Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mood Ring: My Minute-by-Minute Account of Round 38 in the BPL

So I went to the hives tonight
Photo by Half Alive -- Soo ZZZ on Flickr

10:00 am EST/3:00 pm BST   Ring Color: GOLD – UNSETTLED/ MIXED EMOTIONS

As Survival Sunday kicks off, I’m a bundle of emotions – Sad, because it’s the last day of the season; Upset, because it appears as if Manchester United have thrown away the title after being up by eight points with only six games left; and Nervous -- Could this be the day of another stunning comeback from the Champions, who can never be truly counted out?  Only time will tell.

10:10am EST / 3:10pm BST   Ring Color: BROWN – RESTLESS

Stealing a page out of his mentor’s playbook, Sparky appears to have ordered his troops to play “Park the Bus” today at the Etihad.  But can they do it for 90 minutes?  It looks highly doubtful.  Actually, to this point in the match, it looks highly doubtful that QPR can even string two passes together.

10:12am EST / 3:12pm BST   Ring Color: PINK – FEAR / UNCERTAIN

Jonathan Walters has scored for Stoke.  Crap!  Now QPR don’t even need a result today to stay up.  What little bit of hope was there to begin with has been cast aside.

10:14am EST / 3:14pm BST

West Brom have scored for the second time in four minutes, and Arsenal have thrown away a one goal cushion.  Could Spurs really finish third…?!  I might crack a beer and settle in for the long haul….  It’s not too early, is it?

10:20am EST / 3:20pm BST     Ring Color: RED – ENERGY / EXCITED / ADVENTUROUS

Wazza’s got United on the board with a header past Mignolet to give the Once and Future Champions a 1-nil lead at Sunderland.  It’s good news, got me a bit excited, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.  There’s a lot of football still to be played.  And let’s not forget -- it’s QPR on the pitch at the Etihad.  I’m definitely cracking a beer, though.

10:25am EST / 3:25pm BST 

An easy giveaway by Sean Wright-Phillips, gifting the ball to Ya Ya Toure, followed by a near hand ball just outside the box.  Once again, Wright-Phillips is the donor. Is he literally trying to hand the title to City?

10:30am EST / 3:30pm BST   Ring Color: BROWN – RESTLESS

QPR appear to be growing into the game, although you know City will still create their chances.  To borrow a trite phrase, QPR are defending like lions, but they’re draining my mental energy.  Come to think of it, they’re draining my beer, too.  Better get another.

10:31 am EST / 3:31 pm BST

Nikica Jelavic has scored to give Everton a 2-nil lead against Newcastle.  Alan Pardew can’t be happy, but I am: I’ve got Jelavic on my Fantasy team.


Ya Ya Toure has a hamstring problem?  While I don’t wish harm on anyone – least of all on his 29th birthday – I can’t say this would be the worst news I’ve heard today.  It’s probably not greeted warmly, though, by Roberto Mancini or the home crowd at the Etihad.  As goes Toure, so goes City – especially lately.


Of all the places for the Manchester City goal to come from, Pablo Zabaleta is likely the last name I would have picked, ahead of maybe only Joleon Lescott.  This is the moment I’ve been waiting for – impending doom is beginning to descend.  To make the moment more surreal, it’s Zabaleta’s first goal of the season, and even if QPR somehow manage to get a point, Paddy Kenny deserves to be relegated.  I need another beer.

10:45am EST / 3:45pm BST Ring Color: GOLD – UNSETTLED / MIXED EMOTIONS

Holy Crap!  Bolton have not only equalized against Stoke, they’ve now gone ahead with two goals in five minutes.  And not only have they taken the lead, the goal by Kevin Davies is definitely making the season highlight films….  At least Hughes won’t be complacent in his half-time talk now: QPR definitely have something to play for.  Chug-a-lug!

11:05am EST / 4:05pm BST Ring Color: GRAY – VERY NERVOUS / ANXIOUS

After a bathroom break and a beer run, I’m back for more.  Excitement?  Masochism?  Fantasy? Drama?  Yup, and all in equal measure right now.  That, plus a slight beer buzz.  Before the second half is even underway, Ian Darke helpfully points out on ESPN that QPR have managed only a single point all season long when they’ve trailed at the half.  Thanks for the encouragement, Ian.

11:08am EST / 4:08pm BST Ring Color: RED – ENERGY / EXCITED / ADVENTUROUS

I don’t believe my eyes!  Djibril Cisse has just scored to pull QPR level at the Etihad, fresh off a gift from Joleon Lescott.  City’s Center Back must have forgotten which way his team is headed, and Cisse makes no mistake, beating Hart at the near post.  That’s the good news.  The bad news?  There’s still 42 minutes left to play.

