The Badger

The Badger starts the new year with some nostalgia and ends on a uncharacteristically positive noteThis Christmas was a particularly interesting one for The Badger, with all the amazing sporting news that has occurred since the last column. The Badger is having a hard time deciding what was the most unbelievable thing to have occurred over the last month, but it may have taken place this weekend.Last Saturday, without any warning from above, Michael Owen scored a Premier League goal. An actual goal. Granted, Stoke still lost 3-1 to Swansea (and were, in fact, losing 3-0 at the time), but they all count and now Michael Owen joins the likes of Theirry Henry and Alan Shearer with 150 Premier League goals.In fact, Owen is only the eighth person to ever reach this milestone, alongside Wayne Rooney, Robbie Fowler, Andy Cole and Frank Lampard. What’s that? The Badger forgot someone? Oh no, you’ll just have to waste time googling who the final player is instead of doing some work… Already… And it’s only the first week; shame on you!Anyway, it is easy for The Badger to sit here and laugh at Michael Owen for going a year and a half without a Premier League goal. Very easy in fact, and The Badger knows that there is no fun in laughing at an easy target.The Badger remembers a time when Michael Owen was one of the most feared strikers in the world. In fact, there was a time when Michael Owen was so popular that he not only had his own breakfast cereal (the main ingredients were childhood obesity and diabetes), and he even had his own TV show.According to a Facebook fan page demanding a second season (which is, in The Badger’s opinion, horrifically under-supported), Owen’s TV show Hero to Zero depicts an alternate reality in which “Michael Owen emerges from a poster at night to talk to a pre-pubescent child” about life and football.For a brief moment in the year 2000, Michael Owen was such a huge superstar that the BBC actually sanctioned a six-episode series starring him, and that was a whole year before he scored two goals in the FA Cup final to beat an Arsenal team that won the double next year.Since then, The Badger has seen Owen’s stock fall so low that he is now a substitute for Stoke City, a club who lost to Colchester in the old Division Two full days before Hero to Zero’s premiere.So if you’re ever sad about the fact that Owen has wasted all that potential he showed us in his youth, just put on your old Carlsberg Liverpool jersey, curl up in bed with a bowl of Michael Owen’s Sporties and find a low-quality stream of Hero to Zero and let all your problems fade away.