Season 41 Game 708 Little dribblers

The prostate (from Ancient Greek προστάτης, prostátēs, literally "one who stands before", "protector", "guardian"[1]) is an exocrine gland of the male reproductive system in most mammals.[2][3] It differs considerably among species anatomicallychemically, and physiologically.

Anatomically, the prostate can be subdivided in two ways: by zone or by lobe.[4] It does not have a capsule; rather an integral fibromuscular band surrounds it.[5] It is sheathed in the muscles of the pelvic floor, which contract during the ejaculatory process. The prostate also contains some smooth muscles that also help expel semen during ejaculation.

The function of the prostate is to secrete a fluid which contributes to the volume of the semen. This prostatic fluid is slightly alkaline, milky or white in appearance, and in humans usually constitutes roughly 30% of the volume of semen, the other 70% being spermatozoa and seminal vesicle fluid.[6] The alkalinity of semen helps neutralize the acidity of the vaginal tract, prolonging the lifespan of sperm. The prostatic fluid is expelled in the first part of ejaculate, together with most of the sperm. In comparison with the few spermatozoa expelled together with mainly seminal vesicular fluid, those in prostatic fluid have better motility, longer survival, and better protection of genetic material.

Disorders of the prostate include enlargement, inflammation, infection, and cancer.


As the sun beat down on the high veldt of Alex Moore Park, causing a strange shimmer on the plastic prairie, the Bombers stood arrayed in storied glory, on the brink of battle with the feral highlanders big-bellying before them. This season of the dew seemed never to end. The huge squadron had been gradually whittled down as some of the veterans found it to be a campaign too far.  Young Ianinho had slipped unnoticed into the line up somewhere mid-season, but in the main the numbers were softening like a trampolinist’s pelvic floor. On the sideline Marky Mark and Dr Timinho, offcuts from the Bombers flank, idled in their disastrous civvies. As did JB, perennial conchie. And (joy!) the Worm turned up again, like a faithful old dog who follows you around no matter how many times you move house. Missing again was Jackal, who it seems prefers the birch-slapping steamy Sami sauna sessions in Ngaio to the work of manly men.


The few remaining fit Bombers were immediately on the back foot. The crimson tide poured forward, causing the old rough sleeper in the yellow shirt to fling himself at missiles left and right.  Then a goal line clearance from Nintendo. This was grim. Once in a while the Bombers broke out of the clutches of the foe, but fell back quickly into a pattern of containment.  Mingus was here there and everywhere, regardless of where the ball was. Two soft as fuck goals conceded after 45 minutes of reductive casuistry. 


At half time the shimmer on the pitch caused a weird ripple in the spacetime entropy field, as somehow everyone was transported back to 1982 when Worm and JB strode crookedly onto the field to lead the line. Never in the history of football have two such old men ignored so many appeals to stop playing. But here they were, gelded ghosts of a golden age, running about like shot fawns, adding only bathos to the struggle ensuing around them.

The it was 3-0, and hope was slipping away.

Then the shimmer intensified. Wantaway defender Jacco sproinged through some tackles and with a last despairing prod slipped the ball towards a sclerotic JB, free on the left of the box. I can do no more, whispered Jacco, take the glory.

JB took a touch, then with his unfashionable left foot from a mathematically miraculous angle struck a veritable thunderbastard that bent the post and stretched the net.


 He slightly miscued his shot but his aim was true and the ball rolled sullenly over the line, tapping the post apologetically on the way through.

At which JB, sauntered off the field with a ‘my work here is done’ shrug and mic drop. To be greeted with a ribbing from Ragg Boy that his ‘shooting’ was even slower than his peeing. Cue peels of laughter ringing in the bleak western hills. “Prostatic finishing” snorted the beardy weird Doc.

But the Bombers saw something to fight for, and stormed forward from all angles. The foe was routed, despite Worm still being on the field.  Finally Henry knocked in a crisp second and victory beckoned, until the other cunts scored again and we all went to the pub to do more manly work.


The prostate (from Ancient Greek προστάτης, prostátēs, literally "one who stands before", "protector", "guardian"[1](eg Gyles)is an exocrine gland of the male reproductive system in most mammals.[2][3] It differs considerably among species anatomicallychemically, and physiologically(not unlike Tiberius).

Anatomically, the prostate can be subdivided in two ways: by zone or by lobe (like Hansie and Mingus).[4] It does not have a capsule(similar to Marky); rather an integral fibromuscular band (as we like to call Nintendo)surrounds it.[5] It is sheathed in the muscles (Danny)of the pelvic floor (Mike Letts), which contract during the ejaculatory process (Koen’s attempts at goal). The prostate also contains some smooth muscles (viz: Dazz)that also help expel semen during ejaculation(obviously a reference to Magic Mike).

The function of the prostate is to secrete a fluid which contributes to the volume of the semen. This prostatic fluid is slightly alkaline, milky or white in appearance (like Sceatsy) , and in humans usually constitutes roughly 30% of the volume of semen, the other 70% being spermatozoa and seminal vesicle fluid.[6] The alkalinity of semen helps neutralize the acidity of the vaginal tract, prolonging the lifespan of sperm. The prostatic fluid is expelled in the first part of ejaculate, together with most of the sperm. In comparison with the few spermatozoa expelled together with mainly seminal vesicular fluid, those in prostatic fluid have better motility(Like Carlos, can be mobile at times),longer survival (again, Gyles)  and better protection of genetic material (looking at you, Doc).

Disorders of the prostate include enlargement, inflammation, infection, and cancer (aka JB).


Season 41 Game 704. Hansie on the brink as Sparky catches fire

By cub reporter Ianuccini

Post 1978 World Cup, there was an influx of World Cup winning Argentinians into English football. What – you mean Ardiles and Vila to Spurs? Well of course everyone knows that. But the other less celebrated and less well-known import, was Alberto Tarantini, who signed for Div 1 journeymen Birmingham City. Big deal – well it was. City were still holding onto a superstar in the making, Trevor Francis, who was to be sold to Forest and Euro glory with Forest and Cloughie a few months later, so Alberto was, to say the least in local parlance, a “shrewd” signing. 

Just where is this heading, regular readers are already protesting?

Well, after finally getting his work visa, Alberto was settling in and in a home match at St Andrews, casually strolled over to take a corner. A 2-step run up - and then curled it in direct, to the near post, past a flapping keeper. A feat so rare for the skill set of any honest, decent British footballer that had it not been so admired it would have been decried for taking the mickey, and easily have brought forward the Anglo-Argentinian discourse well before the ’82 hostile takeover of the Maldives. Bloody Johnny Foreigner showing us up.

WTF – get to the point I hear the murmurs.

OK, the point is, that Alberto was a left full back. So, here we are again, and in the finest traditions of (a) great left-backs and (b) those who have scored direct from corners…..enter Sparky Mark who casually repeated the same feat on Saturday after 9 minutes to put us 1-0 up over Eastbourne. Sparky now ticks both boxes (a) and (b) above, plus the third of (c) has played for the Bombers. So suddenly Nige’s exclusive club of one is now TWO, and Sparky and Alberto can lay claim to having performed one of the rarer acts of skill (not wind assisted: Ed) in the game.

And so from such a start, it set up the boys for a period of scintillating football. Pinball triangles, late runs, shots asunder and the PRESS all spelt trouble for lifeless Eastbourne. Ragg was, er, ragged, Sceats on fire, Jaco bossing the back, it was all looking good. Soon Carl found himself with ball at feet, head down and gaining momentum, stumbling with intent, charging like a pepper-sprayed wolverine into the box and with grit and gorm, aimed for the far post as the hapless keeper came out….2-0. 22 mins gone, looking good.

