This past weekend has given me two sporting disappointments, but I’ll go into them later on in the blog, first I’ll talk about something that didn’t disappoint, the Thin Lizzy gig on Saturday night. On Friday I was told by my brother Ben that he would have to work and wouldn’t be able to go (although he’d already booked the night off), so on the day of the gig I was trying desperately to find someone to come with me and take the spare ticket. Thankfully my other brother Stephen came through and helped me out. I had heard a fairly poor review of a Lizzy gig a few weeks prior from a mate, and was hoping that it would be better than that! After two pretty impressive support acts (Supersuckers and FM), the repackaged Thin Lizzy took to the stage. They stuck to the classics, and on the main stuck to how the songs originally sounded. However their rendition of Whiskey In The Jar sounded like a mix of the old Lizzy version and the Metallica cover. Now obviously this line-up would sound different, Phil Lynott passed away many years ago, but the singer, Ricky Warwick, didn’t do a bad job to be fair. I would say that his voice would be one you’d find on a Lizzy tribute band, not perfect, but in the right direction. A couple of other points to make, Scott Gorham may be an old bugger but damn he still can play that guitar like a pro, and I never realised exactly how good a guitarist Vivian Campbell was, he was fantastic. They did two encores, the fist containing one of my favourite Lizzy tracks, their cover of the Bob Seger track “Rosalie”. The second was a decent enough version of “Black Rose” to end the night. The gig made me realise one main thing though, how much I wish I had been lucky enough to have seen the original Lizzy line up live with Phil leading the way.
Now to the disappointments of the weekend, and the first one came on Saturday afternoon when West Ham played at Everton. Having only one away win in the league this season, the opportunity was there to make it two, as the Hammers came out fighting. Through the goal machine that now is Jonathan Spector West Ham took a deserved lead, but were pegged back late on. For a welcome change the team kept going and were extremely determined, and it paid off with 9 minutes to go as Frederic Piquionne stuck his header in the net. The thing that pissed a lot of people off though was what followed, as Piquionne earned his second booking for celebrating with the fans (a fucking shambles if you ask me) and was sent off. Everton were able to capitalise and score another equaliser in the 92nd minute, costing the Hammers two vital points. Now I have always been against the rule that means players are booked for celebrating goals. People moan about the passion leaving the game, but when a player shows a bit of emotion and passion like this he ends up getting booked.
Whilst on the subject of West Ham, another story has been in the papers a fair bit lately, and that’s been the proposed move of the club to the new Olympic Stadium being built in Stratford. Personally I am against the move, Upton Park is the home of the Hammers and has been for over 100 years, moving will not do the club any good. Surely the best thing to do would be to upgrade the current stadium, rather than shift the whole thing down the road, and put a running track between the fans and the pitch. Spurs have also thrown their names into the hat in trying to get the stadium, and it’s an even bigger mistake for them. They’d be moving from North London to East London, a cardinal sin to many football fans, and would demolish the stadium before rebuilding it for their own purposes. Both clubs should leave the stadium alone, it should remain in use for Athletics and maybe events like concerts etc. Football should be kept as far away from that stadium as possible, and I know from the fellow Hammers on twitter than many people feel the same way. The decision was due to be made this coming Friday, but that’s been put back now, so we’ll have to wait a bit longer until a decision is finally made.
The second sporting disappointment happened last night in the NFL. Most of you know I am a New York Jets fan, and this season they had made an impact and go through to the AFC Championship game for the second year in a row. After beating the Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots on the road in the two previous playoff rounds, confidence was high going into the game away at the Pittsburgh Steelers. Things sadly didn’t go to plan in the first half though, the Steelers quite literally ran right through the Jets defence, and the Jets offence didn’t really turn up. It wasn’t nice viewing in all honesty, as Pittsburgh quite easily opened up a 24-0 lead. Nick Folk hit a field goal towards the end of the second quarter to finally get the Jets on the board, but I’ll be honest, I couldn’t sit through another half of that and actually went to bed. The second half was quite different, as the Jets D woke up and kept the Steelers from scoring, and the offense were able to penetrate and put another 16 points on the board. The comeback wasn’t enough though, and another season came to an abrupt end. The Jets played well to get to where they were, and I along with many other fans are extremely proud of the players, it’s not easy to make two AFC Championship games in a row. Things may well be different next year, hopefully with the team going one game further, but the big concern is that the playing staff will be different. The CBA still being discussed could have a huge impact on the team and with some contracts ending/up for renewal there could be some interesting trades/moves during the off-season. I live in hope of seeing the Jets make a Superbowl, there is always next year.
And with that I come to the end of this little blog. If you’ve managed to read this far down, then thank you for reading!