Paging Rob Manfred, Galactical Disgrace

King Hippo

Please consult with the infinite wisdom of Chuck D:

I swear to holy tittyfuck, it’s like Manfred’s raison d’être is to make The Shield look sane, humane, and competent.  Eat shit, you boot licking motherfucker.

In better/Lesser news, our beloved Mighty Whitey survive and advance to face the Bees (nae Moose Hornets) for that last, precious ticket to promotion.  Methinks our Imaginary Friend Litre died like 10 times during the 2nd half of the Raging Semi leg, but hey.  Ain’t nobody EVAR say that precious #WhiteVictory would be easy.

Here’s a great article from The Athletic, and please subscribe:

The Princess Royal is closed, a ghost pub on the corner of what will, in four hours, become a ghost stadium.

The Brook and The Griffin are shuttered too, although small clusters of Brentford supporters do still congregate outside the latter, gripping cans and making plans.

They all face a dilemma. Do they watch on their sofas, hoping that the knots in the depths of their stomachs slowly unravel? Or do they spend the evening on the roads surrounding Griffin Park, roaring themselves hoarse in an attempt to recreate the terrace fervour that circumstances have denied them?

By rights, this should be a gala occasion, a chance to acclaim the future of this upwardly mobile football club, but also a chance to celebrate the stadium’s place in their history. This lovely old jumble of Meccano and concrete is hosting its final football match, 116 years later. A century of memories, of fitful success and black-hole failure, all destined for the sweet hereafter. Beyond the pressing business of dispatching Swansea City, this is an opportunity reflect on the past, then lay it to rest. Melancholy and nostalgia adorn the heavy July air.

A rough consensus slowly emerges: find a TV, then rush back if things take off. “When I’ve shouted outside, we haven’t done well,” a woman tells a friend, philosophically. “So I’ll save it for inside. Unless we score. Then you’ll hear me.”

A chalkboard outside The Griffin bears a message of support for Brentford’s players. It also contains a winking dig at referee Keith Stroud, who swung this tie in Swansea’s favour when he wrongly sent Rico Henry off in the first leg. A one-goal deficit is hardly terminal for Brentford, but three defeats on the spin — including that shock final-day capitulation against Barnsley — appear to have sapped momentum. Their season, so eye-catching and impressive, is in danger of petering out.

Griffin Park Brentford pub final night

The Griffin pub leaves some motivational messages for the players before the second leg against Swansea (Photo: Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

The head coach, Thomas Frank, has talked a good game, calling for “one last magical moment” to get them over the line. Yet even without fans, there is no avoiding the tension inside the ground. At the end of the Never-Ending Season, with the Premier League and new digs beckoning, this is crunch time and everyone knows it. Failure here, against a team that barely scraped into the play-offs, would be a special form of compound heartbreak.

The mood before kick-off is leavened slightly by the stadium announcer, who has picked out a moving poem to honour Griffin Park — presumably by some Brentford fan from the distant past, or perhaps a writer with links to the club or the local area. Except wait, no. Isn’t this..? Yes, thought so. It’s the lyrics to a Madonna song. It is very naff. It is also, in its complete lack of pretension, quite admirable, as well as very Griffin Park.

Brentford start well, shaking off the dust with a series of probing attacks down the left. Emiliano Marcondes pings an early effort at goal, then Pontus Jansson climbs for a corner and leaves three Swansea defenders skittled in his wake. The Brentford staff, who create a pretty respectable amount of noise throughout, purr accordingly in the Braemar Road Stand.

Then, 10 minutes in, the warm relief of a breakthrough. David Raya flings the ball to Mathias Jensen, who dips inside from the right touchline and drills the ball, left-footed, through the heart of a disorganised Swansea backline. It is the sort of pass that convinces you that the universe must have an overarching logic to it. Ollie Watkins cannot miss and doesn’t.

Marcondes adds a second, guiding a header home from Said Benrahma’s precise cross. With his peroxide hair and countless tricks, Benrahma is somehow even cooler in reality than in concept. The Algerian playmaker sees a shot skid off the inside of the post after performing what can only be described as an exorcism on his marker (move directly to afterlife, do not pass GO, do not collect £200).