Speaking of hapless keepers, we’re not. Our David-James Reebok kit wearing No 1 Big Jeff oozed calm and confidence between the sticks, which he seemed to fill with ease, and as with last week (OK and every preceding week), security was to be found at the back. But being able to hurl the pill over half way in .5 of a second may well become an attacking feature. Midfields are over-rated, as we all whisper under our breath.

The hook came out at 30 and off we all trotted, as the bench, sniffing blood, brought on the heavyweights (that’s just a figure of speech). Doc and Graham suddenly were playing a game of their own. But soon the shape became distorted. G-Man, who had nearly scored with his first touch, couldn’t keep down the howitzer he launched over the bar. It was as if he’d misplaced Billy’s Boots and couldn’t hit the target – surely not destined to be trapped on a paltry 17 goals? Several adjacent barn doors and banjos seemed breathed a sigh of relief.  More reckless thrashing ensued as the clock ran down and the ref, to be fair a dead ringer for Asst Gardner, ended first half proceedings. 

To the casual listener parachuted in from Mars, half-time team talks must present a deplorable state of affairs of the human race to any visiting alien.  How easy could world domination of this miserable shower be? (I for one welcome our alien overlords: Ed) 

Dissent, anger, anguish, learned helplessness, unquenchable thirst and repetitive swearing, no hierarchical system of control, no hint of logic or a thought-based framework to match analysis anywhere. Thankfully the take-me-to-your-leader question was solved quickly, as the real Asst Gardner stood up. With beautifully annunciated RNZ tones and delightful vowel control, he commanded the many disparaging silo-based conversations that would make a government department proud, and unity was restored. With finger-on-the-pulse Gregan-like authority, soon the mood changed and turned positively Churchillian, imploring, driving and instructional. As Marky Mark’s George Michael linens moistened in the lambent sun, soon were heard those immortal words….just keep-it-on-the-deck; the eternal panacea to any tactical, technical, physical or psychological coaching problem. Thus said, collective tension dispersed and we knew we’d be safe in the second half.

Off we went; Wriggles cavorting and leading the defence a merry, rather one-paced dance (half-paced: Ed); Dazz just cavorting, Davey unleashing pace and torment and (B)Ruce running the show. It was only a matter of time….or was it. Suddenly, G-Man knew it wasn’t his day and took the pass out. I’m back in….surely all I have to do is hang around the box and someone will deliver…please.

A few touches, a cut back way too rich for Dave at the far post; curses. What next? Then…combo time on the left – Dave/Carl/Dave – the cross, another lopsided bounce, still control was made, the aim was set, the keeper stranded and ….WTF?? Did that actually go in?? 

Yes, well it did, and the net slightly rippled and it was a goal. Sheepish acknowledgement and consoling arm around the keeper and the retreating centre-back who somehow kicked the post instead. Mild wave to the bench who are howling with laughter, and already the echo of “they all count” beginning to thud in the mind. Migraine material.

Happy days lasted only minutes, until the hammy started tightening, and with Tiberius seen clutching a beer on the touchline, that seemed a better destination. Fulltime sounded, handshakes all around and it was off to Ragg’s for cigars and coke-snorting, dancing girls and loud hedonistic music, and vegan sausage rolls.

As Sunday dawned with the pounding hangover and inflamed nostrils, a glance at the league table showed the fruits of our endeavours from the day before.  Top place, single goal difference of +1. So it’s true, they do all count.

Season 41 Game 703. We only want what's best

 Plans were made for Nigel.

In the pantheon of the great overlapping fullbacks - Carlos Alberto, Maldini, Breitner, Andreas Brehme, Tony Lochhead, - the highveld of Raroa Park welcomed another entrant to this glorious club. Nige “I’m not counting” Beckford caressed home no doubt the most elegant strike of his storied career to ease the Bombers home and into second on the table. Gliding in effortlessly at the far post, a Tiberius on-a-platter cross arced invitingly and was dispatched with aplomb, 4-1 and points in the bag.  Carl’s bullet of a header and the author’s dalliances on the ball for a brace simply not worthy to be mentioned in the same goalscoring breath. The anguish will abate. Patience, my sons, patience.

Stats sometimes matter little, but the euphoric cry of “That’s my fourth goal in 41 years” echoed around this pantomime theatre of dreams and caused uproar within Malvina’s corridors and ablution blocks.  The stern-faced sideline devotees erupted into applause. Cue the Steve Austin-like run to the rapturous embrace with Asst Gardner, and it was a seminal Kennedy moment – where were you when it happened?

In this age of immediacy it was revealed that plans had already been made for a dash to Camp Nou this week, as the Catalans seek to regain Euro Cup supremacy, or if not then the comparatively easier feat of one-nation independence, and good luck with that. But a marauding, nay, bombing, 60-year old left back with an eye for goal that goes back four decades could be the answer – given the other left footed prima donna never looks interested these days. The mooted player exchange – with cash of course – is locked in management wrangles. Season ticket holders pray that Nige’s last chance for a lucrative retirement contract won’t be derailed by inflated demands from the gin-slinging old dodderers of the Bombers management, even if Messi is coming the other way. 

 (Messi couldn’t do it on a cold wet Saturday afternoon in Naenae: Ed)

The rest of the day’s carnage is merely padding and fluff to the main story. So what if we bullied and battered but remained scoreless at half-time, fists flailing angrily at the frustration of it all, as if the football gods would listen, instead remaining amused by life’s contrariness and the bitterness they could engender. Asst Gardner, pushed to his limit, contemptuously mouthing “I’m bored” as he removed himself from the fight at the interval, to be comforted by steaming Bovril. Step forward the heir apparent…Big Mike commanded the parapet from on high, driving mighty arms into the heavens to punch balls that were evil incarnate, commanding his gladiators, mopping up the enemy and occasionally setting up attacks with Neuer-like distribution. But from such defiance came the most delicate weakness, as the defensive citadel was breached to allow a triple-bouncing-rebound time to trickle into the rigging from a sweeping high-altitude corner. Travesty.

Time to unleash the press, and so it was. Not the Fourth Estate, but a surge of energy rippled through the team, years were rolled back and distant muscle memory drove leaden feet to move with pace. Resistance was futile as the floodgates were unleashed. A left-wing cross, an erratic bounce and driven finish, 1-1. More pressure, corners piled up. Well, two. Tiberius delivers, defenders depart and Carl and nuclear fission meet as one. 2-1. More pressure. Stent is seen running; alarmingly so is Sceats; (B)Ruce eviscerating anything in midfield and driving the ball with venom. Peripheral vision catches Nige marauding, a portent of things to come. Carl in perpetual motion mode, Tiberius dominating the flank. The pincer movement is complete. The cross, the catch, the turn, the shot….3-1. Surely rest from this damn hell. But all is simply prologue. Why did Kennedy have to perish? Would the world really have been a better place? Time stands still…the shot that was heard around the world…Nigel….4-1 and we are transported back to a simpler time. There is hope. There is beauty.

 Or until the deafening reality of cruel life shocks us awake. A Sissoku-like handball and there is no argument. And there can be only one Highlander. Graham steps up to propel the dagger that will put the beast to sleep, and top spot. The cruel gods look down again, and smile mercilessly. Fools.

Season 41 Game 700 Bombers knock seven shades of shit out of Wainui

Seven, the fourth prime number, is not only a Mersenne prime (since 23 − 1 = 7) but also a double Mersenne prime since the exponent, 3, is itself a Mersenne prime. It is also a Newman–Shanks–Williams prime,[1] a Woodall prime,[2] a factorial prime,[3] a lucky prime,[4] a happy number (happy prime),[5] a safe prime (the only Mersenne safe prime), and the fourth Heegner number.[6]

  • Seven is the lowest natural number that cannot be represented as the sum of the squares of three integers. (See Lagrange's four-square theorem#Historical development.)

