I thought I’d turned a corner. After years of suffering as a Birmingham City fan, I decided my baseball fan-status should be characterised by two words- “glory supporter”. But no. Despite my best efforts, my “glory” team, the Hanshin Tigers, are currently on an epic 7-game losing streak, having sunk to 3rd in the Central League (a league of 6), and facing the daunting prospect of 2 playoff matches to get into the Nippon Series- against the Chunichi Dragons and the Chelsea-of-Japan, the Yomiuri Giants. The dip in form- following an epic winning run- has been so dramatic that the kyoto-sensei of Seishi (vice principal) had to take a day off work to rest and recover. Even my normally ebullient singing of “Rokko Oroshi” in the Shonan smoking room has been reduced to a quiet hum.

At least the world of football has been there to cheer me up though. First I see the Blues gain a decent point away at Anfield, watched in a pub full of Liverpool fans- ha ha! Secondly, I stumbled across this quote from Martin Jol on f365.com. As some of you may know, I have a great fondness for the Jolly Dutchman, and have even composed a little ditty in his honour (soon to be available via mp3 download). Times have not been very jolly of late though, but Martin keeps on trooping on, recently declaring- in response to Spurs fans booing-

“I don’t think it’s about booing me – because a minute later they are singing my name. . .I’m not someone to fear things. They say in Holland ‘have no fear, ‘Jolly’ is here’. “

Jolly is here! Hee hee. The only thing that has pleased me more in the world of football recently eminated from Jose Mourinho’s last press conference as Chelsea manager. Facing questions about the form and focus of his team, he responded by invoking the spirit of that great supermarket Waitrose in explaining the problems Chelsea faced:

Mr Mourinho name-checked the supermarket in an analogy about the quality of teams and players.
He said: “If you have no eggs, you have no omelette. In the supermarket, you have class one, class two and class three eggs.
“Some are more expensive than others and some give you better omelettes. So, when the class one eggs are in Waitrose and you cannot get there, you have a problem.”

Even more exciting than the quote is the egg ad ran by Waitrose that followed it, shown in its full glory below…

Ah Waitrose, I do miss you. And with that I’d better get back to the baseball game on Tv- Hanshin are currently losing 3-0…