Swansea look tired and lost — doubly so when Bryan Mbeumo makes it 3-0 moments after half-time. But they show admirable fight in the second half, tapping into reserves of grit to make a contest of it. Connor Roberts brings a flying save from Raya before the sparky Rhian Brewster pulls one back, lifting the ball into the net from the edge of the area. Jansson, whose training for the Hubris Olympics appears to be paying off nicely, will probably want to avoid replays.

Are Brentford rattled? Not especially. Frank probably wouldn’t be averse to one or two of his forwards taking the ball into the corners rather than trying low-percentage shots from 25 yards, but what Swansea make up for in effort, they lack in quality. Andre Ayew runs down a thousand blind alleys and a late Hail Mary sprint upfield by goalkeeper Erwin Mulder ends in nought.

The final whistle blows. Some bodies slump to the turf, others erupt. That is the nature of the play-offs: they can make your soul sing arias and they can punch you right in the face. That Brentford are objectively a much cannier, much better team will be little consolation to the defeated Swansea players at this juncture.

Outside, there is a mad rush from living rooms to the main gate, and the chanting begins. Beers have been consumed; that much is evident. Brentford’s beloved owner, Matthew Benham, appears from the main stand to salute the fans. They respond by singing his name, followed by that dog-eared classic about going to Wembley. The brave new world that they have permitted themselves to dream about is closer now than ever before.

An hour or two later, once the sugar rush has worn off and these streets are empty again, the moment will come to lock Griffin Park up for the final time. The gates will close, the key turned in the latch. And the lights will go out, one by one, like fireflies to sleep.


One day later. West London is sticky and hot and glorious. It is sit-in-the-park-and-think-about-nothing weather. The thought of 22 young men having to run around and decide their futures in this — at the end of actual July — seems vaguely inhumane. At least they’ll all get a nice long holiday before reporting back for the 2020-21 campaign. Or, you know, not.

Fulham and Cardiff City are basically in a doomed relationship at this point. They went up to the top flight together, got relegated together, and now here they are, fighting to keep the wee ‘uns. The hosts look like they are in the driving seat: a 2-0 victory in Wales means they will have to try pretty hard to avoid setting up a local derby in the final next week, even if Aleksandar Mitrovic’s continued absence leaves them looking a little polite in attack.

For the visitors, the first task is to jangle some nerves and hope for the best, and they make a good start: Sean Morrison causes havoc from a long throw into the area (copyright Sean Morrison, 2007-2020) and the resulting corner is nodded home by Curtis Nelson in the golden evening glare. But that foothold turns to dust just a minute later, when Neeskens Kebano capitalises on some nap-time marking to prod home an equaliser.

The remainder of the second half settles into a predictable pattern. At one end, Anthony Knockaert does his slightly frantic thing, whizzing about like a wind-up car and shooting at every opportunity. Cardiff are slightly low on nuance but look dangerous every time they win a set-piece and send the heavy artillery forward. Morrison especially is a menace, always winching himself into position high above the Fulham defenders. “Centre-back” doesn’t really cut it as a description of Morrison’s skill set… “freelance chaos merchant” might be more appropriate.

Fulham get to half-time, then promptly concede just after the restart. Another ball hurled into the box, more hot potato, an instinctive finish from Lee Tomlin. Further chances for Cardiff — one for Josh Murphy, another for Danny Ward, a man whose DNA is 90 per cent wardrobe — reinforce the feeling that the tie is shifting in their favour. “Slow it down!” shouts an exasperated Scott Parker, to no one in particular.

There is no slowing down, and only the goalkeepers keep the scoreline on the stingy side. Cardiff’s Alex Smithies makes two extraordinary stops to keep out matching Aboubakar Kamara efforts before Marek Rodak acrobatically denies Will Vaulks. This all proves far too exciting for Parker, who replaces Knockaert with Denis Odoi — the ultimate mood-killer substitution.

