Sunday, August 09, 2009

The ups, the downs, the love of sports

Another football season dawns bright and fresh. It was perfect opening day weather too. The sunshine bounced off the brilliant green pitch so brightly I had to wear sunglasses for most of the game.

Shrewsbury had added a number of new faces to their squad and plenty had left, so there was a real mood of ‘Who knows what will happen?’ about the game. Burton were playing their first ever football league match and their 1,000+ fans in the away end seemed shoutily confident beforehand.

I must admit I felt pessimistic, but we won quite easily in the end. The first and third goals were goalkeeping errors, and the second goal was an unmarked header. Town did look a bit shaky when Burton pulled a goal back to make it 2-1, making the crowd a bit nervous.

The referee and linesman didn't help as they were exceptionally dismal. The linesman in particular missed two clear Burton offsides in the first half, and then couldn’t see a two-handed shove in the back and a blatant elbow right in front of him second half. My voice has gone slightly today as I felt the need to point out the refereeing errors to the officials. As did many in the crowd. The atmosphere turned from happy-go-lucky to furiously ugly very quickly.

But we got another goal and at the end ahd a succession of corners and chances as Burton seemed to run out of steam. So, although in one sense the scoreline flattered us, we could have ended up getting 5 or 6.

My record at the new stadium is pretty good now – I’ve seen 10 games and Shrewsbury have won 9 of them, and this was a definite improvement on the three 1-0 victories I saw last year. Maybe the team will gel into something good. We need to sign up the loan midfielder Joss Labadie though as he was our best player by a clear margin.

I don’t think Burton will go down. They played some good football and the game could have ended much better for them. This wasn’t the greatest start to league football for them, though.

My good feelings about the game then turned into disappointed despair later on that evening though, when I found out that the Padres had traded their all star pitcher Jake Peavy to the Chicago White Sox. Gutted doesn’t cover it. Cath actually said she hadn’t seen me that depressed by something in ages.

I can’t complain too much about Jake going. He has been an absolute star for the Padres, although last year he missed too many games on the DL. The White Sox are coming good and he deserves a crack at the post-season, which he won’t get with San Diego this year. Who knows, comes World Series time, maybe he’ll get a chance to shine. Good luck in the Windy City, Jake.

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