Tag Archive | America

100 days – Day 56: Soccer

100 days – Day 56:   Soccer

Stayed up beyond 1.00 am watching the World Cup game: Ghana v’s USA – and delighted with the outcome.  Well done, our former Colonial sons.

Soccer – football to us – doesn’t grab the attention of Americans, as much as it does most of the rest of the world.

For most, it’s a religion; in America, it tends to be what prepubescent girls play – escorted and encouraged by their “soccer moms” 





 USA beat Ghana 2-1, with sub John Brooks scoring late headed winner



After the match his Wikipedia page was repeatedly hacked into. First he was described as “the greatest American since Abraham Lincoln”.  That then became “the greatest American since Evil Knievel, Bill Clinton and Abe Lincoln”. Finally he was “a god among men”, before Wikipedia put a stop to the changes


At the moment, I’m reading this excellent book – and recommend that you buy it




On July 30, 1966, nine million American viewers tuned in to watch the FIFA World Cup Final on the NBC channel. It was the first stand-alone broadcast of a soccer game on U.S. network television, and England’s pulsating extra-time win over West Germany left the audience enthralled..

Within weeks, two groups of North American sports promoters were seeking to tap into soccer’s newfound popularity by launching rival professional leagues – the National Professional Soccer League and the United Soccer Association. The inaugural USA tournament featured 10 European teams and two from South America jetting across the continent from the end of May to mid-July. Aberdeen, Dundee United and Hibernian arrived from Scotland. Stoke City, Sunderland and Wolverhampton Wanderers represented England. Top Serie A side Cagliari came from Italy boasting Italian national team forwards Roberto Boninsegna and Luigi Riva. ADO Den Haag traveled from the Netherlands, Rio state champions Bangu from Brazil and Cerro from Uruguay. Glentoran and Shamrock Rovers, two semi-professional clubs from north and south of the Irish border, completed the line-up.

Legendary Wolves striker Derek Dougan led his team to the Western Division crown under the guise of the Los Angeles Wolves. Aberdeen, representing the Washington Whips and boasting U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson as a season ticket holder, won the Eastern Division with a young team including future Manchester United captain Martin Buchan and American college soccer coaching guru Bobby Clark. The Wolves and the Whips produced an epic encounter at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on July 14, 1967 to determine who would become the first, and ultimately only, United Soccer Association champions.

It was the greatest soccer final played on American soil. “Summer Of ’67” charts the story of the tournament’s creation and demise, and recalls the experiences of its participants including Buchan, Clark, former Hibernian and Liverpool midfielder Peter Cormack, Stoke legend Terry Conroy and ex-Wolves winger Terry Wharton. Sixteen players from eight clubs share their memories of the capers, the gimmicks, the celebrity brushes and the games that combined to provide them with the trip of a lifetime

(publisher’s description)


Perhaps, after the USA soccer team’s performance in the World Cup, we’ll see a revival.


Oh, and as an afterthought….. perhaps a certain Glaswegian football team, which is in some degree of off-field turmoil, could reinvent itself “across the pond” – as the “Newco Bears”? (I’m sure that that some of Mr Blatter’s nice colleagues could be “persuaded”)



100 days – Day 19

100 days – Day 19:  TEA!


There are few worse things than a tearoom in which “a pot of tea” has a solitary teabag floating in the hot water – the string of the bag with label draped over the side, like some dead trophy.  So often it’s weak, tasteless, and unappealing.

I’m reminded of another context – another drink – the barman making conversation as the punter takes his first sip of his newly pulled pint:  “Looks like rain” ; the reply, “Aye, tastes like it too”.

Some tea tastes like that!

In America recently, most of the time all I was able to get was Liptons.  One has to order “hot tea”, otherwise it’s some sweet iced liquid that’s served.  And one does not use tepid water poured into the cup first, followed by the tea bag as an afterthought!


the late Christopher Hitchens wrote:

It is already virtually impossible in the United States, unless you undertake the job yourself, to get a cup or pot of tea that tastes remotely as it ought to.

It’s quite common to be served a cup or a pot of water, well off the boil, with the tea bags lying on an adjacent cold plate. Then comes the ridiculous business of pouring the tepid water, dunking the bag until some change in color occurs, and eventually finding some way of disposing of the resulting and dispiriting tampon surrogate.

The drink itself is then best thrown away, though if swallowed, it will have about the same effect on morale as reading of the memoirs of President James Earl Carter


Just don’t bother on the Continent.  They haven’t a clue.  And as for Turkish “apple tea” which bazaar owners and hawkers and spivs try to inflict upon you in order to entice you into their store to sell you cheap knock off replica “designer” goods – forget it.

My late wife, Helen, used to take an electric  travelling kettle with us whenever we went on holiday abroad – and a goodly stock of Nambarie tea bags.

I need three cups in the morning to jump-start me for the day.  Three strong cups of Whittards Russian Caravan – no milk; no sugar; just tea


“Nice Cup Of Tea”

When I awoke this morning there was lights all around the place
To the bathroom mirror can that sight really be my face?
Go downstairs, the sunshine glares across the welcome mat
Slippers on, must get along to where the action’s at

And so the day breaks
Over motley cat and me
I read the Sunday paper
And have a nice cup of tea

So into the kitchen wondering, what I did last night
And open up the corn flakes that they says ‘Nutra sheds delight’
Rummage in the sink to find a plate, it’s almost clean
I think this is the worst state that the kitchen’s ever been

And so the day breaks
Over motley cat and me
I read the Sunday paper
And have a nice cup of tea

There’s nothing wrong and the kettle’s on
I think I’ll have a cup of tea
And it’s okay, it’s a lovely day
A lovely day for motley cat and me


Published by
Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, ANGLO-ROCK, INC.


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