  • Seven is the aliquot sum of one number, the cubic number 8 and is the base of the 7-aliquot tree.

  • 7 is the only number D for which the equation 2nD = x2 has more than two solutions for n and x natural. In particular, the equation 2n − 7 = x2 is known as the Ramanujan–Nagell equation.

  • 7 is the only dimension, besides the familiar 3, in which a vector cross product can be defined.

  • 7 is the lowest dimension of a known exotic sphere, although there may exist as yet unknown exotic smooth structures on the 4-dimensional sphere.

  • 999,999 divided by 7 is exactly 142,857. Therefore, when a vulgar fraction with 7 in the denominator is converted to a decimal expansion, the result has the same six-digit repeating sequence after the decimal point, but the sequence can start with any of those six digits.[7] For example, 1/7 = 0.142857 142857... and 2/7 = 0.285714 285714....

In fact, if one sorts the digits in the number 142,857 in ascending order, 124578, it is possible to know from which of the digits the decimal part of the number is going to begin with. The remainder of dividing any number by 7 will give the position in the sequence 124578 that the decimal part of the resulting number will start. For example, 628 ÷ 7 = 89 5/7; here 5 is the remainder, and would correspond to number 7 in the ranking of the ascending sequence. So in this case, 628 ÷ 7 = 89.714285. Another example, 5238 ÷ 7 = 748 2/7, hence the remainder is 2, and this corresponds to number 2 in the sequence. In this case, 5238 ÷ 7 = 748.285714.

But you knew all that. Here’s some random crap from my Big Book O’Seven.

Something oddly aligned about 700 games and a 7 nil scoreline. A sizzling penalty save. A slashing drive from Banshee, a girly dink from Satan, a bosom bump from a bewildered Raggster, a pornographic ankles around the neck face ferret from Chacal, a shin here, a knee there, a trapezoid there. Seven goals for seven (plus 11) brothers.

Seven colours of the rainbow, seven bridges of Corinth, seven days in the week, Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove, seven wonders of the ancient world, seven hills of Rome, 7 No 1 hits on Band on the Run, 7 inches of terror down Marky Mark’s velvet sweat pants, 7 the size of Mingus boots, 7 considered a God number in ancient Egypt. The Pharaoh usually ordered things in groups of multiples of 7. For a time, 7 was not even used in writings for the people of Egypt.

7 pure notes in the diatonic scale.

Gyles says it’s tight at the top. Satan says it’s even tighter at the bottom, although he may have got the wrong end the brownstick.

So far the season has been a disaster, on that we can all agree. The farce moves to Kura St next week, god help us. Don’t bring the kids.

I leave you with this (again):

7 is the lowest dimension of a known exotic sphere, although there may exist as yet unknown exotic smooth structures on the 4-dimensional sphere. I nominate Doc as our very own exotic sphere. He is quite smooth, but we can all agree that 3 dimensions is enough.

Season 41 Game 696. You can build a wall, but...

There is a hole, a hole, in everything

That’s how the shite gets in

We played a game in Miramar

A place you can only get to in a car

A shitey gobfest of a match

The gates of glory left unlatched

The eggs of success

Cold, unhatched

Hathaway’s cottage

Poorly thatched

Weather from the South all shitty

Women here are never pretty

Slanting rain like heifers pissing

Bombers midfield oddly missing

Build a wall and watch it fail

Half time sees the heroes fail

Like Achilles sulking in his tent

The answer to this is never Stent

Notes of hope that are never sent

Strikers who joke like David Brent

Defenders who were never meant

To shine in any firmament

Nothing good can grow from fear

Dead man cannot enjoy a beer

Nothing good can ever come

From listening to Mingus hum

The popular tracks of Ultravox

When Marist boofheads pack the box

And stymie all the Bombers moves

With horned heads and cloven hooves

You cannot win against The Beast

His sulpherine breath upon your teats

To lose is to lose is to lose is to lose

The kick inside is the kindest bruise

Whatever this is, it’s what we choose

The hardiest went to drink good booze

At Dr Tim’s, without their shoes.

Season 41 Game 695 Part 2 - Carl's Shrooms Dream

Anderson’s Park bathed in the glory of Creator, while Bombers showed some who’d bathed and others who hoped yet for a shower golden from that bearded toga-wearing chap sporting Roman Polanskis mincing for a good view from clouds above Te Ahumairangi.

Other Gods showed including the cloven-hoofed one. Beelzebub. The Dark Prince. Fallen Angel. Tiberius who is looking increasingly like he has had one too many orgies. 

The Island Bay types looked familiar in much the same way that old men that aren’t your lovers come to resemble one another. But enough deep throat clearing and scene-setting I hear you mutter.

JB opened the scoring bottom right I believe. The devil put up a mighty Gary Owen which the keeper thought was a cross. Old Sooty Foot has many tricks and that angel of a keeper – a man badly in need of a toupee – took the bait having never seen a shot disguised in such a way. 2-0. Mephistopheles must have been nice during the week and patted a kitten or at least some old grey puss in thigh high boots.

There was some whinging about offside for the first goal but while demons go about their work there is always howling and gnashing of teeth from the meek who are under some delusion that they will inherit the earth. There won’t be much left for them at this rate. But enough of the big issues.

Half-time. Men talked. They had the wind. But we had fast men. Dave excelled at the back. The Dutch contingent! Koen could show Johan Cruyff a thing or two. Even on the football field. They got a lucky break and Gareth G beat Gyles and then he also scored a goal. Gene sealed it back post sloppy seconds after Kirk missed the cross (must have just been the one kitten). 3-1. Yakal managed to block Graham’s shot from an offside position and cleaned up the mess – 4-1.

The writer then retired to the Backbencher as per instructions. The company was limited but at least there was little competition for speech. Man servant Jefferson informed said correspondent of correct booze swilling joint by way of txters (apologies to John Key) where JB sat like a Cheshire Cat or was it Kurtz? His heart of Darkness had melted. Stent asked me ‘What is the purpose of the Bombers?’

Season 41 Game 695 Persian Prince Creates Dodecahedron

Report filed by Nigel Weetbix Emperor Beckford

The way to Anderson park is never straightforward. A one-way traffic system adjacent to the ground takes in the Lady Norwood rose garden whose aphids have grown to the size of Cessnas thanks to global warming.

One circles the park and the park circles one. There was not a carpark to be found so I slid past the roses, the tour buses and the octagenarians (only a few years our senior now) out the other side to Hill street which was nowhere near the ground at all. I was virtually back where I started. I then made my way back on foot, two actually, and filtered myself past the fencing to the large community of men in black.

The last time I had seen so many burly men wearing black uniforms was during the demise of ISIS, but let’s not go there. There were warm ups and the size of the current squad means pleasantries and introductions to unfamiliar faces can take up to an hour. I’m having a card printed.

Our opposition, like most of our old adversaries, are well known to us all. Thankfully, that doesn’t prevent them being thoroughly obnoxious to us whenever we meet. Graham foolishly dressed up like a stevedore in orange and refereed the first half. It would be fair to say, the amount of rancor and bitterness he dealt with during that time is probably unmatched even in the current dispute between the Ukraine and Russia. 

We bossed the first half setting up camp in their half, attacking and shooting at will like a lion playing with a small child who has fallen into its enclosure. Gnawing on their defence until it eventually gave way like cheap plastic plumbing from China to leak two unanswered goals. 

The Persian Prince they call Love Slave imperiously spread the ball left and right from the base of midfield, the 17 midfielders weaved intricate double helixes and polyhedrons with the ball glued to the lavish pasture, it arrived at JB’s feet and, turning back several decades and a sun dial,  he duly lashed a fierce drive in for one nil. Halleys Comet had arrived in football form. 

