is over. After 11 days and 50-odd entries, it all comes down to this. It's the Early Doors Idol results!
sloped off on its continental-style winter break, ED asked you, the readers, to
submit some vaguely comic football remarks of your own.
And what a
response we had. Some of you even wrote in complete sentences.
would like to say you are all winners. It would like to, but it cannot. Some of
the entries were rubbish, and very much the work of losers.
But a few
gems sparkled among the dross, and it is now the moment of truth. So dim the
studio lights, turn up the dramatic percussion and cue the 24-second Dermot O'Leary pause as ED announces that the winner of Early
Doors Idol 2008 is...
James, let's have a look at some of
your (and everyone else's) best
Winner - James Sutherland-Smith, who ticks all the boxes: writing
ability, historical insight, references to Strictly contestants and quips about
genitalia. Well done, Sir.
'Football and the Roman
Empire have interesting similarities. A comparison of managerial
mug shots on the touchline and the profiles on Roman coins reveal the same
jowly, disdainful expression that a delusion of absolute power confers and, of
course, the same appalling haircuts. Many emperors rose from the ranks of the
legion and many managers are former players. Being a first class general or a
great player does not guarantee success at imperator level although getting
there does require certain real back-stabbing abilities. All are haunted by a
lack of job security although the thirty emperors in as many years in the third
century compares well with the average length of stay in the Premier League. One thing is rock solid. Management for both
is by men. Cherie Lunghi may have played a woman manager on TV, but the nearest
imperial wives got in the Roman Empire were
poisoning their husbands and managers' wives probably wish to do so. No
football manager has ever made a horse striker, despite their frequent purchase
of world-class donkeys and no manager has ever picked a team, like the emperor
Heliogabulus, based on measurements of their private parts. Can't imagine SAF
thinking of that.'
Second - James O'Brien, who rather touchingly rechristens himself Early Doors Jr.
'While Early Doors
searches for football fan bloggers looking for 15 minutes of fame to
allow ED to spend more of its (well earned?) Christmas
break getting into a fit state to go on daytime TV with Kerry Katona, ED Jr got thinking... how many ex-footballers have hung up their
boots and turned to reality TV in search of another 15 minutes?
Lee Sharpe - Once forced Ryan Giggs from his left wing
slot at United, and is perhaps the worst culprit. Appeared on Celebrity Love
Island - the worst of the reality TV shows, where the word Celebrity should be swapped
with People, Love exchanged with Sh*gging...but for all ED Jr knows, it was an Island.
John Fashanu - A former leader of the Crazy Gang, went into
the jungle when eating the penis of a kangaroo was still absurd, it begged the
question whether Wimbledon or his jungle
inmates were the real crazy gang?
Rebecca Loos - Her fame is due to a liaison with Goldenballs,
but is basically mentioned here because of her actions with a certain swine
(no, not Mr Beckham this time).
to the 200 word limit imposed on ED Jr, it can't
mention any more, but it had great material on Razor Ruddock '
Third - Rob Overfield. Early Doors is pretty sure that if
it hadn't imposed a word limit, he
would have done the whole of Hull's season in the following bonkers fashion:
'The gospel according to the Tigers - The Beginning
Lord did lead his disciples Elliott, Okocha and Geovanni into that footballing
wilderness known as the East Riding, through their shining light and the
battling support of the warrior king known as Ashbee, the Tigers swept aside
all who stood before them as they climbed the four leagues until they stood at
the gates to European glory.
first day, the Bell of Summoning did call the nation of Tiger into battle with
those descended from the Full ham, and verily the chosen Samba King of the
Trinity showed the way with a bolt from the heavens that humbled the invaders
and sent them homeward, never to recover.
on the Second Day, a pack of Tigers went forth across the face of the Earth.
And they did number some 5,000 and all needed to be fed (but that came later).
And they came upon a place thereon known as Blackburn,
where mighty battle was joined. Thence a 1-1 draw was obtained in the place of
the strangers which was Ewood
Park. And the Trinity did
smile (Duffen, Brown & Horton), as this was exceeding good. And the great
Satan Lawro began to think again... '
Kevin Munro stuck the boot into Scotland's most overrated commodity since Irn Bru: "He - a bit like Jodie Marsh - goes down
far too easily. If Aiden McGeady was even half as good as Aiden McGeady thinks
he is, Real, Man U and a host of other massive names would be beating the door
down in a desperate clamour for him to grace their humble pitches. They're not."
Ndudi Ekwegh rather brilliantly compared Gary
Neville and Rio Ferdinand to The Queen and Prince Charles.
Trixie Fallse came up with this
poetic response to the revelation that David Beckham was namechecked in 38 EDs this
Limerick: Ode to Early Doors
I read your football prose all the time.
38 Becks mentions is a crime.
As a Yank fan of the game, I think it's a shame,
You can't say he's retiring, for 39.
Mike from Detroit (how about those Lions?) regaled ED with an anecdote
from his playing days, of which the undoubted highlight was this: "I went
to take hold of what would be a handful of jersey in a standard-sized human
being, but instead when I grabbed and twisted, I felt the unmistakable and
disturbing weight of another man's johnson in my hand."
Bognanni - your blatant toadying will get
you nowhere, young man. Although ED is slightly intimidated by your claim to be
"a poor man's Gennaro Gattuso".
Early Doors, for what it's worth, is
a homeless man's Robbie Stockdale.
Jason Reeves is so green-eyed about the
lifestyle Premier League footballers lead, he even envies poor Titus Bramble: "He
is the biggest laughing stock in English football and I'm jealous as hell."
Shehab Ezzat had this to say on the practice of
calling managers Big Phil and Big Sam: "If when he retires (which could be
two months) Michael Owen decides to be manager, will
he be called "BIG Mike"? Why can't
he be "Tiny Mike"? Does size really matter?"
And Mark O'Brien's riff on Jermaine Pennant was shot out of the water
by the news over Christmas that he is about to sign for Real Madrid, but ED has
time for anyone who accuses others of being illiterate.
- - -
everyone for their entries. Some may have been edited slightly to iron out horrific spelling errors or to stop ED getting sued.
Early Doors returns to the usual lukewarm format tomorrow - in the meantime
look out for the Ricardo Fuller-inspired 'When
team-mates attack' feature, which
hasn't been written yet but will
surely be excellent.