Chicago Addick living in Bermuda
Tuesday 28 February 2006
  Less Fat Tuesday It's Fat Tuesday today and it's made me realise that I have actually put a lot of weight on in the last 6 months. The gym has stopped, the consideration of joining a new gym was a January fad, I eat more sugary things than I have ever eaten before, I'm still drinking too much and only that crap Lite beer if they have nothing else but the terrifying thing is that I am eating more food.

It is the American way. Big portions, as much as possible and often. When I first came here over 2 years ago, in restaurants I couldn't finish half my plate. If I had a big lunch I would forego dinner. If I had a big breakfast, not real breakfast you understand, but healthy stuff like pancakes, bagels and doughnuts, I would miss out on lunch.

Now I eat a big fat juicy steak for lunch and get home in the evening and could quite easily munch on, well another big fat juicy steak, and heavy on the mash!

This post is actually making me feel ill. I have never been a diet person, never been a fat person, a small(ish) beer belly is not fat is it? That's just called being socialable.

I always say that I eat reasonably healthily (of course it could be better), I play football, I walk a ton more than your average SUV driving Yank, I cook a lot, and never crap. I am actually not a big red meat eater and I love veg but I think I have what they call portion control all wrong. Of course they also call it being an American. The land of the free and the plenty. 60 million people are considered obese in the US, obese being over 25% body fat for men, a woman is obese if she has over 30% That's not fair right there is it?

I have to say that some of the sights that you see are walking dietry adverts. Who needs a gym or a keep fit DVD when you can just wonder around the suburbs of Chicago?

So Lent is perhaps, no definitely, a wake-up call for me. One I think men of a certain age need to think about, that age being me. Exercise, fruit, water, portion control and I might even have to cut down on that sociable drinking too. Damn, I try so hard not to talk like one, so no way am going to start looking like your average American. 
Monday 27 February 2006
  Villa home. What was the score? Zzzzzzzz Another performance to not warm the cockles of Addicks' fans and more importantly another performance that questions whether a season ticket will appear in the neccesity column of one's financial planning summer budget.

With five home games already switched this season after the fixture list came out, the end of the 10-year season tickets and people arguing which was the worst home game for years, West Brom or Villa and both coming in a space of less than a month, the signs are not good.

Of course we don't always pay to get entertained at football matches, you would walk out of a play if it was crap at the half-time break but not a football match, you definitely wouldn't go back the week after to see the play again, to see if some mid-week practising had improved the offering!

Trouble is, we and the majority of other Premiership clubs have too many fickle followers these days, a look at the Cup attendences proves that fact. They are not like me or others who can just have a pint with a pal and remember the shit days at Selhurst and shrug our shoulders, clink glasses and tell ourselves how lucky we are. These people are football supporters not Charlton supporters and they will not feel any heartache about going to Palarse if they get promoted, paying more to see Arsenal at their new stadium or just sitting at home with a mug of tea and Jeff Stelling.

In conversations, on blogs and on message boards a scary number of fans are seriously considering not renewing their season tickets but cherry picking their games instead. Add to them the fans who may just plan to go to every game but will buy tickets accordingly but will not allow the club the investment income, and people like me, who rely on other fans telling me what I'm missing, thus making me want to get the next flight out of here, not just shake my head in disappointment and be glad I couldn't get the internet commentary because my laptop's fcuked. Don't start me on my laptop please.

We honestly are not Charlton fans because we expect to win every week, or score, or not to lose to better teams, or get hammered once in awhile. We are Charlton fans because it should mean something special. A little bit of entertainment surely wouldn't go amiss would it?

We have a FA Cup run and five home games left. I admit it, I have a very, very short memory when it comes to football. Charlton, please take advantage of one of your most committed customers.

Reports from those that were there: Frankie Valley; Addicks Diary; Cynic Athletic; SE7 Dreams; All Quiet; Aston Villa Blog
Friday 24 February 2006
  Too old, too tired Four nights out in a row have shown me that I am now an elderly gentleman and should act accordingly. Another quiet weekend is a huge probability me thinks.