Then suddenly another piece of sparkling mischief from the right wing as Diablo stroked his nib-like chin and wrote himself onto the score sheet with an audacious cross/shot/epiphany which sailed over the keeper’s head into goal. There were inquisitions among the Island Bay team, who lacked a single thing to curse but the day they were born. 

Ascendancy confirmed, we then made the first of our 700 substitutions. Our numbers now so numerous that Statistics NZ are contemplating surveying our team once every five years to save the ridiculous time and expense of a nationwide census.

Island Bay cheekily staged some passing of their own and a goalbound effort or two but some intelligent refereeing soon saw that ambition blunted.  

Half time arrived and we split into two groups of 50, then came together like a small village to swap tales. Men, women, children. Dogs, buckets. Some mended nets and Marky Mark. puffing away on an extended purple Vape, regaled us with tales of the first men, moas and the Time of Darkness in the caves. Children and small hihi birds gathered spellbound.

A mere 11 of us took the field again and continued to overrun the opposition. There was even more intricate passing. Rhomboids, parallelograms, regular star dodecahedra and icosahedral symmetry. The simple fisher folk from Tapu Te Ranga Motu could only look on like interested spectators at a maths quiz.

Alas a tricky bounce and rare lapse in concentration from our unused defenders allowed Island bay to score a shock, against the run of play goal. Thus encouraged, Island Bay doubled their protests at our refereeing (they were never going to win the actual game) and even the offer of free heart surgery from Stent did nothing to improve the situation. 

Fortunately the game was soon put to bed for good. The Jackal twisted and turned his way into to their penalty area, found Genome who tapped home like the country gentlemen he is, tapping his corncob pipe on his jodhpurs after scoring. Another goalmouth scramble and ricochet saw the ball bundled in for a fourth by Jackal, with an intriguing whiff of the footballing cologne they call offside. 

This caused an uproar of protest and the United Nations Security Council was eventually required to confirm the final result – 4 – 1. 

Other results fell our way too and lo and behold, in season 41, after 8 games we sit top of the table, the ‘death zone’ of wellington football. Oxygen almost gone, down to the last selfie, but somehow still summiting.

After a short plebiscite it was agreed we would repair to the pub in Tinakori road and buy $40 jugs of beer. So I headed in the opposite direction to reclaim my vehicle and then drive several kilometres around the whole ground again to the pub. This game had a carbon footprint the size of Sasquatch.

On my way towards Hill Street I encountered the merry Prince of Persia, a man given to few words and many tackles. He fixed his gaze on me for the longest time and slowly intoned, “We …….. must …….. keeep ……… winning.”  

“Yes,” I answered. “Now where did I leave my car?”




Season 41 Game 694 Sorry Katherine, but that was no Mansfield*

Penned by Silver ‘humblebrag’ Surfer


The year was 1989. David Lange was PM, the Rose Noelle had disappeared and reappeared, and TV3 was launched. A young man, for whom the prospect of ear and back hair were just ludicrous propositions, sauntered over the road from his home in Eastbourne to see his friend Nigel’s football team play. ‘Bring your boots and have a run’ Nigel had said.  So the young man had pulled his plastic O’Brien’s out of the cupboard and rethreaded the string laces. 

He watched from the sidelines. The ball was hoofed up into a Norfolk pine and an opposition player climbed to retrieve it. ‘That number 13, he’s everywhere!’ said a wag from Nigel’s team. 

The young man watching was lacking in football speed and talent. He had not yet reached the age when he did not give care about this, nor realise that speed and talent were not a pre requisite for playing in the team.  He watched from afar and then returned to his home.

So who would have thought that 30 years on, that very same man would, on that very same ground, for that very same team, torpedo a header into the opposition’s goal to even the score? Not this writer, men, not this writer.

That day was warm. A northwesterly wind of 12 – 15 knots, gusting 20 in exposed areas, blew across the Lilliputian sized ground. T’was as if a family had unfolded a picnic blanket festooned with football pitch markings. 

The first half was even. The local team knew how to play their ground, which was not only small but as knobbly as a badly shaved scrotum.  Whereas they kept sending the ball up the middle, we kept trying to play wide, only to find the ball hurtling into Volvos on one side and sand dunes on the other. Three quarters into the half the referee called a questionable handball on Daz. An Eastbournite clinically and cynically put the ball low and to the left of our claymation goalkeeper.  

There were chances.  The aforementioned Daz had a good opportunity but splayed it wide. Graham, on the side-lines, explained in depth that Daz should have moved his body to the left about half metre or given the ball another couple of touches to the right. Mingus and I looked at each other worried that diagrams and protractors might shortly appear. It all sounded very scientific and confronting for someone committed to the ‘flay wildly and hopefully at the ball’ school of football.

Kirk was up next with an inviting gaping goal, but he sent it wide.  Bookies shook their heads then licked their pencils.  Money changed hands on the sidelines

Half time was punctuated with the usual rhetoric: ‘Look, they are good, but we’ve got this’; ‘Go for the 50/50 balls’; and ‘Midfield, hold your shape’. To be fair, the midfield could almost hold hands. 

The second half, apart from the aforementioned scone torpedo, was scoreless for the Bombers. While locked at one all and with 20 minutes to go, the opposition worked a lovely through ball. The shaved scrotum was kind and the ball rolled true and was put away.  

Not that there weren’t chances for the Bombers. In fact endless bombardment of the opposition goal for the last 15 minutes saw Gyles approach halfway, hands on hips tutting and fuming as balls hurtled everywhere except into the net. 

To be honest, I can’t remember who did what or when, even when told to pay attention because I was doing the match report.  Frankly, most of the time I was enjoying the sun and reliving my header. But also, for a team not short of talk and opinion, there was very little communication between Bombers.  As time began to run out and the prospect of a season first defeat became more real, it was as though we had all had a domestic quarrel. If there were kitchen cupboards on the pitch they would have been closed loudly and with meaning.

Never mind, we lost, but then so too did the other fellas on top of the table and they lost to Wainui. 

After the game, some of us went to the Eastbourne clubrooms and the fellows were actually rather nice and shouted jugs of beer and packets of crisps and we sat together in the sun by the sparkling sea. It was rather like being in England on a warm summer’s day just after the war. Rugger was being played awfully well behind us, Marky Mark was in his corduroy pants and wielding a cigar, and one of the Eastbourne chaps brought along his young and rather attractive wife. I could almost hear a Lancaster Bomber in the distance.

JB told them that next time we would meet on a manly field and we would have our Dutch players, so there.

* Katherine Mansfield used to wander morosely around Eastbourne, a bit like Gyles but with a worse cough (Ed)..


Season 41 Game 693 Reality Check for Battered Calamari Ring-in

Report inked by Squid

Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg suggested we can’t prove a parallel universe exists because, if it did exist, its existence would produce evidence that is a function of itself and not representative of any other universe that may, or may, not exist. 

Feel free to read that sentence again, It’s a doozy.

However, putting aside the multiverse mumbo jumbo. it seems the multiverse does indeed exist as I seemed to cross the multi-dimensional plane on the weekend. How did I know I was in a parallel universe? Well, things were the same, but they weren’t. 

I arrived, at the best artificial pitch a Wellington College Old Boy can buy though tax avoidance, to familiar faces. Familiar sports tops. Familiar grey hair and body shapes. So far so good. But on a deeper level, something seemed off. Some players had got changed early and were passing the ball around in something I am told is called a ‘warm up’. 

A tall athletic goalkeeper walked onto the pitch. I assumed he was heading home after playing in a team in a higher division. But he walked into the goalmouth and stood there with demeanour that said, “A goalkeeper stands THUS”.

There were so many players I lost count. As the squad gathered, some Bombers had to wait on the side-line because clearly the team talk was full. The team was sorted. The game started. I was in a place I knew, but also in a place I didn’t recognise. 

