The S – Word


Pacific tsunami and a City win
February 27, 2010, 5:04 pm
Filed under: Premier League, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , ,

Today has been surreal. I was woken up at about 3 in the morning, with news that a tsunami warning had been issued in Hawaii – following a devastating earthquake in Chile. The 8.8 magnitude quake triggered tsunami waves throughout much of the Pacific Ocean and, quite rightly, the warnings were taken very seriously here.

I’d gone to bed at about midnight, pretty tired after a sunset canoe paddling session, followed by a great margarita pool party (I know, it’s a hard life…). So when I woke up I actually thought I was dreaming. I went back to sleep for about 45 minutes until I was woken again. “Watch the news!” I was told.

I was glued to the news this morning, for tsunami updates

Everyone where I live was up and about – filling the cars with gas, water and food, as we’d been advised. When the air raid-like  tsunami sirens started sounding at 6am, it was pretty eerie. As a matter of fact, everything felt strange – the evacuations, emptying roads, everything closed down, panic buying at the supermarket, really weird. We drove ourselves to higher ground, parked up and spent six or seven hours watching the West Maui coast, anxious about the approaching waves, not knowing what would or could happen.

Thankfully Hawaii “dodged a bullet” – the words of tsunami expert and geophysicist Gerard Fryer. We saw some receding of water – which normally signals a wave is about to hit but nothing too damaging happened. There were sucks back and then surges along the parts of the coast that we could see, but no devastating walls of water.

What a relief! I was seriously impressed by the warnings we were given leading up to the expected time of the first wave, the evacuation procedure, everything. Hopefully nowhere else in the Pacific will be badly affected.

It seems a bit erroneous to talk about football in the same breath as earthquakes and tsunamis but if it wasn’t for the huge win that Manchester City registered against Chelsea today, I probably wouldn’t mention it.

But…I have to.

It’s rare that  I am pleased by a City win but today’s victory raised more than a smile. It was not just the manner of the defeat that pleased me (a 4-2 drubbing at Stamford Bridge with two Chelsea players sent off) but the loss on home turf also prevented Carlo Ancelotti’s men from going four points clear at the top of the Premier League.

It’s the second time this season that City have beaten Chelsea, which surely speaks volumes about the leaps they are making now that they’re, well, totally loaded. A top-four finish is looking more and more possible by the day, which takes some getting used to. City can’t actually win things can they? The fans I know from the blue half of Manchester will be howling with derision for me saying that but it’s just so hard to imagine. I mean really, silverware at Eastlands!?

Oh and  something else that I got great pleasure out of was Wayne Bridge’s refusal to shake John Terry’s hand. After the sordid philanderings I spoke about in my February 9 blog all eyes must have been on the pair and I think it was exactly the right thing for Bridge to do.

Snubbed!

I need some sleep after today’s events so that’s all for now… I’ll be back soon, hopefully after a Manchester United victory against Aston Villa in the Carling Cup final.

Mahalo for reading!



Finding Football
January 13, 2010, 1:14 pm
Filed under: Football in Hawaii | Tags: , ,

I have been thinking about this blog for a long time now and it’s about time I actually started writing!

There have been lots of stories in the football world over the last week – sadly, one that particularly stood out was the tragedy that happened on Angolan soil in the build-up to the African Cup of Nations. After travelling from neighbouring Congo, the Togo team bus was attacked by gunmen who reportedly opened heavy fire on the vehicle for 30 minutes. The driver was killed instantly and nine others were seriously injured. Manchester City striker and Togo captain Emmanuel Adebayor  revealed that the team’s press officer died in his arms as he spoke to The Guardian newspaper about the experience: http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/jan/13/emmanuel-adebayor-ill-terror-togo 

This was going to be a big year for the African Cup of Nations – a huge competition in its own right and also a curtain-raiser for the World Cup, which will take place in South Africa later this year, and it couldn’t have got off to a worse start. It’s so sad that Africa’s chance to shine has been taken away by some opportunistic killers. Togo pulled out of the competition before their first game was due to take place and sadly, the death toll has risen to three. Let’s hope that the rest of the tournament can continue in peace, with some fantastic games along the way.

Finding football in Hawaii can be difficult. If I didn’t have the internet it would be pretty damn impossible. My early mornings normally follow the same routine: get up, turn on the computer – check out the BBC Football website and gossip column, check The Guardian’s football section and perhaps take a look at Football365 and some of the tabloid websites too. Just in case there are any important stories I may have missed. After that it’s time to head to the beach and check the surf. If it’s good then football all but disappears from my thoughts until later in the day, when I am all surfed out and check back at my favourite news sources to get updated.

Maui

Maui. Not too different from England, as you can see...

As luck would have it, I have just returned from a great surf (when I say great I don’t allude to my own skills in the water – I am pretty new to the sport, but it’s always an amazing experience – I really love it and maybe, just maybe, one day I will be able to make it look easy. Like the good surfers do…)  and I have run into some good news! Sorry to all you fans from the red half of Liverpool but, thanks to Reading FC, who registered a 2-1 win at Anfield, you have just been knocked out of the FA Cup. That makes it no Champions League and no FA Cup for you this season… I won’t crow about this too much but I have to admit, it did make me smile. What is going on? Surely Rafa has to go. There really are some problems at Anfield at the moment, something I will have to discuss/examine in a future blog.

So, I have my news sources saved in my favourites list and it’s easy to find out what’s happening in football around the world 24/7 but I have been a little concerned about where to watch games. With the World Cup on the not-too-distant horizon and plenty of Champions League and Premier League games on the menu in coming weeks, I had started to get a little concerned about where I could watch the action. After all, how am I going to write about football if I don’t see any? But, after a chance conversation outside a cafe last week, I was introduced to another big  fan who, as luck would have it, shows any game you like in his bar/restaurant right here on Maui. It’s about 10 minutes away by bike and just perfect – they show soccer all the time. Hallelujah!