And we're just getting started.
At around 10:15 today I yawned, took another swig of Guinness, and felt for the void. It was gone. Soccer was back. Tottenham and Manchester City played what might be the most exciting nil-nil draw I can remember. In summary, Joe Hart made Robert Green and David James look like drunken hobos. Next up was Everton vs. Blackburn. After ten minutes of boring play, and worse, sharp pink Everton jerseys burning my retinas, it was time to change the channel. When Ted and I arrived at the Aston Villa game it was 1-nil to Villa and already they were on their 9th corner. The play flowed nicely, Villa's checkered-trim jerseys pleased the eyes, and the defense was abject. A professional finish from James Milner turned Villa park into a swimming pool and the commentators cued up nostalgic, "Is this the last goal for James Milner in a Villa jersey? :( " questions.
This is no time for a rant, but James Milner leaving Villa for Saudi oil money is wrong in every sporting way. He is a hero at Villa and a key contributor for a competitive squad. The only foreseeable upgrade for him is wages, and the cost is likely to be all sporting aspects that kids dream about when they say they want to be a professional footballer. These kids have obviously never been paid. But this story is as close as you can get to formulating an equation for the price of greatness, as it were. For an extra 20% on his salary, Milner is no longer adored, no longer a hero, no longer "the guy", and who knows if he'll still start next year. I'm sure Adebayor thought he'd be a regular too. That's probably a bad comparison though, because he was never adored. (We've got Arshavin...something something Adebayor)
Anyway. Milner is surely off to join the other 45 over-paid mercenaries at Manchester Citeh. Only 25 of which, are relevant. Grill up a sausage, pick up some toasted ravioli and a dollop of the best German garlic-mustard I have ever had was the lunch menu during the Chelsea - blank fixture.
The commentators, as if watching a horse be put down, introduced the West-Brom lineup. "Well this is unlucky for West Brom -- the fixture computer drawing them against Chelsea." Ha! As if the title holders were going to open against anything other than a punching bag. Six-nil was my call - I have a witness - and it made me no money because I put nothing on it. In fact, after Chelsea's inexcusable second goal, the product of a gaping wall, it was nap time. "And its FOUR for Chelsea... ... Five-nil to the champions... ... Well taken for SIX".
It wasn't the greatest nap, though I did wake up refreshed. The Bolton-Fulham replay came on; we already knew the outcome and immediately turned it off.
"We just conquered seven hours of soccer and it feels great," Ted said. "I'll see you tomorrow."
I can't wait. We're just getting started.
Arsene Wenger cobbled together starting lineups with spit and duct tape and Denilson and somehow the team dragged its ass over the finish line in third or fourth.