In this parallel universe, Bombers pass the ball, accurately, purposefully and without the need to get it upfield as if there is a 5 second shot clock. There is a man who looks like Gyles Beckford (usually seen in goal) wandering around in a hi-vis top possibly looking for his lost Stop/Go sign. It’s calm. Serene. Almost meditative. I look around. JB, Doc, Nintendo, Hansie, BoD, SoG, Mingus – familiar faces and nicknames that draw me into a false sense of security. But I watch this football masterclass, I revert to that nagging sense of uneasiness.  

Then we make some changes, some players go on the pitch, some come off. How many was hard to tell. Back in the known universe there is a Marky Mark. In this parallel universe there is a Sparky Mark and he scores with his first touch. In the known universe Marky Mark would touch the ball many times, often inappropriately and go nowhere fast. 

In the known universe SoG would run, tackle, run, head the ball and look useful. In this parallel universe this SoG seems to only use his shin to kick the ball.

In the known universe JB would run into space, complain no one saw him or passed to him as him as he is left alone by defenders. In this parallel universe JB makes a run and takes TWO defenders with him thereby creating space for an incisive run into the box by Banshee.  

And as for Banshee, in this parallel universe players score a hat trick. The only hat tricks that occurred in the known universe were three Bombers falling over at the same time.

In the known universe the ball would fly towards a Bombers’ keeper as if there was a magnet in the goal. In the parallel universe the magnet of the new Gyleskeeper is the same polarity as the ball. They just didn’t come together[1].

And this writer was not immune to this dimensional jump. Normally I would hang back. Defend. Get in the way. Pass occasionally at somewhere around a 66% success rate. However, I found myself taking on players, beating players, putting players in space and being the wing back many believed I could be. 

Want examples? No? Fuck you, I give you them anyway.

1) I push up into unknown territory waiting on the edge of the box for a corner. I wait for the ball to come towards me off a defender at a good speed and bounce nicely to calmly hit the ball low into the top right-hand corner. The ball comes towards me off a defender at a good speed and bounces nicely for me to shoot. All going to plan. I am calm. I am Zen. I am the ball. I shoot. At that precise moment in the space time continuum, the known universe pops back into existence and the shot spirals wide of the goal. The known universe laughs and pisses off back to it’s own dimension pleased it still has some influence.

2) A Bomber is stuck by the corner flag at the end we are attacking. I run into position, I call for the ball, the ball is passed to me. I whip in a perfect cross to the far post. Stent Boy attempts a diving header that would be the goal of the season. The faint laugher of the known universe can be heard as Stent dives and pretty much misses the ball. Just to prove that wasn’t a fluke, Stent then misses chance after chance like I miss Bowie. 

The final whistle blows. 5-0. Hip Hooray. Bombers top equal of the league.  

What a nice universe to visit. 





[1]A joke for the older Bombers

Season 41 Game 692 Three Times a Lady Boy

Report filed by Biggy Smalls Mingus.

This writer had tried to avoid watching a University Bomber’s match ever since the last one, but professional obligations and money swayed me.  Besides, I was in the team too.

This week’s gladiatorial battle of the titans (a euphemism if ever I saw one) pitted the seriously disabled, the Bombers, against the physically challenged, “Mighty” Naenae Masters. 

It was an evenly matched match until the second half, with only one goal in it at half time. That Naenae goal resulted from some lacklustre marking and a hopeless pursuit of a runaway forward who looked more like the Michelin Man than Harry Kane (who apparently is quite good). Our men fell off him like dandruff off a greasy scalp, much like the heads of several Bombers; no names shall be mentioned but they sounded a bit like Chance, Pike and the Pintendo.

Things looked better at the other end of the pitch, though the Bombers failed to press home their clear advantage. Goal posts were constantly shifting as the Bombers threw shot after shot at the very professional and highly unsporting goalie, who simply would not look the other way or pretend to do up his laces; this despite the team clubbing together to slip him $32.40 prior to the game. Shameless.

No matter what Carl, Graham, Stent and Koen et al did in the first half, it just wasn’t good enough.  It was poor. It was weak. Showing some fine, perhaps the finest, skills they had shown since their glory year of decades ago, the Bombers played the probabilities and lost. The wood, the air around the wood, and the goalie were the only things to feel the ball following our attacks in the first half.  Mind you, Marky Mark was seen to scratch his own balls more than once, the consequences of reading too much of JB’s proto-erotic poetry.

At half time Gyles – displaced by a young usurper - gave the team a stern warning. He reminded them that they stood to forfeit their homes and daughters if they lost (“bugger the first born!” he said, whether as an order or part of a belief system wasn’t clear), something they had all signed up to a very long time ago, when failure was what dancing at discos meant.

The threat worked.  In no order of merit:

Koen showed why his transfer from Ajax, where he washed the paper plates in the clubrooms, was worth every cent of the $15 paid.  He took to the goal at speed, running up the middle of the park and slicing the ball in a lovely curve to the right and over the defenders and their so-called shit-hot goalie. Fuck yeah!

Next up, Koen again, scored a goal of some kind. 2-1. Superogatory behaviour (look it up).

In between these goalgasms, the stout and doughty keeper was felled not once, but three times. Having been knowck out cold 7 years ago by a knee in the chin from the unlamented Worm, he now hit the canvas continuously as Bombers forwards kicked his head and thorax. Shameful timewasting and anti-football. Apparently he also had a heart-attack on the pitch in 2016, the shameless show-off.

Finally, Dave raced around like a mad thing all game, possibly because he is in fact slightly insane but was on day release on therapy grounds.  Confronted with several defenders and that infernal look-at-me-getting-harmed goalie, Dave did what any other Bomber would have done in the same position; he executed a perfect loop kick over the heads of the opposition and into the goal. 3-1. Things were looking comfortable now. 

The occasional subsequent foray by Naenae was repelled with the contempt it deserved. Dr Tim offered treatment by way of body blow massages, and both Mikes each did a header. Our stand-in goalie, who shall remain nameless (as I can’t remember his name) was exceptional.  As he watched balefully, Gyles said he could do everything he did, only better, so there. 

A mention of the superior supporting midfield; it often was nowhere to be seen in the actual midfield, but was busy dominating both wings, allowing the forwards to fly (yes!).  

Time and time again, Rooz slipped past a tackle and let it loose (Jagger, Richard) with a 45 degree angled kick to the wings. Dazza pounced and danced on every ball, crossing it to the centre and making the opposing backs look jolly silly. Likewise, Kirk tried hard, but Kirk isa try-hard, so no surprises there. Everything he did was excellent – it’s really hard to hit the posts and crossbar so often with such metronomic certainty. And Danny yelled directions but it was not clear to what purpose or to whom, or why.

A late on-field run by Gyles hinted at what could have been if only he’d had longer upfront.  The opposition fell off him, literally, much like the aforementioned dandruff off a greasy scalp. Probably appropriate given Gyles’s newfound fondness for hairdressers.

But bugger the goals. The undoubted highlight of this game was when Stent Boy got into some argy bargy with two tubby opponents, prompting precisely zero Bombers to come to his aid. When the blue language had finally drifted into the grey sky, Magic flew forward to cast a spell of peace.

So, a staunch performance from the Bombers, who are now first equal in the league.  

Why couldn’t they do that before?  Ask yourself.

Season 41 Game 691 Blown Away

The isobars were closer than Marky and Hansie in the Nairnville showers, and where there ae gusts, there are goals.

The usual slumping slew of sad sack Bombers sidled onto the perfect sward of Nairnville Park, scene of glory and despair in years gone by. The Tawa team looked nice in their pretty red tunics, with matching red panties and sockets. Sartorially they were 1-0 up from the off.