My laptop has crashed and burned and therefore I rather uneasily won't be a slave to it this weekend. Perhaps I could watch some previously recorded Winter Olympic action on NBC, oh how I enjoyed telling everyone in the office yesterday that their American girl didn't win the Figure Skating gold. "How do you know that?" "Because it was this afternoon," I said. "It can't be. It's on live tonight!"

So no internet commentary for tomorrow's sell out Villa game. When's Rommedahl back? My, our physio's know how to drag out an injury don't they?

It's the Oscars in just over a week, so I may take the opportunity this weekend to go and watch a movie and if I can get the bleedin' builders out of my place, I may even do some painting. I also have this overwhelming desire to total up all the miles I have flown in the last 12 months. We will see how bored I get.

Sunday morning sees our 6-a-side outfit play our final 'regular' game of the indoor winter season. We lie in 2nd on goal difference and play the bottom team who have somehow managed to gain -3 points!

The Quarter Final game against Boro will be played on Thursday 22nd at the BBC dictated time of 8.05pm. This date also means a couple of Saturday games switching to Sundays, which most people are rolling their eyes at but it might mean that they get screened here.

If Sven is not too busy dining out with the Arabs on Saturday night, he will announce his squad for next week's Uruguay friendly international. Addick fans have been debating if Darren Bent will get his first start. What odds will you give me that he picks up another splinter from the bench and not a thoroughly well deserved cap? 
  Ooh Sweaty Balmer Wyn Grant led me to an interview with the current Hamilton Academicals' player-assistant manager in today's Times.

Sweaty, who had one of the strongest Scottish accents I have ever heard, was real favourite of mine and I remember once bumping into him in a kebab house in Bexleyheath - pre match meals were clearly less sophisticated back then!

One anorak fact about Sweaty Balmer - he is the only player to have played for all three Athletics, Charlton, Wigan and Oldham! He also played for Scunthorpe, Boston and Clyde and began his career at the Celtic Boys Club. 
Thursday 23 February 2006
  Newcastle away. What was the score? Drew 0-0 4 points from 2 games in hand is a very respectable return bearing in mind the opposition. A miserable combination of work and computer problems overtook me yesterday so I have no idea what actually happened although by reading various reports and seeing very brief highlights last night on Fox Soccer Channel, I am happy with the result, one we would have happily taken last time in the snow and before the season started. It was a precious away clean-sheet and it was nice to read that it was us that looked the more stronger in the final 15 minutes.

With both Romm and Thomas injured, I personally thought it was a more attacking move playing Holland in lieu of Smertin. Holland can be a match winner and honestly when was the last time Smertin even managed to get an effort on target?

Darren Bent it appears was once again a handful, and Spector turned in another improved performance in a Perry inspired defence. Onto Villa at home on Saturday.

It was funny to read in the Club's email bulletin today that a local newspaper called us so boring that even having snowballs thrown at us makes news. Oh, Ms Townsend, you really were a nerd when it came to public relations weren't you?

Reports from those that were there: All Quiet;; Black & White and Read All Over
Monday 20 February 2006
  Boro' at home With all Premiership sides in the Quarter Final for the first time in 10 years we had run out of lower league teams to be drawn against but to be picked out of the hat first and therefore be drawn at home was a big plus this morning.

Middlesbrough will not be easy but it gives us a huge chance. Let's hope the supporters back the team and get behind them in what is only the 3rd time we have made this stage in 59 years.

The game will be played on TV on either Tuesday 21st or Wednesday 22nd March. 
Sunday 19 February 2006
  Dunking Doughnut A night indoors, in fact pretty much a day indoors except for popping out for a coffee this afternoon, god, I'm so American! A freezing day here in Chicago, although it was toasty this morning listening to the Addicks victory over Brentford.

Tonight I found myself watching the NBA All Star Slam Dunk competition, what a load of old tosh that was. In a 'dunk-off' (of course draws are not allowed in American sport) winner Nate Robinson took 14 attempts to finally get the ball in the bloody net. Fortunately Jay Bothroyd only needs one go!

