Cars have always fascinated me. In my reasonably short time on this planet I have had a total of 52 cars and bikes. That should hit 53 next week if all goes well.
My first motoring event, at the age of 11, involved parking the family car in the garage. Generally not a bad thing when you do it the conventional way, but never having driven before I did it via a dry stone wall, finally effecting actual entry through the wooden side wall of the garage. So my first attempt at driving coincided with my first accident, and my first write off.
Taking to the road successfully at the tender age of 15 in a 1966 850 Mini, by the time I finally got round to getting a full license I’d covered more miles than Craig Bellamy.
The Mini was a cracking car once you accepted the fact that you had to get out every 20 minutes and run around to the passenger side to kick the rear wheel arch. There was an electric fuel pump back there that, a bit like Titus Bramble, was prone to taking the odd nap, and to get it going again it usually needed a good kicking, again, a bit like Titus Bramble.
Being a full blown petrolhead and living in the Middle East where petrol is cheap and global warming is considered merely the quaintest of notions, I currently have 3 vehicles on the driveway which have a total of 22 cylinders, adding up to 13.4 litres pushing out 900 HP.
With my alternative viewpoint I actually consider that I am doing more than most to save the planet.
No – seriously.
I generally only drive one vehicle at a time so effectively I have taken 2 huge gas guzzling behemoths off the road.
It works for me.
In the good old days, when a tank of petrol cost less than the car itself, in a moment of madness I went out and bought a Rover that had more holes in it than Wigan’s defence.
After 6 months of fairly happy motoring the M.O.T was due so we put it up on the ramps for a check and found a hole in the chassis that not only made taking it for an M.O.T rather pointless, but also made locking the doors a complete waste of time too.
My mate Scoot had the solution. He bought a tin of biscuits.
The actual tin was bent to the shape of the rusted chassis beams and before being pop riveted in place a thick layer of body filler was applied inside to give it a nice solid sound if tapped during inspection. Once riveted the repair was covered in thick black underseal and the car was driven round a muddy parking lot to conceal the evidence.
A quick trip to the local garage for an M.O.T next day and the car was back to being road legal if not exactly road worthy.
I took Scoot to the local and bought him a beer, thanking him for his ingenuity, and while we were sitting there I said “right – all I have to do now is find some mug to buy the car before it snaps in half”
Scoot, with the attention span of a goldfish, said “I’ll buy it off you, great little car that!”
Scoot was from Seaham. Nuff said.
In those days British cars were considered fairly solid and would last a lifetime, even if it was just a fairly short lifetime.
Japanese cars were reliable but on a damp winter morning you could actually hear them rusting.
What I had bought wasn’t a REAL Rover. I’d bought the b*****d lovechild of the unholiest of unions between the British and Japanese car industries. A Honda with a Rover badge on it.
It should have worked, but rather than ending up with a reliable car that would be around forever, they produced accelerated rust on wheels with no soul.
It’s not about the name. You can call it whatever you like. It’s about what’s underneath. It’s about the soul.
Lying in my pit last night I got to thinking about all the crap that we’ve been though in the last few years. The poor performances, the disappointment, the lies.
But then then I thought, snap out of it – you married her, think about something else.
I then got to thinking about the renaming of the stadium.
Who would be a good stadium sponsor? Whose name would you like to see attached to club? Who would you not like to see?
As has been previously said that, a bit like the wife, any name should be short and snappy. You don’t want the sponsors name having to go around the roof on all four stands.
Nike has been mentioned but wouldn’t that be a bit of a conflict of interests on Ashley’s part, what with him also selling such high quality sportswear?
I suppose if they offered enough money he’d succumb.
That raises another question. What if another football club bought the shirt rights?
Could we be running round wearing shirts sponsored by Man City?
How much would it take for us to sell our souls to that particular commercial Devil?
Then there’s the advertising.
“Building a Champions League Team with B&Q?”
“Samsung Blaydon Races – so we all joined in”
How about combined sponsorship from CISCO and Weightwatchers?
“For when the fat b*****d in your life just won’t communicate!
How about Dulux? “For those rarest of moments when Black and White is just not good enough – Dulux paint!”
With the problems we’ve had with our defence in the past perhaps hemorrhoid cream could be an option?
“Preparation H – when you’re having problems at the back!”
I think we have to accept that a good long term stadium and shirt sponsorship deal could go a long way to clearing the clubs debts, and while I would normally try to avoid venturing into such areas, is it possible that someone like Kotex could end up getting us out of the red?
Remember – It’s not about the name on the stadium. You can call it whatever you like. It’s about what’s underneath. It’s about the soul.
Now let’s hear yours.