JB opted to referee, that being the best way to make a positive contribution to the Bombers exhilarating 2019 campaign. He also won the toss, in defiance of FIFA rules, and elected for the Bombers to play into the squall first half.

It wasn’t long before the triumph train was back on the tracks. 11 minutes into the contest, Genome, aka Goalgasm this season, slurried a corner low and hard, enabling the Tawa keeper to rifle it into his goal off his crimson sequinned shin.

Four minutes later Tawa scored with a fumbleshambles effort, exploiting Gyles’ known lateral paralysis.

Cue JB. As the Bombers pressed into the storm, playing neat combinations and only falling over sometimes, the ball broke to Banshee in the Tawa box. Jackal ran ahead clearing the way, several suburbs offside and clearly affecting play. Banshee bullocked belligerently onwards and stabbed home. Cue Tawa protests. Cue JB shrugs. Cue 2-1.

It was 3-1 at half time. Lots of fun watching a very good and well kitted out Tawa side fight like heroes but fall behind to a Bombers team steeped in the dark arts. Looking at you Nintendo.

Playing with the gale proved no easy task either, but the Bombers bullied another 3 goals, the pick of which should be Banshee’s dribble and shoot, but history will better remember Marky Mark’s gliding run and net busting finish. His reward was to be immediately pulled off by handsy Hansie.

In the end the defence was stern, with Mingus breaking ballboy hearts and Magic cutting off all arguments. Bren Gun bashed and smashed the Tawa fatties. Gyles threw his Lego limbs around to good effect. The midfield dominated with grit and guile. Tiberius was fast and committed and fun to watch as he smacked a shot against the post, extending his barren run to 500 days. So many heroes. Banshee had a 3some, should have had six. Jackal got a notch. Genome was MOTM.

This whole winning thing may one day grow dull.

Season 41 Game 690 Part the Second Sweet Mystery


Glorious Easter Friday in the holler. More tats than Marky saw in six months at the gents club.

Raggah boi, ragtime boi gets a boot to a cross and brings up his first for the season while crocodile tears well in the Roman ones eyes.

The Gene genie is averaging a brace much to the chagrin of the absent Graham who seems to covet the top goal scorer’s position more than most Bombers covet the mongrel dogs leashless in holler.

On the day some bearded type got nailed to a cross along with a couple of Roman thieves another Romanesque thief of hearts, minds and souls nailed the crossbar – well actually the post – before spraying the rebound wide. In this world of sweet mysteries and sweet men Tiberius remains without a goal after three games/lifetimes.

Menawile attah the back Gyles that cross between a dandy, Sideshow Bob and Stephen King’s IT keeps a clean sheet with saves that only he can remember.

Bruce with a silent B tackles and crushes the locals into the turf where they will one day reside in the long home.

JB shows up looking like JR. Mike, Cronje, Daz, Cpt Pugwash, Nigel, OD and Sparky oh and Marky Mark and Stenter also attended. What they did who can say...I guess someone had to join Jesus on those spare crucifixes....

Season 41 Game 690. Part The First. The Pale Riders Cometh In Late Model Cars.

As dictated by Special Rapporteur Marky Mark from underneath the SH1 overpass. Or, as he likes to call it, “Mon Repose”.

Easter Friday, and the Hikoi of the Hopeless wend their way over the hill, past the Wainui Tavern, where Lancie was born, to Richard Prouse, sylvan and sundrenched. Scudding clouds, and willows that would be weeping harder after the second half. But we get ahead of ourselves, munchkins.

Travelled out with Ragg and Tiberius, Crown Prince of Darkness, still reeking of the Asti Spumante he shouted the office with after corn-holing CGT and the pesky spectre of fiscal fairness.

Largely ignoring their capitalist preenings, I soon realised that their lips weren’t moving and we were in fact listening to a greatest hits mix tape of their various interviews on Rich Cunts Radio.

Chilling. I know, because I was one, before I saw the light. Or, as Shona so elegantly put it, “ That’s not the light of redemption. That’s God with a torch and a machette, and he’s coming for you, you grotty little man.” How true.

Fears of the dreaded Easter curse of no-subs-itis, were soon pleasantly crucified as the gay stragglers limped in to form a baker’s dozen of hot cross bumblers.

Smug in the knowledge that the men of Wainui had gone dowm 0-9 last week, we greased our metaphorical love harpoons for 90 minutes of prison sex in the sun. And so it was to be in a spirted first 45 of total Bomber football. Goals to Raggster (briefly emerging from near-perpetual fugue state to elegantly poke one home), a brace to Gene Gene goal machine, and a single to the wandering Finnish maestro of goalmouth mayhem. We passed, we ran, we were semi-ambulatory photo-voltaic cells of excellence. Wainui sadded off after the first 45 like special needs sardines, seeking safety back in the tin of anywhere-but-here. 4-0. 

Having learned our lesson last week (to background animal noises (ta Raggster) from the zoo) about slick mutterings of cricket scores in the off’ing, the team talk was laconic and manly, straight from the pages of Roy of the Rovers. I got a small erection. Is there any other kind, I hear you ask? No-one noticed.

JB turns up in support, in comely autumn tones, nursing a ravaged crotch ( “leave my crotch alone”, mutters Nintendo) and memories of post-wedding, high-society, badinage at the sister city, Eastbourne. Or, as we insiders call it “Wainui super-mare”.

The second half is still a blurr. The near mythic coherency of the first half vanished in a deformation of the space-time continuum as we crossed the non-event horizon to revisit our distant youth and play with all the nous of ritillin-deprived problem children. That is to say, we sank to their level, minds diverted by the victors’ spoils to come that night as wenches apply balms and oils to tender parts in supplication to their sagging Achilles. Anyway, it all got a bit chaotic as the sun took its toll on aging legs. 0-0 second half. Full-time 4-0.

With Giles largely untroubled, no panic skidmarks on that man’s tech-heavy (nas)daks. Boom boom. Apart from two world class fingertip saves from corners. Well done that man.

Man of the Match: Bruce “The Destroyer”, in a tie with Ming (in absentia).

Three in a row! Momentum is slowly gathering for a title bid. One stinky pinky on the Chalice of Dreams. Though, with Wainui losing by 9 last week, and us only putting 4 past them, then, according to the Goering-Rosenberg football probability matrix, seasonally-adjusted, there is at least one other team in the league that is 55.55% (recurring) better than us at this stage. If we want it we must fight like sperm-drunk salmon swimming the last swim up-river, past the paws of hungry grizzlies, to mate and then to die.

But if the unthinkable should happen, and the Bombers trophy cabinet remains silver-free at season’s end, we still have the nuclear option to follow JB’s brave lead, and, en masse, self-identify as female. This could work on so many levels. Think it through.( Think steamy shower rooms. -calm down Hansie). We all know how hard it is to be an aging male at the beginning of this brave new century. Here is a way to support our sisters AND cast off the patriarchal burdens of moral and thought leadership that have oppressed us for so long! Gender re-assignment may be the only smart play left. And it’s the right thing to do. (If we hit problems, Danny can probably get us a Papal Indulgence.)  Rise to a new inclusive challenge! Rise sisters rise! Hear us roar! Goodbye Bombers, hello Beckford Wives!  

Bitch Goddess Haiku:    pass, run, dribble, shoot                                        

                                        twenty beers and have a root

                                        spoils go to the brave

 Next week 2.30 at Nairnville. Bring cojones and ripe banter. And be careful out there.

Season 41 Game 680 Bomber down Pints, down pints.

The beer was good. It was hearty, strong, fruit forward. The fries were crispy and more-ish. The platter of batter enough to secure a cardiologists cashflow for years to come.

An hour before the Bombers stood happily quaffing their ales, they too had been hearty and strong. Faced with the old enemy from Brooklyn, the Pints, the Bombers had continued from their winning performance the previous week.