I soon got bored of that and switched on the Torino Winter Olympics, which has had a lot of television coverage here, to see Chicagoan Shami Davis win the gold in the 1,000m speed skating race. Davis becomes the first ever black athlete to win an individual Winter Olympic gold.

The debate on whether the anti-establishment 'X Games' competitions such as the snowboarding are ruining tradition took a new turn last night when America's Lindsey Jacobellis, miles ahead in the final of the women's Snowboardcross, decided to do a celebratory mid-air flip as she crossed the finish line but landed arse over tit (above) and was overtaken, thus missing out on the gold. Oh how we laughed, but the 20-year old was laughing too when interviewed afterwards, "It was just a race." she said (more).

I think that's taking the Olympic spirit too far, the old farts won't be happy. Give us back Eddie the Eagle.

Hopefully I will be more Bothroyd than Jacobellis when I play 6-a-side footie in the morning.

Update Sunday Midday: Unfortunately Jay deserted me and was more Jacobellis as we got smoked 5-1, our first defeat of the season. 
Saturday 18 February 2006
  Brentford home. What was the score? Won 3-1 Pretty comfy wasn't it? Darren Bent leaving Michael Turner for dead to score a nerve-settling early goal. The timing of our 2nd was equally good, Jay Bothroyd scoring from a free-kick - surprise, surprise - after being teed up by Kish, his second assist of the half.

Chances fell to both sides in the 2nd period but it was Bryan Hughes, who I can't help but think would score regularly at a lower level, who put the game beyond doubt finishing well after being set up by substitute Bartlett.

I couldn't help but laugh at this point because Hughes scored just as 'lucky winner' Chris Swatton was out in the technical area yelling instructions to the Bees players. Don't give up your day-job son.

Brentford's consolation was just that and for the first time since the 1999/2000 season, and only the 3rd time since 1947(!) we have made the last 8.

For all of Brentford's huff and puff and that included the twats behind the goal, it was a relaxing and professional performance by the Addicks and they passed the test with top marks.

Reports from those that were there: BBC Sport; Guardian;; All Quiet; Addicks Diary
Friday 17 February 2006
  A straight A please no Bees minus Without a doubt tomorrow's game is the biggest of the season, so far. The Liverpool victory proved that a couple of more wins is within us and as I said earlier in the week my realistic wish for the remainder of the season is win one, lose one, which will at least keep some interest going until the end of the season.

But tomorrow's game gives us a wonderful opportunity to get our collective juices flowing. The draws been kind, or awkward depending how you look on it. At least 3 Premiership sides will be gone by Sunday night and with both Birmingham and Middlesbrough looking to have tough away ties, the draw is opening up like the red sea.

However, we all know what we are like but wouldn't it be great if we could get into the last 8, and then by that stage if you're in it, you have a chance.

The team knows it's task tomorrow, lets hope we don't blow it like we did against Leicester last season. I will be home, tuned in and probably more nervous than usual. I guess that is why the Cup is so great, lets please find out. Come on you Addicks! 
  Lisbie Rambling? According to reports today Kevin Lisbie will sign on loan for Derby County next week after this weekend's FA Cup game. League clubs still have until March 28th to sign loan players and Derby tried to rush Lisbie's signing through today but Curbs as cautious as ever, would like to wait until after the weekend before allowing the 27-year old to move to Pride Park.

Derby's caretaker manager Terry Westley, who is also keen to sign Dwight Yorke, used to work with Lisbie when he was involved with the Addicks youth set up 10 years ago, so he probably remember's one of his last goals for the club! 
Thursday 16 February 2006
  Adu. Bless you. Interesting to see Freddy Adu getting some press at home. I have watched him 3 or 4 times on the box and once live and quite frankly I think he's terrible.