In fairness, it just about works. Fulham survive a late scare when Cardiff substitute Robert Glatzel volleys over, but there is to be no equaliser, no extra time, no reprieve for the visitors. No return to the big time at the first attempt. Just a long coach journey back home at the end of a madcap, maddening summer. Empty hands to go with empty tanks.

For Fulham, as with Brentford, one hurdle remains. Tuesday night, under the arch, a year and two days after the Championship season started. It has been a long old campaign and has felt even longer, but those whining limbs must be ignored, any jitters swallowed whole. Glory, untold millions, bragging rights, the lot, all resting on 90 minutes.

That is the wonderful, sicko nature of the play-offs. They are a treat and they are torture. They are heaven and they are hell. No half measures, no in-between. You’d have to be crazy not to love them.

Oh, and a little thing called the FA Cup final (12:30, ESPN+) is today.  We gots a bk109/Horatio v. rockingdog Derby, y’all.  Be there (I mean here), or be LAME AS FOOK.

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King Hippo
King Hippo
Reclusive, vulgar Broncos fan. Also a proud fookin' Evertonian. Likely dropped on my head repeatedly as a small child. [Insert George Carlin quote followed by thoughtful nod.]
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Dunstan

Wow, Edmonton really didn’t want that lead. Two gross giveaways and shitty goaltending.

Gratliff

Boy, there sure are some thoughts about the first NHL player to kneel through the anthem

Gratliff

When I think hockey, I think Michael Buble

Mr. Ayo

If they’re going to pipe in crowd noise, at least pipe in the crowd singing the Canada anthem.

Gratliff

Just insufferable white noise during the American anthem in honor of the terrible fans in Chicago

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Can they pipe in noise from the corporate tickets; assholes on cell phones, in line and walking around, coming in late, leaving early, etc. etc.

Game Time Decision

So typical Leafs game

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

I just wanna puck.

Gratliff

This speech definitely went off the rails well before the “We will fight against justice” part

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Gratliff

Fuck yeah. Duck Duck Goose in Edmonton

Mr. Ayo

*Grey Duck

j/k only idiots call it that

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Dunstan

Well, I could have gone a little longer without Pierre McGuire.

Like, an eon or five.

Gratliff

I would not have thought a beard would make him more penisy, but here we are

Last edited 1 day ago by Gratliff
Mr. Ayo

I thought they got rid of that asshole. Dammit!

Gratliff

AHAHAHAHAHAHA

Comissioner Rob Manfred tells me “We are playing. The players need to be better, but I am not a quitter in general and there is no reason to quit now. We have had to be fluid, but it is manageable.”

— Karl Ravech (@karlravechespn) August 1, 2020

herodotus450

Unless it’s really late, and all the pitchers have been used, and it’s an all star game, then it’s ok to just quit.

Gratliff

We must keep the season going until teams can no longer compete. We’ve notified the Pirates that we’ve removed the last 40 years from the records.

WCS

WOOOHOOOO!!!!
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Dunstan

Durrrr… me no quitter! Quitters are bad, weak, not manly! Me show that virus who is boss and who is quitter!

This fucking macho bullshit is why the U.S. is in such a mess.

Gratliff

I know it’s fucking panthers and Islanders, but how do you not have every single live pro sports event on a national station right now?

Gratliff

Nevermind, I’m apparently blind, which will be helpful going into this game.

bk109

Also lol, Arsenal gonna Arsenal even in victory, ’cause apparently we broke the Cup

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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No worries, the dogs were fine.

herodotus450

License to Kill, Varmints.

