Friday, August 8, 2008

A debt of gratitude: How I learned to stop worrying and love the Community Shield

With the news that referee Mark Clattenburg has been dropped from overseeing this weekend's Community Shield after it was revealed his electrician's firm has racked up roughly £60,000 in debt, I figured it's time to jump into the silliness of yet another season. Bring on the Community Shield.

It's Pompey and Man U this weekend. That can only mean one thing. Welcome back, son:

Who doesn't love this guy? He's such a nice guy. Here's a few things you might not have realized about Crouchy:

1. Has never uttered a curse word in his life.
2. Had a chance to boff a champagne-boozy Coleen McLaughlin at Germany 2006. Didn't, out of courtesy for a teammate.
3. Owns a cat.
4. Reads three times a week to the blind (once every other week during the season, out of respect for manager's desire to keep up training).
5. Is just sick to death about what's going on in Darfur.
6. Really, truly is even nicer in person than you could ever imagine.

Despite Crouchy's fine scoring record in European matches, I've come around to realizing it just wasn't going to work trying to partner him with Torres. Unlike some other recent problems I have with Rafa's decisions this summer, I've made peace with Peter Crouch moving on. But even in a symbolic exhibition – the traditional season curtain-raiser, if you will – it's still an opportunity to hope United fall on their face. C'mon Crouchy, do us proud.

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