As lions roared below, The Bombers took control of the midfield. A freshly minted 35 year old with a foreign name had been pressed into the team to replace the previous model, wantaway Iggy, the Argentinian carpetbagger. The new version added pep to the increasingly decreasing skills and stamina of Son of God and Stent Boy. Zeus was hurling thunderbolts in the middle of defence, and the water feature know as Mingus was welcomed back on the right side of a back three.

After 10 minutes the heartiness and strength was clear. As the sun strafed the cold expanse of Melrose Park, a competent but slow Pints team were overrun, as shot after shot flew past their goal.  In the 11thminute, fruit forward Genome miscontrolled a simple pass, reached to recover the ball, and watched as surprised as everyone else when it wobbled along the turf slowly but faster than the malevolent gnome in goal could be arsed to move. It was a funny old goal, but now Genome was on the board, and 7 minutes later he was at it again. 

This time it was no accident. Picking up the ball 30 metres from the gnome’s goal, he mooched forward and fired an arcing shot into the top corner. A televisual moment. On the sideline Marky did a little poo in his acrylic pantaloons.

For most of the half The Ragster had been off the pace. But as a corner came in he rose a full 4 inches at the near post to flick it on, and Jackal, ever ready, headed the ball hard and true into the Pints’ goal. Yay.

3-0 nil at half time. Cue the customary word salad of Gyles’ tactical coaching.

 The second half passed most Bombers by, and the Pints scored a goal with their first shot as The Ragster, deputised for the Shirt of Shame, flopped casually to his left too late to stop a speculative poke.

Only two other things of note happened in the half. Tiberius/Love Slave/ Diablo maintained his 100% non-scoring record, a record which now stretches back to the last government. And JB swanned onto the field for the dying embers of the game, pulled a groin sinew within seconds, and then proceeded to swipe hopelessly at the ball in a vaudeville routine that made Marky do another little poo.

The Pints have sadly lost their venomous rebarbacity in recent decades, while the Bombers look nailed on to win the division. Warm up the open top bus.

Season 41 Game 679 Bomber Begin March to Title

The Masters 5 champions-elect weathered two storms on the opening day of the 2019 season.

Deep in the dark heart of the Hutt, where life is cheap and only the sounds of backfiring Commodores and children’s screams pierced the sullen gloom, the latest version of the Bombers ambled in their ones and twos onto the field for the standard desultory warm-up drill. Bringing back fond memories of 2018, this drill consists largely of misaimed and mishit shots flying into the adjacent field. Rien ca change, plus c’est la meme chose, observed the ever lugubrious Hansie, dancing for warmth in his saggy onesie leotard.

It was cold. A wind born in the car yards of South Dunedin had matured on its journey north into a full bone cracking storm. Raincicles pricked the eyes. The Stop Out foes were lined up and ready to go while the Bombers were still in human centipede mode, as The Assistant Gardener won the toss and elected to play against the wind in both halves, and soi disant leader JB rallied the rabble into a new and worrying 3-4-3 formation. This little trick with small numbers represents the greatest change in Bombers history since Pachy introduced the now embraced stationary midfield.

The usual suspects took the field, and proceeded to play on the back foot, skillfully luring Stop Out ever deeper into the Bombers half to enable quickfire breaks on the counter.  Unfortunately it was a huge field and a big negatively-directed wind. Despite this, the masterplan almost worked, until master strategist Gyles, seeing the Bombers in a comfort zone, decided to spice things up by dropping the ball at the feet of a startled attacker. One-nil. The first assist of the season. Rien ca change, parped Hansie.

Halftime, and a barrage of loose arguments.  The hot mess that is Kirk bickered with the dumpster fire that is Gene.  All good stuff, and the stage well set for the rough sleeper that is Marky Mark. The wind reversed itself on cue.

Within a minute it was 1-1, with doughty wee Graeme skidding through tackles and spearing a shot at the near post, which seemed, oddly, to raise his anger level to 11.

As more doomed children shrieked in the hills, the Bombers bombed forward and were shortly down 3-1. Now was the time for the Bombers to weather a storm on the scoreline, as well as the soaking wind.

If the Bombers have a secret sauce, it is not hard work, organisational discipline, flair with pace. It is a debut wunderkind. An amiable passerby named Koen Overkamp (do you mean Bergmars?. Ed) borrowed some shorts and stepped into the rim riding role vacated by the imperious Marky.  Also, in a sadly tragic move, JB crawled out of his 4thretirement for the final, pointless 20 minutes.

Almost immediately he broke the line, moved infield and after a lung bursting four second stumble took aim for the right top corner of the goal. The Stop Out keeper stretched a reached it with his fingertips, only to se wee Graeme, bristling with anomie, poke the ball home. 

The same duo delivered the same result minutes later when the Angry One shot hopefully and the keeper palmed the ball gently into his goal at the near post. 3-3.

 The clock was running down. Ten minutes left. But not even ten minutes of appalling refereeing from some fat Commodore driving cunt sporting a grizzled womb broom could stop Bergmars from rifling in two cracking shots, sending the Bombers top of the league and home from the badlands with an unfamiliar feeling of success.

Champions-elect. May as well not even play the next game. It is written.

Every English graveyard has a yew tree, symbolising life eternal. As the yew growsand matures, its core dies, fertilising new growth from its new shoots. The Bombers are football’s yew. The graves around them hold the hapless challengers of past and present.

Season 40 Game 678 Calamari looks at people with his cold dead squiddly eyes

I’m confused.

My last Bombers playing top proudly states ‘Bombers FC est. 1979’ (the others are in the musee de calamar). The new 40th anniversary top sports the words ‘Bombers FC 1978-2018’.  

What’s going on? Was there a secret year of establishment we have only now found out about? Did Bombers FC begin in 1978 in some Illuminati-like society, with goat sacrifices and virgins? (if so then the mystery of Marky Mark is solved. You’re welcome). Regardless of the reason, there seems to be some inconsistencies in Bombers FC. 

Ah. Yes. Inconsistency FC.  

Inconsistency FC- a starting eleven with unpredictability and inconstancy upfront. The midfield of variability, instability, irregularity and unevenness. The back four of unsteadiness, self-contradiction, self-contrariety and capriciousness. And in goal, volatility. The bench includes fickleness, unreliability, undependability and flightiness. This is the squad that can make good teams penitent and bad teams jubilant. 

And lo, so it was on a brisk northerly day Bombers/Inconsistency FC (40 years young) took the pitch against Fuck Knows FC.  A tale of opposites.

They were bottom of the table and had been consistently bad. We were middle of the table and inconsistently good and/or bad. They had a giant, we had a dwarf. They had a goalkeeper, we had Ragg-boy. They all wear the same tops, we wear different versions of the same tops. They had no substitutes, we are all substitutes. Men of the earth playing on an artificial pitch. 

The game, like many in Masters 4, began with a whimper and got less frantic and skilful from there. Old hands (Nintendo, Son of God, Doc, Mingus, Calamari, Hansie - collectively with possibly nearly 200 years of Bombers’ service) playing alongside some people with actual skill, speed and agility - Stent, Nacho, Sparky Mark, Tiberius/Diablo, Ragg, Magic et al.  What could go wrong? 0-1 after 10 minutes. That’s what. But not to worry, the comeback would be underway. 0-2 said differently.  

Half-time and some inspiring words from injured Bombers El Capitan AG (at least he showed up – I’m looking at YOU JB). “It’s a 3-goal wind….and I know we just had the wind, but…fuck, just get stuck in, tackle, pass, score, defend, be the ball….”. I almost cried (the wind affects me like that).