The US Teenage sensation, as he is often known, is said to be at the centre of a tug of war between Chelsea and Man Utd. Well, as Sir Alex was quick to point out: "We have watched him as a youngster, but there is no interest in him at the moment." (more). I'm not surprised, John Obi Mikel he is not.

2 years ago Adu, who was born in Ghania and brought to America by his mother 6 years earlier after winning a visa lottery, decided to turn professional. He was 14 years old, Nike clamoured over his signature and paid a $1m and then Major League Soccer (MLS) made him their highest-paid performer. 'Soccer' fans in the US rejoiced, kids had a new poster on their wall and the MLS had their very own Pele. No pressure then for the polite young man, who by all accounts might already be 18 and not 16.

Chelsea have also been rumoured to be interested with a £5m bid (loose roubles to them) but this also smells of an agent keen to cash in on his luck. So despite a winter of speculation it is back to DC United for the 2007 season, the team Adu signed for as 'number 1 draft pick' 2 years ago and has seemingly been unhappy at ever since.

What a move to Europe may have encouraged is a place is the USA's National squad for the World Cup, but after being sent home by coach Bruce Arena from a training camp last week with these words of wisdom, that too looks extremely unlikely:

"He's a good young player, but he's a little in over his head at this level at this point in his career. You need to use logic when answering that question. He's not a starter on his club team and you're asking where he stands on making a World Cup roster? Without giving you prognosis, I'll let you figure that out."

When pushed further by reporters Arena finished by saying: "Is he a long shot? Is he a definite? I'll let you figure it out." Oh well, they always have Jonathon Spector.... 
  Washington DC photos Here are some more snaps of my Washington DC weekend. For reasons of 'national security' they do not include my confiscated Pentagon shot!

Click on picture to make larger.

The White House.

View down Pennsylvania Avenue towards the Capitol & looking out onto the city from high up in the Washington Monument.

Another view 555 ft above the city and the bottom of the Washington Monument.

Looking down towards the Capitol Building and the Jackson Statue.

The White House from the Washington Monument and the World War II Memorial.

The Lincoln Memorial beyond the flags and the WWII Memorial.

Each State and Territory is recognised at the WWII Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial.

Washington Monument and the Reflecting Pool. Arlington Cemetary.

The Lincoln Statue, probably the most famous statue in the country.

Arlington Cemetary and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers.

The 20-year old Space Shuttle Challenger Memorial and Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.

Statue of the 18th President Grant Ulysses and where President Lincoln was killed. 
Wednesday 15 February 2006
  Washington DC The home of America's federal government is the District of Columbia, once a marshy swamp, now a walking museum of America's history. The City, just 67 square miles in size, is divided into 4 quadrants with the US Capitol building at it's epicentre.

I spent 4 days in the Nations capital last weekend, and was impressed by it's huge open spaces and wonderful sight lines, white marble buildings replacing the usual American city skycrapers.

Named after the first president George Washington, who lived in nearby Alexandria, the city was designed by Pierre Charles L'Enfant and became the capital in 1790. The British forces burnt what there was of the city in 1814 and it wasn't until after the American Civil War in 1861 that the city took on any kind of real prominance, other than in name.

The weather in DC last weekend (unlike now) was unseasonally mild, and a quieter world capital city would have been hard to find, which was great in allowing us to walk wide boulevards alone and stroll straight into the tourist spots unhindered.

First stop was the obvious place to start, the White House. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, the official residence and principal workplace of the Mr GW Bush was built after Congress established the District of Columbia as the permanent capital. President George Washington helped select the site (although it is said that out of embarrassment he never called the city Washington). An Irishman, James Hoban, was the architect and it took 8 years to complete at a cost of $232,000.

We were told that you could book guided tours. What we were never told was these need to be booked 6 months in advance with your local Congressman! So it was from the outside that we peered in wondering what was going on in the President's head on a Friday morning. Probably not a lot. One thing that surprised me was that there was just the one anti-war demonstrator sat outside.

Much of the White House is underground and therefore does not look that gigantic on first impression. In fact the building is 55,000 square feet in size and hosts a movie theatre, a jogging track and a bowling lane.

