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Soup of This Day #181: It’s My Birthday Too, Yeah

May 20, 2012

Birthday candles
181 Soups in 366 days (There was a February 29th this year) – Longworth72 is hitting at .495, although some of them are bloop singles – Photo: Ed g2s, 2005. Ed g2s is not affiliated with Longworth72. Image cropped by Longworth72.

When I was 18 I knew everything. I looked back to when I’d turned 17 and thought, ‘Geez, I was naive – How’d I survive? It’s a good thing I’ve worked out women now.’

But then…

When I was 19 I figured I knew everything. I looked back to when I’d turned 18 and thought, ‘Man, what a dunce – Can’t believe I got through life like that! Thankfully though I think I have women sorted out now.’

Although…

When I was 20 I calculated that I knew everything. I looked back to when I’d turned 19 and thought, ‘Sheesh, that me was a newb – Lucky I learned on the job. As for women – I’m glad I’ve got them sussed out now.’

And so on…

When I was 25 I had noticed a pattern had developed. I thought nothing much of it. Mostly because I knew everything and I surely wasn’t going to need to learn more.

Plus, I had women down pat.

When I was 30 I recognized that every year I learned something and developed as a human being. This was at once both depressing and exhilarating. It’s a downer because you know that in 12 months time you’re going to have to give a wry shrug of the shoulders and admit that you were wrong on some stuff. It’s an upper because you know that in 12 months time you’re going to have a keener insight into what it means to live in this world.

But not women. They’re a mystery. And in 1 case a particularly sexy 1 too.

Apart from understanding her and her sisterhood in general though I’m really making giant steps each year.

This might all sound a bit sentimental but I’m writing about it because tomorrow this blog celebrates it’s 1st birthday. That’s right, the very 1st Soup of This Day took shape a year ago tomorrow and to mark the occasion I thought I’d do a comparison between then and now, primarily across the 3 teams most beloved by this blog’s author, starting with the Fremantle Football Club, who ply their trade in the Australian Football League (AFL).

The Dockers had a successful May 21, 2011 – They beat Port Adelaide by 52 points to move to 5 and 3 in a season when most tipped them to finish on the edge of the top 4. The reality was harsher – Freo would win only 4 of their remaining 14 matches to finish in 11th, 3 wins from a finals place.

This year, and yesterday the Dockers were on the other end of a 50-point hiding, going down by 56 points to Hawthorn in Tasmania. This leaves the Dockers at 5 and 3 again, although most judges have a pretty low level of expectation from here, not because of last year but because the Dockers haven’t won with conviction – Their percentage is 102.55, the lowest of any in the top 8 and it’s hard to see them matching it with the contenders in the competition.

Which is pretty much how I see the Boston Red Sox. This time last year and it was a vastly different kettle of fish though. The Sox started their 2011 campaign in horror fashion, going 2 and 10 before rebounding sharply. By the time May 21st came around they were demolishing the hapless Cubs in interleague play 15-5 on their way to a 24 and 20 record. From there they built arguably the best run of form in the Majors.

Until September.

But let’s not talk about that any more.

This year and the Sox again started out like a novice stilt-walker – They limped to 4 and 10 before making .500 at 10 and 10, nosediving to 12 and 19 and then recovering to a rough semblance of parity once more. This morning they edged the Phillies 7-5 in an interleague match-up and that result sees them at 19 and 21. Last year the expectations were huge – They were anointed as the greatest ever before opening day and even though that was a sardonic pronouncement by an enemy the sentiment seemed to stick with the faithful.

This year expectations are much lower. The pitching that failed so dramatically late last year is still suspect and 2012’s outcomes seem to be hanging on future trades.

Liverpool FC’s next season awaits some staff turnover as well. In fact the club needs to fill the position that most would argue defines the club – That of the manager. This time last year and club legend Kenny Dalglish was riding a wave of popular support. He’d given the fans back some of the hope that had been lost over the previous 12 months, particularly the previous 6 months under Roy Hodgson. Still they were finishing outside of the European places, well off the pace for a European place.

This year and the season is done earlier – Liverpool have finished in 8th, a dark season barely illuminated by a League Cup triumph. That latter piece of 2nd-tier silverware, the 1st trophy to grace Anfield in 6 years, was never going to be enough and so Dalglish is gone and we await his successor.

It certainly won’t be Roy Hodgson again – He’s just been appointed as the new England boss. Football – It’s a funny old game.

In fact that is something all 3 clubs share – Not Roy Hodgson – It’s more that none of them have the same coach/manager that they had when this blog started. Mark Harvey was given the boot by Fremantle in September of last year. Terry Francona lasted just a month later at the Red Sox. Kenny Dalglish held on until 2012 but like the other 2 his fate was sealed at the sorry end of the regular season.

A year is a long time in sport. Actually it’s a bloody long time – Take this weekend for instance in the AFL:

It’s Round 8 of the 2012 competition and by now, a 3rd of the way in, the wheat should have been sorted out from the chaff – The Premiership contenders should have shown at least something and the top 4 would be expected to be acting like they’re genuine.

Not so much of any of that.

Friday night saw last year’s Grand Finalists square off for the right to return to the 8. That’s right, powerhouses Geelong and Collingwood are scrapping just to be in the 8 a little over 7 months after they were scrapping for the Premiership Cup. Collingwood won this time and scooted up to level on points with the leading trio of teams. Reigning Premiers Geelong meanwhile slipped down to 10th.

Saturday lunchtime and pre-season favourites Hawthorn made their move, squashing the disappointing Fremantle Dockers in Tasmania and steaming up the ladder from 9th to 5th, just 1 win off top spot. Which a couple of hours later was assumed by Sydney who absolutely belted Melbourne and thus took the ladder lead off West Coast based on percentage…

Which they had a couple of hours to enjoy before Essendon edged out a tenacious Richmond to slip 1 win clear from the pack. The Bombers got a bit longer than the Swans at the head of the table…

Before Adelaide stunned contenders Carlton in Melbourne by a whopping 69 points, enabling them to overtake Essendon on percentage. The South Australians though had but a few hours to sit the throne…

Because the West Coast Eagles, the leaders before the weekend kicked off, worked home against the Saints to take back the prime slot by a couple of percentage points. The margin is so tight that had the Eagles not booted 3 goals in the last term they’d be 2nd.

And that was just across a couple of days. Can’t wait to see what will happen in the remaining 5 months of the comp.

But don’t worry – I’ve got it all worked out – I’m pretty sure I know everything about everything.

Except women – What’s up with them then?

It’s My Birthday Too, Yeah

2 Comments
  1. Happy Birthday to one of the best blogs there are! It goes without saying…here’s to many more posts…but what the heck – I’ll say it anyway. Here’s to many more posts!!!

    • Thanks. It’s been pretty enjoyable writing this stuff – Makes it just a bit cool as well when people read it too. Many thanks for your comments and for stopping by – I’m not as prolific on the comments as I could be but your blogs are 1s that keep me inspired so it’s always good to hear from you.

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