Well-loved, fondly remembered former manager, leading out a new shiny squad against us after repeatedly retiring from the game? This would normally raise a few eyebrows but not in this case as Neil Warnock hasn't got any.
His eyebrows have been missing since 1989 but there have been several sightings in recent years, most notably they were thought to have been spotted replacing Mo Farah's moustache in 2012.
8-0 Rangers. Warnock to retire at half time and rejoin the club in the 47th minute for one more go at promotion. Dom Ball gets sent off for karate chopping himself in the face.
Currently, the UN recognises 195 countries, with a world population of 7.8 billion, representing thousands of different cultures, traditions and languages. Our differences are many, however, there is one thing that unites the entire human race: the fact that Nottingham Forest's squad contains at least one representative of each of the world's nations. Like some latter day Noah's ark, Forest has chosen to gather two of every culture, preserving the essence of humanity in case of cataclysm.
Can QPR's rag tag collection of waifs, strays and Dom Ball make any impact on this cast of thousands?
It was 1874 and Zebediah Ivanhoe Scrimshaw was reeling after being laid off from Bickerthwaites Clog Factory after 10 years service. 'Unemployed. On t'scrag 'eap at the age o' 17' he sighed to Hector his faithful whippet as he trudged wearily down roads that would later be copyrighted by Hovis.* Even putting another ferret down his trousers couldn't lift his gloom. It helped but only briefly. It were no good. He'd heard that a young man of action could make his fortune down int' that there London - mebbe there'd be a place for a lad such as him, a hearty cherub of a lad with only a hint of tuberculosis, a squint and an orthapaedic clog. He packed his bag, said goodbye to his 19 siblings and got onto the first train South...
Today, visitors from Barnsley are equally as dazzled by the sights, sounds and smells of that there London. The running water. The electricity. The complete lack of incesant brass band music. It all adds up to a heady assault on the senses. And yet, the hopes and dreams of Zebediah Ivanhoe Scrimshaw are still very much evident in the coal-streaked faces of the Barnsley team that come looking for fame, glory or a chip and gravy barm cake. As manager Valerian Ismael says 'It'd be easer for a Grimethorpe pigeon fancier t' gerrint Belper whippet racin' club'house than t' gerra win theer'.
Currently undefeated when starting match threads this season, I was unsurprised when Warbs 'Warby' Warburton called this morning and insisted that I start this one. 'Dorse', he said, for we are close and often share recipes, 'you know what to do'.
It has been estimated that approximately 13.8 billion years have passed since the beginning of the universe as we know it. Scientists have calculated that around 39% of that time has been wasted by Preston players feigning injury, complaining to the ref or kicking the ball away when their team is a goal up. These figures are startling: it seemed so much longer at the time.
What, if anything, can we expect playing north of Watford gap, midweek, at Preston? Under normal circumstances, a piss-boiling display of rampant gob-bummery administered ad nauseum by the game's foremost exponents of the Dark Arts. Coached by Baphomet himself, Preston have clearly offered their first born daughters to the Evil One in order to gain mystical control over time itself and weakened the minds of Championship referees. Is there any hope?
Have just walked into the office and found the kids helpless with laughter after instructing Alexa to play 'Mr Farts'. As if that wasn't enough, they then asked for 'Reggae Farts'. I was forced to leave in order to maintain my dignity,
I cannot be the only denizen of this venerable institution to be so appalled by his progeny's use of modern technology.
Cards on the table, I was pretty excited about the team this season: actual money paid to us in transfers, strikers on the books rather than borrowed from St Pterodactyl's Home For The Benched, younger players getting a chance, Geoff Cameron had got rid of the man-bun. I mean, things were looking good and if not 'good' then 'not crap' at the very least.
All of those things still hold true but I can't help feeling that somehow, somewhere, the slobbering hound of fate is waiting to lick the shining goolies of hope during the Christmas dinner of team development.