The Badger


The Badger reads movie spoilers online before the cinema, and tells people inside how the movie ends

Gates, gates and more gates. They are all over the world at the moment, with every Tom, Dick and ‘Arry latching onto the overused expression at any given chance. It started with ‘Bloodgate’ when the most expensive tackle bag in the world, Tom Williams, did all that egg-chasing nonsense which the Badger doesn’t really care about.


From that platform, it has not stopped. We have been bombarded with every type of gate you can imagine. From ‘Fergie referee-gate’ to the infamous ‘Beachball-gate’, we’ve now progressed to the Badger’s personal favourite, ‘Liverpool having a bad start to the season and possibly having to sack Rafa Benitez-gate’. In all that is serious and reasonable, enough is enough. The Badger beseeches the world to put an end to lazy journalism-gate.

beachballThough the Badger wants all this gate malarkey to be put behind us, it is the comical occurrences in the game that keep our senses as football fans in check. Laughable as it is to watch the stupendous series of events occurring in a football pitch-length radius of Liverpool Football Club, their frailties unfortunately just happen to be as eye-catching as a bright red beach ball, floating towards goal.

A few quick, successive victories will get everyone off Liverpool’s back, and their season back on track. AC Milan this month got the Italian stampa on their side again with two fine wins over Real Madrid and AS Roma. Similarly, Argentina showed some fight and desire in qualifying for the World Cup (albeit with less grace and aplomb by Diego Maradona). So don’t worry, Liverpool fans – a few wins and hey presto, you are back up there fighting for a Europa League spot.

All that said, The Badger has been doing some research, and it turns out that Spanish people are indeed not attracted to red colours but are actually threatened by moving objects, this explaining why Pepe ‘The Bull’ Reina dove towards the red beach ball instead of the rather less intimiating football speeding past him. All is forgiven, Pepi.

Though the Badger still sees light at the end of the tunnel for Liverpool, he is not quite so buoyant about the prospects of seeing Cristiano Ronaldo at the next World Cup. In trying not to upset any of The University Observer’s Portuguese readership, the Badger is going to choose his words very carefully when explaining why Bosnia are going to kick the living bejaysus out of Portugal.

Bosnia are a side with some of the world’s most promising attacking talent brewing in its setup. Fostering the likes of Edin Dzeko, Vedad Ibišević and Miralem Pjanić, Bosnia have a forward line full of creativity and flair. This vibrant aspect of their play will no doubt give Ricardo Carvalho and Real Madrid’s resident nutter Pepe many problems over the two-legged playoff.

The Badger doesn’t really care about the other three ties that are taking place. Greece and Ukraine hardly leave people salivating at the mouth, while Russia versus Slovenia – or Slovakia, the Badger forgets which one is which – is a foregone conclusion.

Last, but most certainly not first, Ireland’s matchup with the French side, France, is beyond the bookie’s odds. In a match certain to be the deadest of dead rubbers, the European minnows have absolutely no chance against Trap’s troops over two legs. With the opening leg at Croke Park, Ireland will have a perfect opportunity to gain a foothold in the tie and build some momentum before the second leg in Paris.

The Badger has already read the plot spoilers on FIFA’s website for the second leg at the Stade de France. Unless you wish to enjoy the spectacle, the Badger recommends that you skip two paragraphs ahead right now.

The game will have all the hype and anticipation of any close-battled encounter. However, during the national anthems before the game, boos will predictably ring out around the stadium when the local band plays La Marseillaise. This will incur the wrath of Nicolas Sarkozy as he single handedly takes on the French booboys in a bout of fistycuffs.

The game, by this stage, will have fallen into disrepute, and so to distract from the abject crappiness of the fixture itself, UEFA’s Work Experience President, Michel Platini, will be called into action so as to be hated by as many people as physically possible. Platini will use all the power and authority he doesn’t actually have to disqualify France from the World Cup, due to crowd violence, and award Ireland a walkover 3-0 win.

The Badger knows it sounds absurd, but stranger things have happened in football.

PS – Upon appeal France will plead that their 3-0 loss was unfair, and have their punishment reduced to 1.5-0. You heard it here first.

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