Never underestimate the role of entertainment in modern society. Without it, we are relegated to the role of a mere machine, performing the same three repetitive tasks until our motherboard melts to a sticky mush. Then our owner buys an upgraded model, tossing us onto the ‘robot mountain’ they really ought to bury in the Mariana Trench but the government can’t afford the Parcel Force shipping fees.
Where, apart from the loony bin, am I going with this drivel? Well, it’s my beef-fisted tribute to Saturday‘s man of the moment, the ‘Fat Barsteward’ Ball Boy of Legend. Down in the deepest deep depths of League Two, heroes such as these are buried under megabytes of Rolando transfer conjecture and the superfluous exclamation marks of Aguera triple hat-tricks… but I will gladly award him the opening paragraphs of this match report and a lifetime’s supply of Johnstone’s terracotta gloss. Well, maybe not the latter as I need that for my bannister.
…It’s a really long staircase.
Paintbrushes at the ready for this
Back to my original point about entertainment. (Wait, there was a point to all of this? — Ed.)
By and large, quality of content isn’t quite as important as the overall spectacle – one need only glance at Saturday evening karaoke show viewing figures for living proof of this. It is wholly possible to be blinded by goals: when there’s loads of stuff happening very quickly, you’re more willing to forgive the school playground ‘everyone’s an attacker; forget defence’ mentality.
Indeed, Sanmi Odelusi’s second minute penalty kick was crafted on the back field with car tyres for goal posts and boxes for keepers. Ben Garratt, being slightly more mobile than your average pile of soggy cardboard, was able to wrap his opposable thumbs around this ‘effort’ with great comfort. So much, in fact, that Odelusi even offered to fluff his cushion and brew a cup of hot Bovril before popping to the newsagent for an extra large packet of chilli Doritos… with dip.
Garratt kicked back and flicked on the telly just in time to catch a particularly farcical episode of ‘The Jussi Bunch’ starring a fresh-faced Jack Hendry – Latics’ fourth debut of the week (#5 if you count that ball boy). While the newbie was busy engaging in some high quality scripted banter with Jussi Jääskeläinen, Marcus Haber cracked open a can of portable laughter and invaded the stage amid much confusion. When the noise died down, someone finally realised that Latics were 1-0 down.
Retaliation came from a surprising source. Jordy Hiwula’s overhead Dancing On Ice backflip was about as likely as a Grant Holt reappearance… but there the ball sat, inside Garratt’s net. It was one of those feats only achievable via the magic of televisual special effects, except for the fact this game was being filmed on a crummy 2002 Nokia 4510 complete with 0.2 megapixel camera. Hey, this ain’t the Europa League now, boy!
As it transpired, Hendry’s blunder was just a dress rehearsal for Donervon Daniels’ role in the second Crewe goal. As tempting as it might have been to clear over the Ice Cream Van Stand (yum!), the Monserratian resisted… to his eventual detriment, as Ryan Colclough evaded Jussi’s various body parts and rolled the ball into an open net.
The Making (Formerly Dismantling) of Jordy Hiwula
Against Walsall, Yanic Wildschut interrupted filming of The Dismantling of Jordy Hiwula by replacing his out-of-form team mate at half time. But tonight, the two worked together to tape over that footage for a new project: The Making of Jordy Hiwula (rated 18, coming soon to YouTube and Latics Player).
When Daniels shuddered the crossbar, the leftovers fell for Wildschut to feed his brand new strike partner. Astoundingly, Hiwula was now in possession of two goals (sponsored by Johnstone’s Paint)! Note the ‘Aguera’ exclamation mark there, for it is thoroughly warranted – maybe we won’t miss Grigg on Saturday after all.
And in the spirit of the Paint Pot Trophy, Yanic Wildschut indulged in a spot of do it yourself (groan) with a blistering (groooan), glossy (grooooan) strike of his own painting (puh). Who cares about opposition defenders when your shots from distance are plumb line (gah) accurate?
As you might expect with about 35 minutes of game time remaining, Crewe did create openings for their own third, most notably in the 97th minute through Haber. But knowing how much everyone utterly detests penalty shoot-outs, an equaliser was even less likely than Grant Holt donning the Wigan Athletic jersey one more time.
…Wait, what’s that you say?
Holt came on as a 54th minute substitute for Odelusi?
(Blinks three times)
I’m afraid I’m going to need more proof than a pixellated snap on your Nokia 4510, pal…