Into the wind the brave bombers went. Calamari was playing like two men (this was because there were two calamari shirts running around) and with the lion’s share of possession with the Bombers, this eventually leads to a Bombers’ goal. Who scored it? Every fucking player that was there that day that’s who. It’s a team game and how DARE you need a report to single players out for special glory (yep, you guessed it, I can’t remember who scored it).

Try as Bombers FC might (I’m looking at YOU Tiberius/Diablo), a second goal would not be coming. 1-2 the final score and so off to the pub for beer, fried food and to discuss the ‘me too’ movement and Bombers’ Beach Bash 2018. A Bomber’s Saturday always ends well.

(Thanks Calamari, that was a very lovely precis of the game. A solid C+. And we admire the way you rise above your handicap. Meanwhile, sharp-eyed readers will have spotted that there have been no match reports for the last 7 or so matches. Who to blame? Well, in a word, and not to personalise it, Gyles.  Apparently if a report doesn't include the words 'the tech heavy NASDAQ' he is unable to compose a bulletin.  I'll leave there. No bitterness. Just bantz.).

Season 40 Game 670 Bombers Play like Brasil

New territory for the Bombers, in our long and illustrious career this is the first time we are scheduled to play at St Patrick’s College in Kilbirnie. Cue muttering from the good Doctor; despite being east of the tunnel, for him this is hostile ground.

It’s an 8pm kickoff too, our regular Saturday fixture being played mid week. Nineteen Bombers decline to 13, including Jackel’s young man. Genome has better things to do in the Islands, while the OAP cries off with talk of an early start the following morning. “My fans will notice if I’m not on form”, he opines. Even the injured don’t show. Raggster straps his ribs to don the shirt of shame. 

The team sorts itself out. Apparently it’s our home game, which sees us down to 12. Stent takes the whistle while the recently orphaned Marky Mark manfully assumes the role of impact sub.

The SPC field is large, turf, not well lit and slick with dew or the scend of Evans Bay – the soothsayers among the team did not need to examine entrails to divine that the evening was unlikely to end well. Imagine their surprise when within 5 minutes Zeus swings over a corner that is met by Jackel’s well positioned skull. The ball pings off a defender, wrong footing the tennis-ball shaped & coloured goalie and hits the back of the net. 1-0 to the Bombers. The Ides of May have come, Soothsayer! Aye Caesar, but not yet gone.

Off we go again. The Irish attack down the wings with flair and speed. The ball skips rapidly across the turf, embarrassing more than one Bomber. Successive cross field diagonals sees Nickname running Swedishly through the gloom of the far corner but the balls are too skeats for him to catch up with. For minutes the game hangs in the balance before the first Irish shot on target slips under Raggy & into the net. 1-1. Five minutes later, the same sequence of events ended in the same outcome. 1-2 You’d have got good odds at this point on our goalie being named man of the match.

Five minutes later still, an Irish attack sees their centre forward bundle the ball goalward before Raggster clears. “It was over the line”, claims said centre forward. Along with the rest of us, Stent is too far from the action to see, but up steps Raggster to confirm. A coin-operated salesman by trade, that’s his honesty quota ticked off for the year. 1-3.

We’re battling away in the middle of the park. It’s a quick game, ball pinging around all over. Marky Mark is on the field, his usual deft control enabling him to play around the Irish. Jackel’s Young Man looks up at him, sees the playing class and silver streaks as an innovative pony-style and plays a pass for Marky to run on to, and thus are his limitations exposed. Jackel is monstering all over the pitch; Iggy is the untouchable target man and the rest of us are running around; but they attack through the middle with an Irishman going left, right and left again before slotting past a helpless Raggster. 1-4. “Bloody hell, where is the midfield?” storms the King of the Gods, thereby proving his lack of omnipotence. 

Half time. This time we’ll have the wind! Stent assumes a consultant’s demeanor and persuades the mob-handed Irish to take the whistle for the second half. It’s Hobson’s choice, but we need the extra legs. 

Stent, Dave & JYM are weaving pictures through the midfield, crosses are coming in. One incident sees us attempting to walk the ball in. “Shoot, for Christ’s sake” booms one blasphemer. We’re pressing forward, they’re reveling in the space afforded.  The defence holds the line, blocking off access until one shot from well outside the box goes over the Raggster and would be going out until it dies and dips under the bar. 1-5. They’ve got the wind.

The second half is interminable. Sparky Mark is late-charged by a chubby Irishman; the Doctor lectures the ref on the offside law and is offered the whistle in return. Argy-bargy breaks out. Their next attack sees Zeus turned inside out once more before the ball is dispatched home; only to be called back for a clearly (not) offside. 

The attacks continue. Son of God plays like he can’t see the ball, which is only half as bad as it sounds. Mingus calmly plays everything on its merits, which is a great tune. There are a couple of goalmouth scrambles that should have seen them score, but a combination of Raggster calmness and Alamo-scale heroics all round leaves the Irish with three leaf clovers. Finally a cross from the right is nodded home by one of the younger, fitter, taller Irish. 1-6.

The gloom is getting gloomier, the ball is getting zippier and the crowd have gone home. Space opens up as both sides tire. They peg another, the details lost to memory. 1-7. We’re playing like Brasil. 

At 9.30pm on the dot, half the floodlights expire. “But it’s our corner” some wag shouts. Zeus sends it over, it’s cleared by the Irish, Son of God connects cleanly for the only time that evening and wellies the ball into the Stygian murk. The three cheers are as muted as one would expect. Raggster receives the cap; no one collects against the marvelous odds. The Bombers slip away, denied their post game cheer by the cheerless hour. The Ides of May have been and gone.

Next match: just a couple of days away. This is cruelty to old men. Has singularity reached the fixtures computer?





Season 40 Game 670. Are we not Maslow's Men?

Thoughts on the game from the Silver Surfer

Legend has it that, as Maslow lay on his deathbed, he sat up and said, “no, there is a level beyond self-actualisation, it is the actualisation of others!” With that utterance he transitioned into another realm beyond our ken.  But it does raise the very real possibility that, as a collective, we Bombers have reached the top of the pyramid whereby we enable others to reach their full potential. How else but to explain our generosity in conceding 4.75 goals a game this season? Rejoice Bombers, for we have reached the summit of human development!

I propose that the Bombers are, in fact, akin to the Dunedin study - a 40-year observation of Maslow’s postulation played out.  Cast your minds back to where you were 30 or 35 years ago. Were you not struggling away at the bottom levels of Maslow’s hierarchy, securing employment for safety, food, and shelter?  From there you set about securing love and belonging, your involvement in the Bombers’ brotherhood central to the attainment of that step in Maslow’s pyramid.

The objective observer would say the degree to which Maslow’s next levels of human attainment, esteem and self-actualisation, have been achieved are unevenly represented through the Bombers’ tribe. However, when it comes to actualising other, as a collective we have arrived.

The game this week is a case in point. The first half was an even tallying back and forth, and for long periods Gyles was restless in his goal but for Doc’s conversation.  But our generosity and actualisation of others was not too far away with two goals conceded before the break. The half time pep talk from Maslow’s conductor of ceremonies was predictable.

“For God’s sake guys, I can’t do it alone. I can only let in what you give me! We’ve got to give them more space. Hang off the tackles, stop marking, and for God’s sake, lose shape in the midfield! And Gene, what the hell are you thinking? You had acres of time to compose yourself and miss.”

Heads hung low, we returned to the field and resumed the glorious work of actualising others. The last five minutes was spent in the opposition penalty box with a flurry of activity, but each time we selflessly cleared the ball off their goal line.  What joy!

Kirk, leaping like Michael Jordan, ruptures his archilles and provides an opportunity for a budding A & E intern to actualise. Stent Boy selflessly donates a windshield for an auto glazier’s self-expression.

Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give”.  Men, what lives we are living!