Monthly Archives: July 2012

Family Matters

I got a call from my mother-in-law during lunchtime asking if I had any crutches in my garage.  One of her brothers hurt his ankle and she’s trying to help him out.  Mom says, “with all the broken bones we’ve had in this family, there’s got to be a few pairs of crutches in someone’s garage!”

After I got off the phone with her, I reflected on this and saw some humor there.  When people get off crutches, do they really think, “I’m probably going to fall down the stairs in the next three months so I better hang on to these”?  Or, “my other kid is going to sprain his ankle so I ought to keep these.”

Every time I’ve been on crutches, I’ve wanted to get off them as fast as possible and find the nearest dumpster to throw them into.  Just in thinking about the injuries in our immediate family in the last twenty years, we’ve had a high ankle sprain, a ruptured achilles tendon, five broken arms, a couple of concussions, and a few other injuries that required medical attention.  My guess is that this is probably a higher than average frequency of injury, and yet, not once did we think, “we better hold on to those crutches — we’re going to need them again.”  Think about it — the odds of needing them again in the next six to twelve months are darn near astronomical!

2012-13 Barclay’s Premier League Predictions: Part Two

In the Relegation battle, but will survive:

17.  Reading:  Reading was the class of the Championship last season and they have continued to improve the club over the summer.  I look forward to watching this team.  Of the newly promoted sides, Reading appears to be the best positioned to stay up.

16.  Queen’s Park Rangers:  What a dramatic ending to last season!  Mark Hughes’ side played heroically against Manchester City on the last day.  It appeared that they would be the spoilers for the title race, only to end up escaping relegation by a Bolton loss.  The loss of Joey Barton for an extended period of time can only help this club.  Perhaps they will be able to move him on to another side who wants players with “Premier League experience.”  The signings of Park-Ji Sung, Ryan Nelson, Andy Johnson, and Robert Green appear to be good moves that will solidify the club’s hopes of staying up.

15.  West Bromwich Albion:  Roy Hodgson managed this side well with limited funds and turned them into a solid mid-table team.  He will be a hard act to follow.

14.  Wigan Athletic:  Once again, bigger clubs were unsuccessful in poaching Roberto Martinez, which bodes well for the Latics.  I don’t know how they do it . . . it defies logic . . . but he keeps them up every year against overwhelming odds after dismal starts.  They will play dismally in August and dazzlingly in March.  You can count on it!

2012-13 Barclay’s Premier League Preseason Predictions: Part One

A new season of the Barclay’s Premier League kicksoff in less than thirty days.  An abundance of pundits will be making preseason predictions.  Half-Baked is putting in its two cents, and by doing so, living up to our name.  Certainly, there will be some blockbuster transfers that will take place before the start of the season, and even on deadline day that will impact the title race.  But now’s the time to go out on a limb and prognosticate.

The Relegation Battle.  From here, it looks as though five or six teams could be in for a long relegation battle.  Here are the relegation picks:

20.  Swansea City:  Hate to say it, but I think they are going to have trouble staying up this year.  Brendan Rogers got out while the gettin’ was good.  Gylfi Sigurdson has gone to Spurs, Joe Allen may be on his way to Liverpool . . . From all indications, this is a selling club without a whole lot of margin to sell.

19.  Southampton:  Honestly, I haven’t really followed the Saints’ transfer rumors over the summer.  However, I’m thinking that two of the three newly promoted clubs are going back down.  Last season was an atypical year with all three promoted sides staying up.  My gut feeling is that Southampton hasn’t done enough to improve the club to give them a fighting chance of staying up.

17:  West Ham:  This prediction gives me no pleasure, since I am a long ball fan and love the physical, direct, British-style of football that Sam Allardyce employs.  Perhaps they will be able to get a big, physical striker a la Andy Carroll and they will prosper.  Otherwise, I don’t know where the goals will come from to keep them up.

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