From there we walked past the mostly cordioned off Ellipse to the south of the President's Palace and onto the mgnificent 555 ft Washington Monument. The obelisk towers over everything in the Nation's capital and due to lack of funds and the civil war took 40 years to finish. For a year it was the world's tallest building until the Eiffel Tower was finished in 1889.

Once inside you have a choice of 897 steps or a 70-second elevator ride. I took the elevator, which takes you up to the viewing gallery with magnificent aspects over four sides of the city.

The Washington Monument's reflection can be seen in the aptly named reflecting pool stretching 2,029 feet out to it from the Lincoln Memorial.

The Lincoln Memorial was my favourite piece of architecture. Solemn and humbling a huge President Abraham Lincoln, commonly considered to have been America's finest President, sits high up in a chair within a doric temple presiding over his people. Finished in 1922 inscribed on one side of the statue is Lincoln's second inaugural address and on the other is his famous Gettysburg Address. In front of the Lincoln Memorial Martin Luther King famously gave his "I have a Dream" speech in 1963.

Lincoln was shot and killed on April 14, 1865 during a performance in the cities Ford's Theater.

Near the Lincoln Memorial is the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the very symbolic Korean War Veterans Memorial, and National World War II Memorial.

A long walk over the Potomac River took us to the 624 acres of America's most famous resting place, Arlington Cemetery. 290,000 people are laid rested in the cemetary and we were told that 24 burials are conducted every weekday! Anyone can be buried here but mostly the row upon row of gravestones belong to servicemen and their families.

An eternal flame flickers over President John F Kennedy and his wife Jackie's grave (right). Other notable memorials and graves here include the Tomb of the Unknowns Civil War dead (the remains of 2,111 soldiers) where Third US Infantry sentinels maintain a 24 hour vigil, Iwo Jima, the Marine Corps Memorial, the Arlington House Memorial to Confederate General Robert E Lee, Boxer Joe Louis and the crew of the Challenger space shuttle.

We took the organised trip around the cemetary and this was another humbling experience. A whole week's tour was available if you really wanted to get depressed.

From there we decided to walk along the river towards The Pentagon. To see anyone walking was quite rare, people either seemed to be in cars, jogging (a sign prohibited it in Arlington Cemetary) or on bikes, a point made by the lack of pavements!

Across the river was the Jefferson Memorial, a white marble monument, with a 19 ft bronze statue of the countries 3rd president at it's centre.

We stayed on the North side of the river heading towards The Pentagon, built during World War II and the home to the United States Department of Defense. It is the highest capacity low-rise office building in the world and houses 26,000 military and civilian employees and not surprisingly has five sides, five floors and a five acre open space in the middle. The building is assigned six Washington DC zip codes, even though it is situated in the state of Virginia. The Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Joint Staff, and Secretary of Defense each has its own zip code.

On September 11, 2001 American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the building, causing part of it to collapse and killed 125 people plus 64 on board the plane. Of course conspiracy theorists believe differently.

You couldn't get anywhere near the US Defense Building, we only found our way to the Metro Station after being advised by a Pentagon cop who beckoned us over after watching me take a photo. Suffice to say that I was made to delete the grainy shot.

We got of the train in Chinatown and found for the first time that day ourselves amongst people, not just dead ones! We then continued our walk past the MCI Center, home to both the NBA's Wizards and hockey's Capitals and onto Capitol Hill.

The Capitol building serves as home to Congress, the legislative branch of the United States federal government. The building, marked by its dome was completed in 1811 but was then part destroyed by the British in the War of 1812, only to be rebuilt in 1815. Behind the Capitol is the Supreme Court, the highest court in the US.

Like the White House, it was strange to be able to look at it in the flesh, it looked so familiar after seeing it so many times on television, but likewise the lawns (the building sits in 274 acres) and the streets surrounding one of the most famous icons in world politics were eerily quiet.