Viva La Tabula Raza

So, if TikTok gets banned by executive order, whither Friday night Sexxy posts?
Can that stupid fucker even do that? Seems a bit toothpastey out of the tube, but the Chinese manage to censor the shit out of the internet, so why not the US?

bk109

And from an IT guy’s perspective – I just find it amusing that there’s been so much whining about “potential for shenanigans” from Chinese firms, when CIsco and the like have been actually CAUGHT doing the same shit.

herodotus450

China’s been caught stealing lots of stuff though, just look at any/all of the bootleg stuff on dhgate/taobao/alibaba

bk109

I was specifically referring to spying… not quite literally just continuing the run of gear they’re already making on contract for X and selling it without the fucktastic markup a “name brand” commands 😀
Edit: For the record, I’m not saying that they’re not probably using any possible venue to spy on people.. I’m just saying that it’s ironic as fuck that the US is screaming about “OMAIGODSPAIS!” given what they’ve actually been caught doing already XD

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Gratliff

If we actually gave a fuck about any of this, we’d be shelling Menlo Park

Gratliff

There are plenty of fish in the sea Snapchat

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

Last night I drank along with Hamilton. Dark & Stormy for his beginnings, some Lillet for his French buddy, rye to celebrate the victory in the Revolution, and a pint of Guinness at the end just because. I feel like it could have been planned much better but I still had a nice time.

Dunstan

And, because you post on DFO, you also have an embarrassing scandal on your record!

NEVER GONNA BE PRESIDENT NOW….

Sharkbait

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bk109

I miss the real Daily Show 🙁

bk109

Yeeeeeeeeeeesh, FUCK YOU EMERY YOU STUPID CUNT! THAT IS HOW YOU FUCKING WIN OVER FANS YOU LIMPTASTIC SHITSTAIN

Gratliff

Definitely not concerned that Tuuka Rask is a game time decision due to illness before a game against the Flyers

bk109

10 minutes of ET… fuck’s sake, either Old Yeller ‘im or play the fuck on….

bk109

Meanwhile Roma’s currently rummaging through their pockets to see if they still have the receipt for Pedro after he went down XD

scotchnaut

bk109 is the first interviewee in the new series, “When Trusting Your Wife Goes Wrong”.

herodotus450

Can’t wait for the Mr. Casey Anthony episode.

ArmedandHammered

Who will also appear in the reality series “I stuck my dick in crazy, now look at my life” on RealTV.

Sharkbait

I have to go to a socially distant birthday party for a 4 year old after this. I needed this win for my sanity.

bk109

Sanity, just like sobriety, is overrated!

Dunstan

Well, if you have to go to a 4-year-old’s birthday party, you want it to be socially distant.

bk109

Unrelated, what’s this I was hearing that the MLB may stop on Monday?!

Gratliff

That’s the expected date for 100% infection rate

bk109

Ah, I assumed that was meant to at least once avoid awful Metsing …. As usual, the lolmets was stronger than even the Braves’ mush 😀

ballsofsteelandfury

Yup. Apparently, they can’t stop it and can’t even hope to contain the virus amongst MLB players, hangers-on, and assorted strippers.

Mr. Ayo

Turns out, an infectious disease runs rampant in a clubhouse.

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

Yes, yes, we all remember what happened when tWBS brought chlamydia into the DFO clubhouse…

Dunstan

Uh, you’re supposed to capitalize her name. Show some respect for tWBS’s favorite stripper. I think she spelled it Klamidia.

herodotus450

(Fires up time machine set to 2 hours ago)
I haven’t seen a Carolina strike this fast against against a Northern side since 1861!

scotchnaut

Shaggy’s got this.

herodotus450

Carolina in 1866 facing Reconstruction and occupying Union troops:

rockingdog

chelski subbing in 3 players
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bk109

WAIT…. WHAT?!
Oh, and a little thing called the FA Cup final (12:30, ESPN+) is today. We gots a bk109/Horatio v. rockingdog Derby, y’all. Be there (I mean here), or be LAME AS FOOK.”

