I didn't last year as I was on holiday, but I did state it in the first line a couple of years ago... which makes it sort of traditional.
So this Friday evening I found myself giving a "recharge" talk to Turkish cricket umpires. I really admire our Turkish umpires. They are becoming as pedantic as any 70-year-old with an MCC Law book watching Middlesex versus Somerset.
"Hoçam*. The batsman hits the ball and it hits a bird in the air, flying west, or possibly south-west, and is then caught by a fielder who is falling over the boundary but he/she manages to throw it back to another fielder, while the first fielder has not made contact with the ground outside of the boundary, and the ball then lodges in the pocket of the second fielder... Is the batsman out? If not how many runs should be awarded. What signal should be given?"**
I then reply.
"That's an interesting question Ayşe, and one I'd love to address, bur we don't have quite enough time at the moment. Keep that question in your head and I shall address it after our session this evening. At the same time though, please note that we all junior umpire candidates and so can we get back to the idea that if a batsman hits the ball, and the ball is caught, the batsman is out? Any questions? No? Good! Lets get onto to the much more important point of how to umpire sledging."
But this is a football blog and occasionally we talk about football here. Well, the Ankaragucu lot on this blog talk a lot about it.
Rizespor 1 - 1 Genclerbirligi
So I missed the first half completely thanks to the time it took to explain what and why are the restrictions on leg side fielding (thanks Douglas Jardine). I then showed up at Su'dem Pub to find that no one was there. I rang Orcan to find that he was watching the match on a dodgy webstream and that various people were down at the Beer Bus. Good news was that Gencler were winning 0-1.
A 15-minute walk down to the Beer Bus and it was great to see the old faces of Maksut, Halil, Erdem, Cengiz, Bulent etc etc. It was the usual small crowd of Alkaralar fans and it was great to see them all again.
"So how are we playing?", I asked.
"Better than we expected," was the reply and with that reassurance it was time to order beer.
Neden hep Genclerbirligi futbolcularinin ismi Billy Mehmet, Jimmy Durmaz, Guido Koçer falan? Sadece Genclerbirligi'nde var bu. Hahaaha
— İlhan Şeşen (@ilhansesen) August 29, 2014
We should have gone two ahead but a header from ????? hit the post... and then hit the other post... EVIL
Arr... We seemed to be okay. We were definitely attacking but Rize seemed to be pretty crap. We had a goal disallowed for absolutely NO REASON!!!!!!. And then we gave away the easiest of goals. Hakan Aslantaş must be having nightmares tonight after making the world's worst ever pass back to a teammate.
Okay. We looked okay in the second half and the referee was completely stupid in not allowing us a second goal. At the same time though we were not penetrating properly. Our first half goal only came because our new guy Guido Koçer hadn't heard that Gencler players are by law not allowed to shoot from outside the box. He will learn.
A point away. Last year we lost the first match of the season, again away to Rizespor. So I guess this year couldv'e benn worse.
Hakemi kötü, tribünü boş, yayıncı kuruluşu beş para etmez... Bu ligin nesi süper cidden?
— Hakan (@hknkrkc) August 29, 2014
There is no "top flight" football next week, probably due to Turkish cricket matches, but we will be back the week after with a home match against Bursaspor. The circumstances around the match could be interesting. Many people are boycotting the new Passolig system (me included).
During the week I had better post an explanation as to why I won't be getting a Passolig Card and therefore won't be going to Gencler matches this season... My old post here pretty much sums it up though
My guess is that this year is going to be pretty bad for atmosphere at football games. Maybe not for Ankaragucu though... the new rules don't apply for them.
* It is bloody cool to be called "hoçam".
** Not out. The fielding side didn't appeal. No signal needed. The batting team scores as many runs as they ran. (or something like that... I think!)