Supportive as this column is of the London Olympics, we do occasionally wonder about the 100 metres final having to be postponed because a lorry is stuck in the Blackwall Tunnel.
Closing the tunnel on Sunday and Monday after an accident led to gridlock in south-east London and a separate incident on the A12 the following day caused chaos for Gillingham players and supporters heading to the League One match at Leyton Orient, just a long throw from the Olympic complex. Gillingham had agreed that players living in or near London could make their own way there, with the result that an hour before kick-off when the referee was demanding a team-sheet, there were only seven names that could be put on it. Visiting fans travelling by underground were surprised to find two of their men joining them, in something of a panic, and one player was reported to have completed the journey on a mountain bike. Not surprisingly the Gills, who played in Orient's reserve kit, conceded a goal after four minutes and lost 3-1.
Bald keepers show metal
What is it with American goalkeepers and heavy (very heavy) metal bands? Envy of the hair perhaps? Kasey Keller was a huge fan and now the Wolves keeper Marcus Hahnemann, who is just as follically challenged, is championing a band whose very name sounds like an extreme goalkeeping technique: Five Finger Death Punch. They began their Shock & Raw Tour last week with the singer bearing the keeper's name on a Wolves shirt and according to the 'Birmingham Mail', the band launched "a wave of face-rearranging attacks". Something Mick McCarthy's goal-shy squad could do with?
George rolls into Weymouth
A name familiar to OTB readers has re-emerged in a new role as apparent saviour of Weymouth. George Rolls featured here in August as the chairman of Cambridge United, where new manager Martin Ling lasted just nine days, citing irreconcilable differences, before returning to the club after Rolls himself resigned. "I got over-enthused in certain areas," Rolls admitted. He must hope he hasn't made the same mistake in buying Weymouth, where chairmen like the sports journalist Ian Ridley and managers like Steve Claridge and, briefly, Bobby Gould, have fought and lost the good fight in recent years. The Terras were in danger of liquidation until being bought by Rolls, who wants a new ground and promotion back to the Blue Square Premier. There is good news of one of the most famous old names of amateur football, Bishop Auckland. After ground-sharing with other clubs in the north-east for the past seven years, which has created obvious financial difficulties, the Bishops have finally been able to start work on a new stadium of their own. It will be sited on a leisure complex including a cinema, restaurants and, inevitably, a supermarket.
No joke, it's Blue Santas
Watch out in today's televised game at Goodison Park for a whole crop of Father Christmases dressed – of course – in blue. They will have taken part this morning in the city of Liverpool's Santa Dash, a charity run held every year, and even the slowest and least dashing should have completed the 5km course well before kick-off: it starts at 9.30am. The Everton Foundation, originally set up by the club as Everton In The Community, hopes to field a team of 500 Blue Santas and raise £12,000. Those who have been laying off the ale will be keen to finish ahead of any red Santas, especially after last weekend's result at Goodison, though we trust there will be no Tim Cahill tackles or coat-pulling on the stewards' blindside.
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