Sunday, February 26, 2006

Fixtures and Fittings

Former US President Theodore Roosevelt once said, "Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorius triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat."

It has always been one of favourite quotes since it contains such a valuable lesson about life's inevitable ups and downs. I'm guessing 'Teddy' didn't have Charlton's fixture planning in mind, but he should have done.

I should have known that the exhiliration about the scheduling of the FA Cup game on the Thursday night wouldn't last long. My wife and I sat down this morning to discuss our plans for our London trip and she cheerfully reminded me, "Remember we're taking my mum out for lunch on Sunday 26th March for Mothers Day."

I just about put my cup of tea down without dropping it, put my head in my hands and starting moaning in a Basil Fawlty-esque fashion. They have only gone and put back the Newcastle game to the Sunday haven't they? 'Teddy' was right all along - there would be no gray twilight on this trip; plus anyone with a mother-in-law will know all about suffering.

And talking of Basil Fawlty, I couldn't help paraphrasing him during the ensuing 'discussion' with the wife. "You won't be going to football now will you?" "No dear, that particular avenue of pleasure has been securely shut off." To be fair to the wife, she did make a particularly insightful comment during the 'debate' - "They're sh*t anyway, or so you keep telling me."

How can they do this to me? I've already missed one Newcastle clash due to the weather, and now I've got to make a tragic choice about another. When I read other fans' consternation about the fixture change, I didn't realise it was affecting me also. Those fans are right of course - the amount of screwing around that these FA Cup fixtures have caused is frankly a joke. And moreover, what is preventing millionaire footballers from playing two games within 48 hours? After all they managed it twice over the Xmas period (or at least would have done if the Newcastle gritters hadn't have knocked off early). I also pity those Newcastle fans who have bought flight tickets or train tickets - but as they'll know only too well, since when do the Premier League fixture planners give a toss about the fans?

I suspect I'm not the only one affected by the fact that it's Mothers Day - perhaps some other fans haven't realised it yet? Oh, and that handy 2pm kick-off falls nicely bang in the middle of the day thus ruining everyone's Sunday. Could the club not have contemplated a 12pm kick-off to allow fans to sneak away for a late lunch with Mum, apologetic bunch of flowers in hand?

As I mentioned in my Colin Powell vs Colin Powell post, it's not unknown for me to do entirely the 'wrong' thing (in other people's eyes of course, not mine) when these unfortunate clashes occur. However when I missed the then girlfriend's (now wife's) birthday in 1997/98 to go to the 'Boro game (ironically), the ensuing row could only at worst have led to an upsetting break-up. If I miss this Mother's Day lunch, the ensuing row could lead to divorce, and frankly I'm not sure I can afford that right now.


At 12:58 AM, Anonymous Ali said...

Thank you! For some reason I was under the impression that Mother's Day was the 12th this year, so at least I've got time to amend plans now. Luckily Mum's a Charlton fan too, so will happily settle for an early lunch on the way to the game.

Is the lunch actually booked yet? Perhaps you could suggest going out for dinner on the Sunday evening instead - the game'll be over by 4pm, so as long as the mother-in-law doesn't live 3 hours away, you should be able to make it back for a 7pm table, no problem.

At 2:44 AM, Blogger New York Addick said...

I've tried that approach - the wife has told me that 12 other people are involved (and none of them are Charlton fans). I'm not sure there's any solution - my mother-in-law is a travel agent for guilt trips.

At 12:40 PM, Anonymous Red_Pete said...

Me too NYA. We already have a 1.00 lunch booked with my mother and my mother-in-law. No way I am going to get out of that one!!

We also have a holiday in Prague booked, travelling out on 22nd April (week-end for the FA Cup Semi-Finals). I can see my own divorce looming rapidly if I have to call this off!!

At 7:11 PM, Blogger Chicago Addick said...

From someone who has already gone through the, ahem, rather expensive procedure of divorce, take heed.

I once went out to get some milk, only to return 2 hours later. I should never had brought that programme home! Habit see.

At 6:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

New York Addick,have you forgotton that you have a mother as well as a mother in law or has the 2006 Mother`s Day become Mother in Law`s day ? Love to NYA from your mother shivering here in freezing London !

At 10:41 PM, Blogger Chicago Addick said...

Oops, you're in trouble son!


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