Wigan 0-1 Burton: Taking the (dog) biscuit

No, I said, "Who made this Jammie Dodger".

No, I said, “Who made this Jammie Dodger”.

You know, there *do* exist football teams named after commercial products and entities – look at Vauxhall Motors, Lada Togliatti, Airbus UK, Honda FC, Total Network Solutions and, er… Prescot Cables. Is it really that silly to assume Burton Albion were named after the makers of Maryland Cookies, Wagon Wheels and Jammie Dodgers? Burton’s is, after all, the UK’s second largest manufacturer of those stale cakes they call ‘biscuits’.

Be that as it may, I’ll admit it was a tad foolish to ask the Burton players to sign my confectionery wrapper collection. I learned an important lesson this week: never hand a footballer anything containing the minutest traces of sugar, otherwise they will consume it in femtoseconds like a starving mule. I guess the sport’s strict dietary regimens will have that effect on a man.

Won’t take this Lyon down

In actuality, Burton’s name is borrowed from a local canine hero – Burton the Dog is legendary for his extreme concentration in the adverse conditions that so often plague east Staffordshire. When he is in full focus mode, not even a cat wearing gravy bone shoes while bouncing two squeaky balls can distract him. Then, once your guard is lowered, he will clear the entire contents of your best cooking pot with a single swipe of his weaker paw.

Much like their puppy pal, Burton Albion were patient, resilient and steadfast. And when the time came, they took not only the pie, but the pan, spoon, pepper pot and that bottle of ‘upper tier’ own brand cola Latics had been saving for Christmas.

You probably wouldn’t have believed it from the first half, however. Keepers Jääskeläinen and McLaughlin performed a series of increasingly intricate juggling tricks to keep themselves entertained as the game’s so-called ‘strikers’ spent most of their time tailing invisible cars. Huh, Burton the Dog would never be caught engaging in such shameful activities!

Dogs chasing car

Exhibit A: the ball is now unguarded.

Slipping through my (Cadbury’s) fingers

All of a sudden, Jussi’s balls were sent scattering across the DW meadow as one unfortunate Burtonian let out a mournful ‘aroooo’. He had been ‘Crackered’ – in other words, he felt the sharp and exquisite pain of six razor studs piercing his inside thigh, just as Michael Jacobs did on Saturday. Yes, I like that term – I believe I’ll add it to the JWAW dictionary/translation guide I have been secretly compiling for the last… five minutes.

Chocolate hand

Keepers’ hands – as useful as a chocolate teapot.

Everything turned out OK in the end, though, as the club doctor advised against immediate amputation. ES2 mockingly celebrated with a chorus of wolf-like growls and barks.

But if dogs could laugh, I’m sure Burton would have had the last one. That’s, er, Burton the football team and not Burton the Dog. Agh, I screwed up – can we talk about biscuits again?

Once the ref had switched the game off and on again, Latics seemed to Perk up. And in case you were wondering, that capital P was intentional – Perky Perkins was now skipping a series of accurate slide passes across the DW ice rink. With Yanic Wildschut once again storming the left wing, things were definitely brightening up for the hosts.

But then came the rain… again. When this squall finally cleared, the scoreboard told me that just fifteen minutes remained. Er… it’s a new text-to-speech app thing I have on my phone, yeah. Ahem.

Difficult to digest(ive)

Burton’s Biscuits don’t manufacture Breakaways, but Burton the football team (as opposed to Burton the Dog) certainly do, and I must admit they are far tastier and more satisfying than the wrapped confection. As well they might, the entire team took time to savour this, a goal against Wigan Athletic for which so many have strived and failed so miserably. A goal made from 75 minutes of hard driving, officially credited to Abdenasser El Khayati but unofficially attributed to every man in yellow and black.

In a way, I sympathise with Reece James – it would have been cruel, nay, criminal for him to slot home his five yard formality with five full minutes to play. As he looked into Burton’s puppy dog eyes, he just could not bring himself to take two thirds of a poor doggie’s din dins.

Man eating dog food

No! Don’t do it, Reece!

That’s how they’ll get us in the end – the dogs, that is. They will control us with their cuteness and canine charm, then SMACK! Before you know it, Planet of the Dawgs. Beware both Burtons, lest the human race be damned!

Second opinion

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