From here we walked up Constitution Avenue and onto Delaware Avenue (the many Avenue's named after states run at angles across the grid patterned street system) and came across the magnificent Union Station. Designed by famous Chicago architect Daniel Burnham, its 96 ft barrel vaulted ceilings welcome 20 million visitors a year.

In keeping with American's general disinterest in their rail system, Union Station fell into a terrible state of disrepair and was closed in the late 70's. For 10 years it was ignored but finally in 1988 $70m was put towards a complete restoration and the station was re-opened in its present glorious form in 1988. The station has also starred in many films such as Hannibal and Minority Report.

What we didn't do because time was too short, was visit the Smithsonian Institution. I think it's 19 museum's and 7 research centre's need a weekend on their own.

On the Saturday we decided to visit the Holocaust Memorial Museum. Museum's normally celebrate the best that humanity can achieve, but this documented the worst. Opened in 1993, the museum is superbly laid out and tells the horrific story of 12 million Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, Communists and the mentally ill losing their lives under the Nazi leadership.

Emotional and disturbing, upon entry you are given an ID card of an actual person who lived through the Holocaust. Mine showed a picture of Shulim Saleschutz, born March 7, 1930 in Poland. The little ID book told me how his father owned the general store in Kolbuszowa and when Shulim was 12, he was given an armband with the Star of David on it.

The book ended: "Shulim was deported to the Rzsezow ghetto on June 25, 1942, and then to the Belzec camp in July. There, Shulim was gassed with his mother, brother and sister. He was 12 years old."

The Holocaust Memorial Museum is not for the feint hearted but if you can face it, please go and visit.

Probably one of the quietest capital city's I have ever been too (don't expect it to be quiet in the summer though), more life can be found in some of DC's neighbourhoods. Arty Adams Morgan, the University area of Georgetown, the riverfronted and wonderfully named Foggy Bottom. Try their beer too. Then there is Dupont Circle, popular with the gay community and therefore complete with trendy little shops and bars, including the un-gay like Lucky Bar where we watched the Spurs v Charlton game and of course the weekend's main event.... The Superbowl.

If you are looking for a meal, we had a good one in Zola's (above the Spy Museum), complete with a rapping waiter! And Zaytinya's came well recommended too.

Overall an excellent weekend. An attractive city, easy to walk around with a lot of history in one small place, although the white marble buildings do all start to blend into one after a while. Avoid the summer and go if only to see the White House in the flesh, peer up at the magnificent Lincoln statue and visit the powerfully haunting Holocaust Musuem.

More Photo's to appear later. 
Tuesday 14 February 2006
  Man City away. What was the score? Lost 3-2 I'm starting to think I should rename this blog Where am I? Today I woke up in Cleveland in Ohio, once a great industrial port and now a thriving diversified lakeside city. Back to Chicago tonight, if the weather permits.

On Sunday morning after playing indoor 'soccer' I flew down to the pub and watched the 2nd half of our game at the City of Manchester stadium. By all accounts the 1st half was very missable, and it was nice to witness us actually take part in an entertaining game (2nd half anyway) as opposed the hum-drum stuff we have been involved in recently.

My head dropped after we conceded so soon after Darren Bent's sweet finish to a poorly marked Georgios Samaras header and then Barton's magnificent shot was one of those that even the most abject moaner couldn't have found a scapegoat for.

To me, from what I saw, it showed City and us as sides of equal power. The goals from the two Bent's proving that they are potentially more of a handful than City's revered strikers. And if only we could supply more of the like of those wonderful crosses from El Kak and Kish, you feel that the two Bents would lap them up.

Part of our problem recently is our unsettled defensive line up. Perry's untimely sickness was El Kak's gain but I wonder if we will ever see him paired with Sorondo at the back, which I believe was Curbishley's intention. And whilst I have valued Myhre's composure and experience in recent weeks, I still believe that Andersen is the better goalie of the two.

Our midfield so lacks a playmaker but once again I thought Kish had a good game, and I wish people would see that, and Smertin did the probing, marshalling stuff well. I have given up though on him ever getting on the scoresheet.

