Is anyone else fascinated by the history of White City? It's such an evocative name but seems so sad that the original exhibtion was destroyed, along with the grand old stadium which hosted two Olympics as well as the Rs. It must've been strange and melancholy for our supporters rattling around in there though.
Plus, shouldn't this be our song? Beautiful lyrics too: Oh the torn up ticket stubs From a hundred thousand mugs Now washed away with dead dreams in the rain And the car-parks going up And they're pulling down the pubs And it's just another bloody rainy day
Interesting programme presented by our own Clarke Carlisle about racism in football in the 70s and 80s, with quite a lot about Bob Hazell as well as our charming neighbours in blue. Those too young to remember can take it from me: racial abuse in grounds was loud, constant and vicious. In my case, I'm white, but it disgusted me so much, it put me off going for years.
A fascinating, well-researched and beautifully written article in today's Guardian, by one of our own, Michael Hann. Well done Hanny my son! As an aside, as he suggests at the end, our supporters are surely as guilty as any: being an empathetic and fair-minded sort of chap, I often feel for refs and linos at Loftus Road. https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/oct/13/football-ref-hostile-players-ir
I enjoy going on Wikipedia to check the history of new Rangers' players, and their previous clubs always interest me most. I see Nahki Wells played for the Dandy Town Hornets in Bermuda (scoring 20 goals in 0 appearances according to Wiki, pretty impressive), whilst Tomor Hemed (married to a former Miss Israel, hello) played 39 games on loan for Maccabi Ahi Nazareth. At last, the Messiah!
Got that first day feeling and to ramp it up a notch, just watched this. I'm a sucker for these cheesy start-of-season videos with their overblown music, players showing paaasion for the badge and all that baloney, so am very very slightly disappointed not to see one this season, though I understand the club has more pressing concerns right now.
This one is my favourite in an unironic sense, as I think it captures the atmosphere and the experience of us incredibly suave supporters on matchday really well (though I guess use of black and white probably came from Schindler's List, which is a bit disturbing: Rangers are bad, but not THAT bad). YOURRRRRS!
The Away Problem. Everyone does a bit better at home, but it seems (though I haven't checked the stats) our away record has been ridiculous for years, under different managers. Any creative ideas to fix it? I haven't a clue really, but here's some random (maybe pointless or daft) ideas: changing the travel times/methods, training on pitches the same size as the next match, players interacting with away supporters more (allowing one or two on the bus?), giving a bonus or (non-monetary reward) for away points and (most obviously) setting the team up the same as if we were at home.
It strikes me that playing away can be turned to your advantage with the right attitude, maybe by playing at a high tempo and really going for it at the start, getting the natives on edge. Maybe something can be done to win the ref's favour a bit, too. Fans can also play a small part, I suppose, and maybe the club could do more to encourage greater numbers to travel. There's no need to diss me for any these half-baked ideas : I'm just opening the conversation!
Alternatively, we could say f*** it and start to enjoy losing away, go all out, rest our first team, wave white flags, break all records and make it the thing we're famous for.
I'm supply teaching at the moment and have been teaching for a couple of weeks in a small primary school in New Southgate, where today they had an Ambitions' Day, with kids and staff dressing up in the outfit of their dream job (a lot of footballers, doctors, pop-singers - not so many regional managers). They had an assembly this morning with a parent speaking as a special guest: Danny Shittu!
He stood with a display of paraphernalia on stage behind him ( Drogba and Adeybayor shirts, QPR away, a souvenir from the South Africa World Cup...) and showed pictures on a screen of him playing in various games, including one (most impressive to kids) of him (playing for Nigeria) clattering into Messi. He spoke with passion about the value of holding on to a dream and working hard in school (mentioning the need for a fall-back if things don't work out), and certainly made a positive impression on the kids. Teachers told me he is very involved with the school and is much-liked by staff.
After his talk, I had to speak up, and ended up being asked by the headteacher to lead the entire school in three rounds of the chim-chimeny, chim-chimeny song, to everyone's amusement or bemusement. Danny covered his face in mock embarrassment, but was very friendly afterwards and clearly loved it. One of the more surreal moments of my life, for sure...
I'm about to turn 50 and met up last night with a guy I went to school with but haven't seen in around 35 years; we used to go to Rangers together in our teens. I asked if he still goes sometimes and he confessed he's not been for decades: "It just seems like a load of fat old men on their arses yelling abuse at fit young fellas running around. Not my cup of tea any more".