Happy Leap Day; Four More Years Until The Next One

29 02 2012

Every day on Facebook, I discover that it is the birthday of someone I know.

This piece of information helps me keep track of all the birthdays that I forget (in other words, all of them) and even lets me send messages congratulating people on successfully completing another year of social media activity. But today is different.

Today, nobody in my extended network of real and virtual friends seems to be celebrating the day that they shuffled onto this mortal coil.

There is a good reason for this. February 29 is a date that only has any relevance once every four years. It is the Gregorian calendar version of the World Cup and the Olympics. A brief moment in time when the eyes of the world will be on those lucky enough to be born on a day that needs legal definition as to when they can officially blow out the candles on their cake. Read the rest of this entry »


Limeybowl: Thank you and good night

5 02 2012

Final Score ; New York Giants 21 New England Patriots 17

Three and half hours after the game kicked off, the final plays revolved around Tom Brady.

He needed to get his arm working and respond to a touchdown that was scored by a man plonking his bottom over the line.

The commentators thought that the Giants had made a mistake and that Tom would have enough time to advance down the field and ensure that the trophy came back to New England. But it wasn’t to be.

The ball was snapped, Brady drew his arm back and launched the pigskin into the air. The final seconds passed and the ball sailed into the end zone…and was batted away by a Giant in defense.

2008 all over ago, Patriot hearts broken.

New York triumphant, New England disconsolate.

Sport is cruel. It is a rollercoaster of emotion, joy and despair all wrapped up in a big ball of expectation. Winning is great, losing hurts.

But we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Limeybowl; The Fourth Quarter – live from my bed

5 02 2012

9:30 p.m. Just under four minutes to go in the fourth quarter. New England still winning but we are now moving into a period of time that could decide the destination of the Vince Lombardi trophy.

Something called a Coaches Challenge has just happened, a Giant caught the ball (quite well I thought) and then we spent three minutes watching slow motion replays of his feet. Eli Manning is finding his range, the kicker is warming up as the clock ticks down.

We haven’t had a commercial break for at least five minutes but with two minutes to go, the excitement is put on hold by the soothing sound of Samuel L. Jackson selling cars and another Go Daddy advert that has scantily clad women telling two nerds about the domain name they can get.

The game is close, a minute to go and the Giants are 1st & Goal.

NYG 15 NEP 17

I am in bed. I don’t think I could take the excitement if I was still in the bar.

9:40 p.m. Giants score a touchdown as one of their players sits down in the endzone, Patriots are losing. Time for Brady to write his name into the history books.

NYG 21 Patriots 17

9:45 p.m. Brady has a minute to get the touchdown that will win the Superbowl…just throw the ball, Tom!

Limeybowl; The Third Quarter…I can hear my couch calling

5 02 2012

NYG 12 NEP 17

Halfway through the third quarter and it is getting quite exciting here in Mr. Dooleys. Madonna warmed up the men in the bar and a succession of amusing commercials have ensured that the amount of alcohol that is being consumed is not being wasted on trying to concentrate on the game.

The Patriots are taking a grip on the game, they score another touchdown and things are looking good. The alcohol is continuing to flow and the hot wings and pork sliders at HT were worth queuing for. Conversations are getting louder and a young lady in a Wes Welker shirt (but without the mustache) is explaining her theory of offensive play as a means of running down the clock.

The commercial breaks continue, each piece of stealth marketing has a celebrity and/or scantily clad females with the Ferris Bueller spoof a personal highlight.

Each successful play by the Patriots is greeted by series of whooping noises and a series of high-fives. Quiet confidence is spreading amongst the fans, there is a feeling that the Pats will be able to bring the trophy home.

And yet…

I can’t get into it. I know that I live in New England and that this is kind of a big deal but the last 30 seconds of actual play have taken nearly ten minutes. I made a decision to leave at the end of the Third so that I could enjoy the game from the comfort of my couch.

Cue another commercial break…is it me or are they getting more regular and longer as the game goes on?

Final thought for third quarter as the Giants push forward – how big is Vince Wilfork!

And just as I type that, two girls in skimpy fancy dress enter the bar…time to go. Thirty seconds left, twenty, ten…

Thanks Mr. Dooleys, it’s been educational.

NYG 15 NEP 17 as I head into the deserted streets…

Limeybowl : Half Time At The Pub, Enter Her Madgesty

5 02 2012


NYG 9 NEP 10

It’s half-time here and Madonna is performing Vogue. In a bizarre entrance, all I can think is that she has taken inspiration from The Big Lebowski, she looks like Maude as she is pulled into the arena by a troop of oiled Roman soldiers.

During “Music” a man dances around before LMFAO come out to tell Madge that she is “sexy and she knows it”. Cue an almost inevitable cheerleader song that I don’t recognize.

For a 53 year old, Madonna looks OK but this is not what sport is all about. I want to see pundit analysis of the first half, to hear them discussing how the Patriots can play better.