Curbs again used his new, and completely out of character, tactic of throwing three subs on and I personally was pleased to see Euell again, but his efforts aside, we really never threw enough caution to the wind to get anything from the game, although if El Kak's late shot would have gone in it would have put a whole new gloss on this post.

In many ways, not least to get that end of season monkey off our backs, I'm rather hoping that we go through the rest of the season, winning one, losing one. It will keep the interest up, maybe even for me to forego 6-a-side footie for a 1st half away performance?

Reports from those that were there: BBC Sport;, Addicks Diary; SE7 Dreams; Bitter and Blue
Thursday 9 February 2006
  Not all a boondoggle A overnight pitstop in Wilmington, Delaware tonight after three days in the glorious sunshine of Florida. It could have been quite a boondoggle, apart for the fact that I had to make a presentation to 240 people on Tuesday, which soaked up quite a bit of nervous energy. It was a good trip though and the little walk I had yesterday has given my cheeks a tiny bit of a glow, although nowhere like some of my red-foreheaded colleagues who played a number of rounds of golf at $300 a pop!

The sun and sea aside, I found Boca Raton quite a depressing place with row upon row of tired looking condominium buildings, in desperate need of an upgrade. The out of town conferencers mixed with old people holed up in this false economy of all year round sameness.

The same could not be said of the nations capital Washington DC, a district not a state I found out, where I spent last weekend. More on my visit there and some photos at the weekend. 
Wednesday 8 February 2006
  Liverpool home. What was the score? Won 2-0 I'll give you 10 Peter Crouch's for 1 Darren Bent? Anyone? Yeah right-oh!

I'm still down in Boca Raton in Florida and with work stuff coming to an end I chose a walk along the intercoastal waterway this afternoon as opposed to shutting myself in my hotel room and listening to the internet commentary, so I only have excited phone calls from the ground and text's to pass comment on the game but hey what a lift eh?

I got back to my room and spent some time on the phone whilst watching the Live Text, you know the kind of thing: "85:31 Attacking throw-in by Steve Finnan (Liverpool)."

I have felt so low about Charlton recently but this is a real lift for Addicks everwhere and with the two Benty's looking ever more dangerous up front I'm trying to stop myself belly laughing listening to phone calls from Liverpool fans into 6-0-6 moaning about their crap forwards! Ho hum. Are you watching Mr Tord Grip? Or are you out with the Murphy's at a Film Premiere?

Reports from those that were there: BBC Sport;; All Quiet; Addicks Diary; Guardian
Tuesday 7 February 2006
  Ben Hayes joins board After originally stating that they would not announce the winner of the Supporters Director's Election until the end of the month, the club suddenly announced the winner on the official website today.

The fact that only 1,697 eligible fans voted shows me that this will be the last time the football club offer a position on the board to a fan, unless winner Ben Hayes molds the role into a credible one.

As expected the number of candidates and their similarities meant that in political parlance the voting provided a hung parliament.

What was the score? just wanted to send their commiserations to Vince, just 8 votes short of winning, which is a fantastic achievement when you consider he has no CASC connections.

This was the final vote, which does not include an unbelievable 423 spoilt papers!

Ben Hayes - 464 (21.9%)
Vince Nieswiecz - 456 (21.5%)
Sue Townsend - 405 (19.1%)
Brian Cole - 372 (17.5%)

Congratulations Ben. No pressure but I think you have it all to do to in giving this role some credibility amongst your fellow board members and fellow fans. Good luck. 
Monday 6 February 2006
  Spurs away. What was the score? Lost 3-1 I watched the game (on re-run) in the Dupont Circle area of Washington DC. It was nice to see two other Addicks in the bar when we arrived, unfortunately the support they were giving proved that they did not know what the final score was, unlike my pal and I, who upon realising that we couldn't watch the game live, succumbed to temptation and opened up various texts that had been sent to us.

Disappointing, but for me a result and a performance not unexpected, which is a shame when you consider our record at White Hart Lane and Spurs' recent form.

