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A graduate of Sports Studies at Paisley University, which is about as rewarding as being the best dancer in the Spinal Unit.

Monday, 17 December 2007

Vs. Newcastle Eagles

Rivalry is a funny old thing. It can extend from a geographical stand point, where the teams may not even play in the same league or division but harbour animosity towards each other because they happen to inhabit the same town.
It might be generational, the players having been raised to view the opposing team as their primary obstacle to glory, as their mothers and fathers did before them.
One of the most fun versions that crops up now and again is the “Alpha Dog” rivalry. This sees one team being universally insufferable to everyone, their success on the sports field leading to unpopularity even with people who might not even call themselves sports fans. Lastly, is the Enduring Rivalry. These are the ultimate matchups. Families are divided by them. People choose sides and never look back. Anybody who crosses the line is viewed as a traitor. These rivalries have a long tradition of ill-feeling on both sides and are draped in history. Fans and players on both sides get up whenever the teams play, no matter the records.

Anyone reading this, unless they have just stepped off the boat, have Rangers and Celtic almost inevitably come to mind. A smaller percentage may envisage Ali/Frazier, McEnroe/Borg,Yankees/Red Sox or if you’re a Chester Jets fan, Tom/Jerry.
It can bring the best out of its competitors, allowing them from somewhere to dig a little deeper to extend a rally, push to a third overtime, score a last minute try/touchdown/home run and ensure that the bitterness between the two doesn’t end here.
I suppose we should thank the Newcastle Eagles then? The entire Rocks lifespan, they and their band of fans (whose insistence on “wacky” slap-dash face painting and afro-wigs leave them looking like Coco the Clown hit the skids) has partaken in some of the BBL’s greatest games, each building anticipation for the next. The Rocks/Eagles fixture is easily the best attended of all regular season games and will continue to be. Not to say every Rocks clash isn’t exciting, but often riding sidecar to these derby contests are the behind the scenes antics of Eagles players that has contributed to the “good natured” ribbing that takes place. Who can forget Fabulous Flournoy, who not so long ago saw fit go Marvellous Marvin on Skouson Harker? Apparently Jeremy Hyatt offered Harker a lift to the hospital that night, but was politely declined. I would mention Charles Smith here, but ill be honest, that still stings a little.
So what of this season? Its great to see the Eagles securing a sponsor so respected, established and most importantly, stable as Northern Rock. It’s a great looking strip and I implore any Newcastle fan to immediately go to their nearest Northern Rock branch, remove ALL OF YOUR SAVINGS and proceed to purchase the aforementioned garment.
Finally, when choosing sponsors for your club it is important it reflects the values of its management and fans, is respected and well-liked. For instance, everybody loves sandwiches, right? Right. So I reacted with an undisclosed amount of surprise when I saw that this year the Eagles have appeared to have turned to none other than the Third Reich. You know what? Put down your Sub of the Day ™ for a second and make your own mind up (pictures below).

Have a great season, the team depends on you.

Jamie Barr

The newly unveiled logo
of the Newcastle Eagles

Above (CLICK TO EMBIGGEN!): A universally recognised symbol of oppression and persecution. And the logo.

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