My neighbors in the bar don’t care. They are enjoying seeing Madonna shake her pom poms in a little black dress. More special guests, Cee Lo Green and a gospel choir during “Like A Prayer.”

Free food in the bar and I get given a black teeshirt. People are enjoying themselves, the distractions provided by Her Madgesty have taken away the fact that the Patriots are very lucky to be winning this game. Apparently.

As the musical part of the HT show comes to end, the camera pans back to reveal the words “World Peace” illuminated on the field. Somehow I don’t think this is going to apply to the third and fourth quarters. With only one point in the game at HT, the outcome is still in the balance.

The commentator believes that it will come down to the kickers with conditions in the indoor stadium “ideal for kicking.” How can it be anything less than ideal when you are playing inside? No wind, no chance of the ball getting wet in the rain and it’s going to come down to which team makes the least mistakes.

At the moment, I have no idea which one that will be.

Who wants it more? All I know is that this game is confusing the hell out of me and the bloke who was telling me the rules has gone home.

I may not be too far behind.

Time for the third quarter, two hours after the game kicked off. And the Patriots score another touchdown..the crowd goes wild and we have another commercial break.


Limeybowl; The Second Quarter

5 02 2012

7:03 Second quarter starts, Patriots get their first points (3) and I am informed that I was wrong with my first game-time blog of the evening – the Giants scored a safety not a field goal. I am still none the wiser.

Here’s a surprise…it’s another commercial break.

7:07 Trying to work out typing shortcuts. NYG 9 NEP 3

7:09 the amount of paper hats has diminished in the bar. A very large bloke for the Patriots (Vince something?) nearly catches the ball when another bloke drops it. Star Wars advert in commercial break.

7:15 Patriots defending. Giants attacking. Someone asks me to enter a sweepstake, I am informed that content posted so far is very dull. Thinking about switching to twitter for Third Quarter.

Commercial break with David Beckham – I know who he is!

This is weird. I am sure that throughout New England there are bars and parties going on, but this has more of a family feel. Not a bad thing.

7:20 Tom Brady doesn’t seem to be having the best game, a failed third down leads to a punt and the game switches back to the offense. Natives getting restless.

Time for a fun Superbowl fact – the Dallas Cowboys have played in 8 Superbowls, the Patriots have played in 7.

7:28 there are four minutes to go in the second quarter. Which means that we are not very far away from the Half Time show with Madonna.

Camera focusses on Rob Gronkowski – who hasn’t been thrown to once so far, but he has run around a lot. Brady throws from his own end zone – not as much fun as it sounds.

7:31 Brady makes a good pass and the Pats advance. The crowd in Dooleys cheers loudly.

Two minutes to half time. Cut to an advert for The Avengers movie and then a sexy girl tells the TV audience that Valentines Day is “not hard”.

7:35 Game still not started again.

Still two minutes to Half Time.

But just before the whistle blows for HT, the Patriots (who haven’t had the ball for much of this game) score a touchdown. To say that the bar erupts in joy would be an understatement – with the exception of the girl in the Giants shirt. High fives, whooping and some noises that grown men shouldn’t be doing in public. New England head into the locker room with a one point lead, everyone in the bar is smiling and a queue forms in Mr. Dooleys for both the free food and restrooms.

Next up…Madonna.

Limeybowl; The First Quarter

5 02 2012

Superbowl 46…let’s have it…

6:28 p.m. The big kick off. Pats kicker boots it down the field and a Giant catches it and runs back towards a wall of blue.

6:29 p.m. Eli Manning (Giants QB) comes on the pitch and throws the ball to another bloke. Man next to me thinks that this will be a “superb game” and then the Giants get a first down.

6:30 p.m. someone complains about the fact that the Pats can’t stop the first down, worried that this might be a problem late on in the game. Manager of pub (female) checks to make sure that I am alright, tells me that there will be free food at Half Time.

6:32 p.m. Bar groans in unison as the Giants move down the field. Then someone gets nailed on the pitch and everyone cheers.

6:35 p.m. Commercial Break.  This is going to be a long night….

6:38 p.m. Giselle Brady is spotted in the crowd. Apparently this is not a good thing.

6:45 p.m. Missed the first points of the evening as I was talking to Bill McLean – Hunter S Thompson’s biographer. Giants score a field goal.

6:46 p.m. The gentleman next to me nearly bursts my eardrums with a shout of “get him”. Still not too sure what is going on.

6:48 p.m. there is a flag on the play. Giants seem very close to the goal line and they score a touchdown. Bar goes quiet. Three minutes to go in first quarter. Giants are 9 nil up.

Commercial Break. Again.

6:58 p.m. 30 minutes in we approach the end of the first quarter. Bar becoming animated but the Giants are winning. Which is still not a good thing.

Time for a commercial break. The advert starring the Go Daddy girls takes the attention briefly away from the fact that the Pats are losing.

Long way to go though, the game is afoot.