At times I thought we played the ball around quite nicely, but our play in the final third was unambitious and generally poor, Smertin's probing aside. The only pieces of excitement came from three individual moments of fine play from Thomas (the goal), Marcus Bent (the shot) and HH (the header). Otherwise it was a tale of systematic errors again giving the opposing team help, they probably didn't need, in beating us.

One thing about the team. Why wasn't Thomas playing from the beginning? What more does the boy have to do? His response to his goal was a message not only to the Spurs fans' but also his own management I feel. And are we really benefiting from not even having a hungry and angry Jason Euell on the bench?

Finally, I have just read New York Addick's take on the game and he makes some very good points with the use of statistics. The one that really made me sit up was that how many more games we are losing by more than the odd goal.

There was a time when we would only suffer a good beating once or twice a season, and normally to one of the top 4 clubs. In other games, I felt that we were always in with a chance, even when we weren't playing well. We rarely went two or three goals down but this has become a regular feature in the last season and a half.

Reports from those that were there: BBC Sport;; The Shelf
Thursday 2 February 2006
  Off to Washington DC for the Superbowl Forget about Danny Murphy, it is the SoupBowl or whatever they call it here the weekend. Whilst the FA Cup celebrates 125 years, this Sunday's Superbowl will be America's 40th.

Every year one of my best mates (a fellow Addick) and some of his pals make a pilgrimage to the US to watch the game. This year they have chosen Washington DC, so I am flying over there this afternoon to spend the weekend sightseeing, drinking and watching huge blokes bash the crap out of each other on the television.

Superbowl is a massive day in the US, which makes it more of a shame to me that the FA Cup has lost a little of its magic because when I was a kid Cup Final day was something to really look forward too. I remember once when our tele' blew up the morning of the game, just before Cup Final It's a Knockout, cried my eyes out I did!

The Superbowl is of course not about the game at all. I read recently that only 6,000 tickets will be shared between fans of the two finalists, Seattle Seahawks and Pittsburgh Steelers, the rest going to corporate entities, the NFL, players, and general hangers on.

The game also plays second fiddle to the adverts with companies such as Pepsi, Burger King and Budweiser paying up to $2.5m for a 30 second slot!

After a weekend in the Nations' capital I fly down to Ft Lauderdale in Florida on Monday for a work conference, and then have to go to Wilmington, Delaware (no, me neither) before getting home next Friday. Don't worry, I will tell you about it! 
  Give me 'little' Charlton back I have just got in from being out for a few beers and my has it been a long day, a very tough day if you're a Charlton fan. Websites, message boards, emails, texts, blogs and phone calls have been furious and many. There is a feeling of anger, recrimination and introspectiveness amongst us.

I have calmed down a bit, because like always there is never any better remedy to strife than to talk it out and that is what we have been doing. I'm still not clever enough to understand a lot of went on yesterday. I don't understand why the club have misled us, I don't understand the fee, I don't understand how the club didn't prepare for, what to us, was inevitable and I don't understand some people's endless sycophantism of the manager - I would love to hear some of these people talk about their bosses with such blindness.

But what I want now is for us to get our club back. If nothing else happened yesterday, it was to prove that we will never be a big club, we punch above our weight and we are little Charlton and you know what? I fucking like that. I have only ever over 30 years supported little Charlton and I'm okay with that. Give us our little piece of London SE7 back and the Danny Murphy's of the world can fuck off.

Today started off with me hating being a Charlton fan but has ended with my support being even more unyielding.

If I could be at home this weekend I would do anything to be at White Hart Lane on Sunday. I would have my babies dummy and white handkerchief and would boo that greedy fat bastard until I was blue in the face. People dug weeds up to get where we were today. Please, for me, get over to North London on Sunday and tell them what it means to be a Charlton fan. 
About Me
After living in Chicago for four and a half years, I moved to the beautiful if bewildering island of Bermuda in July 2008. This blog is about being an exiled and depressed Charlton Athletic fan and whatever else the day brings.
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