11:13am EST / 4:13pm BST Ring Color: WHITE – BORED / FRUSTRATED

Really, Joey?  An elbow to the head of Carlos Tevez?  I don’t like him much either, but you’re embarassing both yourself and your club by your behavior.  And now you’ve presented your Manager with a 10 man squad, incredibly for the ninth time this season.  The kick out at Aguero as you leave the pitch is cute, though.  Helpfully, Mario Balotelli enters the fray as peacemaker, to escort Barton off the pitch.

11:18am EST / 4:18pm BST   Ring Color: GRAY – VERY NERVOUS /ANXIOUS

Djibril Cisse has come off the pitch as a result of the defensive re-shuffle by Mark Hughes.  He’s gone all in on the defensive strategy.  Success looks highly unlikely now, with City settling in for an all out siege on goal.  Aguero’s ball is grabbed by Kenny just before it crosses the line – this doesn’t look as if it’s going to end well.  I’m dying for another beer.  I’ve lost track of the number I’ve consumed by this point, but don’t really care too much – there are much more important things to be keeping track of.

11:20am EST / 4:20pm BST

Defoe scores to put Spurs two up, but will it matter?  Laurent Koscielny’s header has just put Arsenal back in the Third Place driver’s seat.  And what’s with the dye job, Jermaine?

11:25am EST / 4:25pm BST Ring Color: RED – ENERGY / EXCITED / ADVENTUROUS

Once again, I’m stunned by the events on the pitch:  Armand Traore crosses in Jamie Mackie, who has  put his diving header straight into the City net.  It’s virtually 10-Man QPR’s first attack of the second half, and it comes from absolutely nothing.  While City fans grab their heads, I grab something more useful: another beer.  Meanwhile, tears flow at the Etihad, but the City attack is relentless and grinds right back into gear.

11:32am EST / 4:32pm BST

Everton put a third past Newcastle and the poor old Magpies are not going to be playing Champions League football next season.  Still, it’s been a great season for the Toon Army, and it’ll be fun to see the Magpies enjoying European football next season.  It may be the Europa League, but you have to learn to crawl before you can run.

11:35am EST / 4:35pm BST   Ring Color: GOLD – UNSETTLED / MIXED EMOTIONS

It’s Balotelli on for Tevez, as Mancini seeks to deny every promise he’s ever made in search of victory.  I can’t decide who I’d less like to see score a winning goal.  Has it really come to this, Super Mario?  Why always you?

11:36am EST / 4:36pm BST   Ring Color: BLACK – STRESSED / NERVOUS / TENSE

Damn!  Stoke has equalized against Bolton, and now QPR don’t need a result.  I liked it much better when they did.  Let’s hope the QPR players don’t take their foot off the pedal.  This is nail biting stuff.  And beer drinking stuff, too: I’m downing them semi-warm at this point, having brought out a bunch last time because I don’t dare leave the couch.

11:41am EST / 4:31 BST

It’s not tears at the Etihad, its fisticuffs, man against chair in the stands.  He may be upset, but there's still much too much time for my comfort level.  There’s nine minutes still left.  But even Mike Summerbee is beginning to bite his nails now.  Roberto Mancini looks as if he’s about to spontaneously combust on the sideline.

11:48am EST / 4:48pm BST    Ring Color: YELLOW – IMAGINATIVE

This can’t really be happening, can it?  Please don’t wake me up.  Just pass me another luke-warm craft beer.  And preferably one that has a cap; I have no nails left with which to open up a can.

11:50am EST / 4:50pm BST    Ring Color: BLACK: STRESSED / NERVOUS / TENSE

Balotelli nearly scores at the end of regulation time, but he’s denied at point blank range by a heroic Kenny.  Who said this guy should be relegated?!  But who’s keeping the clock on the pitch?  I should have guessed it was confirmed United-hater, Mike Dean.  He’s already done his part by showing a red card to Barton, and now he’s trying to influence the result once more: five minutes added time.  Oh, God, this is going to be tough.  Better go with a session beer.

11:52am EST / 4:52pm BST    Ring Color:  GRAY – VERY NERVOUS / ANXIOUS

Dzeko equalizes, from an unmarked position in front of goal.  I can’t even speak, and my fingers can barely type.  Oh cruel, cruel fate.  Don’t do this to me now.

11:53am EST / 4:53pm BST    Ring Color: PINK: FEAR / UNCERTAIN

Bolton have lost and are relegated.  The game no longer matters to QPR, as they are now staying up no matter today's result.  Having come this far, could they really throw it all away in stoppage time?  If so, someone should investigate this QPR team….

11:54 pm EST / 4:54pm BST    Ring Color: BLACK -- HATRED / RAGE / SORROW

Sergio Aguero scores City’s second goal of stoppage time.  The dream is over, and so is United’s season.  This is truly a dagger through the heart, reminiscent of United’s Champions League victory in 1999.  It’s heartbreaking, and a title which looked to have been lost then won, is well and truly lost again.

This is a broken farlieonfootie for May 15.  Football -- bloody hell.

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