Shakespeare”.
Phil Johnson’s classical allusion – Caesar’s Veni, vidi, vici – gave hyperbolic resonance to Paolo Di Canio’s achievement with his patchwork team and in marshalling an initially divided support. Phil, too, found Churchill’s inspiration irresistible: “If we open a quarrel between past and present, we shall find that we have lost the future.”
Jake’s “I’ve heard of total football but what they served up this season wasn’t even partial football”
and Ken Gambles’s “Salut!Sunderland gets more hits than a Newcastle police-horse” added wit. Sheer commitment that owes nothing to results rang out from Mark Hanson’s “ever present frustration, ultimate despair, but always the hope and occasional hallelujah moment. I love this club and, more importantly, its supporters.”
And so it went on. A dozen or more potential winners. But I can choose only three. In reverse order, then:
3: Eric012’s late runner: ‘Sunderland ‘Til I Die.’
Jake attached a comment to the effect that this simple exclamation of unconditional love and allegiance had “nailed it” and I know what he means.
2: CSB’s ‘Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning…I wish SAFC would make their bloody minds up!”
I felt one adaptation from literature or Churchill had to be chosen, so common were these themes, and from a strong list of candidates I allowed popular vote to sway the choice. CSB offered one of each and drew impressive applause from the Salut! Sunderland readership (13 “likes” for this one, 10 for his Shakespearian quote)
AND FIRST PRIZE: Le Chat Noir’s “Sunderland 1965-2013. Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose”
This just ticked, for me, all the right boxes, summing up the reality of supporting Sunderland in very nearly the same period covered by Monsieur Salut and Sixer (stretching back in our cases to the end of the 1961-62 season).
Congratulations to the three winners and hearty thanks to all who entered. Le Chat Noir collects a £200 holiday voucher from Hays Travel and Eric and CSB each receive two T-shirts from Philosophy Football, CSB having first choice for his pair.
My one regret: that there was no attempt to adapt one of Churchill’s finest one-liners to last season or supporting Sunderland generally:
Nancy Astor: “Sir, if you were my husband, I would give you poison.”
Churchill: “If I were your husband I would take it.”
I will be in touch the the lucky trio. Salut! Sunderland wishes once again to acknowlegde and thank our prize sponsors for their generous participation …
…and Philosophy Football …