Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The noxious weed (tobacco that is, not the ref from the other day)

For those of you who don't know a couple of us Kankas have become old and conservative and have started thinking about our health. Yep, Spine, French Kanka Hande and myself have given up smoking. Early days yet, only a week so far, but what I can say is thank God for nicotine patches.

Despite the perceived wisdom, the most difficult situation a "quitter" can find him/herself in is not a smokey bar with Sir Eski Kanka blowing smoke in your face, a situation I got through on Sunday night with no worries at all, but instead at the football - especially just after the referee refuses to give the most blatant penalty!

Some of you may remember a post I wrote way back in the early days of the blog (in March 2006) I wrote of a proposed ban on smoking in stadiums. The issue is back on the agenda at the moment, although I can't arsed to figure out the details.

Anyway, the post was picked up by a blog called The Global Game (a great site that looks at all sorts of side-issues of the game) which put my post through the spellchecker thingo, something I really should learn how to use at some stage, cherry-picked the best bits and in general wrote a much better story. The links back to this blog resulted at the time in quite a big spike in the numbers of people reading the blog, not surprising as in those days the blog was pretty much just read by Sir Eski and myself.

The Global Game have revisited the story of cigarettes in football looking at the recent piece in The Guardian by goalkeeper David James and his battles to give up the habit.

They ended the piece with a line taken from my very own post from more than two years ago.

One of the best expositions of the end of the era of fans’ disgruntled toking is that posted in 2006 at The Round Ball in Ankara (“Civilization Going to Pot,” 5 Mar 06): “I admit that even I would feel a bit guilty having a smoke in a maternity ward (at least if you couldn’t open a window) but at the football!”

Pretty cool if I say so myself. Hassle now is that I feel like a smoke.


  1. Good luck on this nicotine-patch-aided journey, and thanks as always for the perspective on Ankara terrace culture.

    I don't think smoking at football constitutes a side issue! These writings should be at the forefront of a supporter's consciousness in this 21st-century moment. You are an heir to the crónica writers of Argentina of the 1910s and ’20s, when the throwing of oranges and pissing from the heights made the sport pages - as it should be.

  2. Ah ha... Finally someone has accused us of tabloid journalism... although in a way that forced me to get Google to figure out what the hell you were talking about. Next time I'll try and throw you by commenting on your blog using a Turkish word.

    Anyway, thanks for the comment Mr. Global Game and I'd urge all readers here to check out his blog. www.theglobalgame

  3. Moral fibre is better than tobacco fibre and having a Spine is like having a strong backbone, however, a cigarette round about now would be Hande !!!

    Please excuse all the puns .... I think I have been influenced by Oz Kanka over the past 2 or more years ..... help !!!!

    I will certainly check out The Global Game, but.... I'm off to the Balcony now for another fix ... mmmmmm..... luvvlie !!!

    By the way, I have it on good authority (trrrrussst me !) that the Police will turn a blind eye when the no smoking ban is introduced to footie stadiums in Turkey !!