Wifey lied to me, she told me that was tomorrow and we had LOTSA TIME TODAY FOR FUCKING WALKING AROUND IN THE GODDAMN NATURE

bk109

No, she fucking assured me it’s on Sunday. I think she was having her sweet revenge for some comments I made about the ManUre

bk109

In all fairness, I did notice that my BBC Sport app was oddly missing on my phone, but I assumed a bad update or something. Not a biggie, tho, for I shall have my revenge (and nuke the tv feed for the ManUre in EWWrope game later this week!

scotchnaut

And to be fair, looking it up on your own is a bridge too far.

bk109

I had looked it up when we miraculously won against Shitty, but … I forgot the current date (I was dead certain today is the 31st XD)

bk109

Evenin’ lads..How’re y’all this fine day… also what’s with the new comment style?

herodotus450

They’re metric comments now, isn’t that what you’re used to?

bk109

But I got so used to dealing with freedom unit-spec comments.. How would I adjust? 😀

rockingdog

uttt ohhhhhh
chelski now w/ 10 men
not lookin good…

litre_cola

I guess the cigar and whisky count are high in Dubllin since bk thinks the game is ala manana

litre_cola

He is no Alisson – Mrs. Cola

Mr. Ayo

And that bad boy just got a yellow.

rockingdog

yea that was good
bamiyang gettin it done

herodotus450

I wonder if anyone has an “Auteur” tag/flair/thingy.

Mr. Ayo

I was hoping for an Amateur tag.

DTZM, do something!

Horatio Cornblower

Arsenal’s task to blow this game just got a bit harder with the injury to Capt. America, but I have faith that they can still snatch defeat from the jaws of this opportunity.

Do you think BK109 knows the game is on?

scotchnaut

BK109: [looks up from chapter 3 of Wolfgang Schneider’s “Panzer Tactics: German Small-Unit Armor Tactics in World War 2″] ‘Why are my ears burning?”

scotchnaut

“BOOM!” He shows up 6 minutes later…

scotchnaut

I’m so deep in #TheBroomlove that my response to long-ish looping, angled passes that fail to hit a speeding forward directly on his foot, I say to myself, “Kevin would have nailed that easy”.

herodotus450

Scotchy’s wife from earlier: “No, we’re not using the good broom. It doesn’t even fit in this strapon harness.”

scotchnaut

She’s so goddamn fussy!

Mr. Ayo

Me too!

— B. Walsh

Dunstan

I’m just confused that an athlete named “the Broom” is not a curler.

rockingdog

Oh noooo
the dude pulisic got injured

Mr. Ayo

RIP USA

WCS

July 4, 1776 – Jan. 20, 2017

Horatio Cornblower

It was a good-ish run.

scotchnaut

“Oh you sweet summer child!”

-Byzantine Empire

herodotus450

Ahh a goal by Zibanejad, the perfect Sensators knife-twisting opportunity

Sharkbait

They got Brassard….

herodotus450

Yeah for like a quarter of a season right? The knife is being twisted in the Senators, for the record.

Sharkbait

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scotchnaut

“Et Tu, Herodotus?”

scotchnaut

Ex-Sen Mika (“okay, here goes nothing”) Zeeginisbad(?) with the score!

WCS

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scotchnaut

Me: [flipping back and forth between basketball, hockey and soccer] “Yeah, I’ve always been Pro-Choice.”

WCS

HAWKEY IS BACK
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Game Time Decision

Also on now on NBC is the PLL game. Since this is a lessor footy and ice footy thread, I’ll leave before getting thrown out.
/Billie Ellish is OK
// I hope to never need to go to the Mayo clinic
///those mints with chocolate in the middle are weird

herodotus450

Phase Locked Loops are always welcome here my friend.

Mr. Ayo

NERD!!!

Sharkbait

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Last edited 1 day ago by Sharkbait
Game Time Decision

I’m assuming you have this as a shirt

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Gratliff

Rags gonna rag

Mr. Ayo

Hope this is their 3rd period strategy.

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litre_cola

My local is selling footy jerseys with a message.

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rockingdog

kinda fellin like this game is a bit of a roller coaster…

Fronkenshteen

What a ball in to Mount there.

Sharkbait

Switching to gin for the second period

Horatio Cornblower

This type of shit happens all the time.

Fronkenshteen

I’m over here swiping vodka shots while wife & baby take a nap. This can ONLY end well.

scotchnaut

I sense a ‘Bourble Entanglement’ on the near horizon.